Cross-Train to Build a Flat Culture

The notion of cross-training is often used in reference to training different elements of the human body in different ways. It pushes the body to the limits in non traditional ways, often going from jogging to lifting and extreme aerobics without any sort of break. By training this way, it strengthens the body and improves its performance. The same practice can be used when training employees inside of a business. Every employee represents a muscle inside of the body (the company). If a muscle is trained in different ways, it is able to react faster and in line with the other employees in order to complete a task in the best manor possible. Cross-training basically levels any sort of barriers or walls in between different departments and helps everyone stay on the same page and understand what is going on within the company itself.

Identify Possible New Employees for Cross-Training

As cross-training educates employees on different areas of the business, it is not going to fit with all of your employees. At least all of the current ones. There are going to be some who are just not able to grasp learning sales from accounting. They are good at accounting and whatever else goes on is just not going to sink in. Some people are like this. This is why when you look for new employees, look for someone who is able to learn multiple areas of the company. Their resume can showcase some of this, but integrating some questions regarding other branches of your company into the interview is a good way to identify possible cross training targets. Now only are these people solid hires, but they become more valuable to your business as well.

Flatten the Culture

Zappos is one of the most successful companies in keeping employees happy. They are constantly rated as top notch and a business that keeps employees due to the benefits and services they offer. However, all of their employees are able to move to different departments and work, or at least assist, with tasks. The employees are awarded for this with the desirable benefits and services. Naturally, valuables employees need to remain happy. You can flatten the culture by following in Zappos’ footsteps. Training across the board makes employees more valuable, and while you do need to keep them happy in the job, it allows your business to remain a well oiled machine and one that can function even if someone is unable to make it into work (or if there is a job opening) for an extended period of time.

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