When it comes to having a stable and profitable business, you need an efficient team, at least that's our motto. Until we're at the level of Walmart, when we can hire someone just to say "Hi" at the front door, we need everyone to be able to do as many jobs as possible.
As research manager, I’ve thought a lot about how we can make our team members even more efficient than they already are. What my team and I have come up with is that it’s not just about people who know how to do their job—and do it well— but also know how to do other jobs within the company.
Within the last couple months, I've made an effort to sit down with each different department and learn more about what they do and how they do it. Not only was it a fun break from my daily duties, I feel like I've learned enough to be able to fill-in somewhere else if I was needed. It was such a good experience for me that it became my mission to ensure everyone in the company had a chance to do each person's job. Perhaps they didn't have to learn how to do the job from start to finish, but they had to spend a day in the shoes of someone in each department.
Here is what our little experiment turned up:
- Cross-training Improves Customer Service. Our goal at PropLogix has always been AMAZING service. Our team members know the ins and outs of every product we offer which translates in to less hold times and faster service.
- It Improves Efficiency. As we've grown, certain teams would get busier than others. Add to that, vacations, sick time, etc. we decided cross-training was better than having one team scramble while another sat around waiting for the next order to come in.
- It Gives the Team Members a Sense of Gratification. We noticed our team members appreciated the education and the break in monotony when we bounced them from job to job as needed.
- Our Team Members Surprised Us and Themselves. We had a few team members learn they loved something that they’ve never done before. We found some hidden talents and passions.
The people who work for your company are your greatest asset. Treat them well, teach them well and watch everyone benefit.