Cross-Train Your Staff or Die !


Taking the easy route regarding staff training can be problematic and a compromise that may ultimately bring you down. I was called upon recently, to step into a role in sudden circumstances, where the business manager had not returned from sick leave. As time passed, no-one knew if the staff member was ever coming back. Even with 40 year's business experience, with all my tech-tools and business experience at hand, stepping into that position without a handover was stressful with many issues involved.

…continue reading A good decision was made right up front. Another staff member was immediately trained on one aspect of the job. which helped alleviate some pressure straight away. However, there were plenty of other complications to deal with, knowing we had members of the board waiting for their month end reporting at that time. The perfect storm. We would have muddled through to complete the job but, as it turned out, the business manager returned in time to complete month end and all ended well. Lessons Learned: 1 It was obvious that management needed to ensure that, where ever possible, cross training other staff members was important. So, if a staff member is away unexpectedly, another staff member can then “pick up the slack”. 2 Mission-critical tasks need to be taught to either internal staff or external consultants in case of such emergencies. MOST IMPORTANTLY AND RELATED TO THE ABOVE 3 There needs to be a clear separation of duties so that no one person has total control or power over the organisation’s ability to operate if that member is away for some reason. 4 Office manuals need to be maintained and that means, kept up to date. THE END

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