Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Absence is always a problem, any when it occurs you need a way of replacing that person. You can't have everyone knowing how to do everyone's job. Most are too specialised and it would cost a lot in time and training cost. not to mention having to pay higher salaries for these super skilled people. So most companies use Cross Training.
Cross training is where you train all of your staff in two skills. A primary and a secondary skill. By cross training your staff so that they all know at least two skills you can cover for one absence across all skill sets with just one person.
If each person knows two key skills then you replace the missing skill with either the cover person or if their skill does not match then each person in the team moves into their secondary skill set until all of the skills are covered.
The image above shows an absence in skill 3. The cover person can only cover for skill one. Fortunately all of the staff know one additional skill, so the cover person does skill 1, staff member 1 covers skill 2, staff member 2 covers skill 3. In this way all of the skills for the whole group can be covered by one cover person.
For example in a power station there are about 120 skills in the matrix and keeping everyone up to date in all their respective skills is a full time job. Everyone needs regular training and experience in all of their skills. However the benefits out way the costs. It maximises flexibility and ensures that the power station can operate effectively no matter the situation.