Aspects of Employee Cross-Training

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 2
Words: 565
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master

Employee cross-training or ECT can be described as a practice in which one employee obtains knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOCs) of their colleague. In addition, ECT can also be defined as an instructional technique that provides the employee with extra guidelines and skills (Salas et al., 2007, as cited in Salem & Abdien, 2017). As a result, the ECT directly increases the employee’s knowledge and experience. Therefore, the development of an ECT program would likely yield the following benefits both for employers and employees:

  • Minimization of negative impact, created by the employee’s sudden absence, since multiple employees would be able to replace their absent colleague;
  • Overall improvement of employee’s productivity and performance due to their increased skill and motivation;
  • Cost savings — cross-trained experienced employees can be reassigned to new duties instead of recruiting new ones (Vasanthi & Basariya, 2018). However, the excessive use of that advantage would be unethical toward the employees;
  • Mitigation of boredom and burnout caused by routine in professional duties;
  • Obtaining new KSAOCs and experience, which would be helpful for my future career;

However, improper implementation of the ECT can come with significant disadvantages. Vasanthi and Basariya (2019) argued that a poorly organized ECT could negatively affect product quality and disrupt the production process. Moreover, the ECT can harm the relationships between the employees if the coach is afraid of losing their job by making the students too competent (Vasanthi & Basariya, 2019). Therefore, it is essential to understand that ECT does not guarantee miracles; the positive result entirely depends on the quality of implementation.

Nevertheless, I would have supported support the ECT program if one existed at my previous workplace. I would have liked to obtain KSAOCs, which are completely different from my current skillset. I find the concept of handling various situations quite lucrative, provided the employer would not force me to do extra work for the same wage. In addition, an opportunity to learn something new would be helpful in the moments when the current job starts feeling stale.

The additional skills, abilities, and cross-training would likely be useful for my career development. I believe that the greater one’s professional competence and experience — the better selection of jobs on the labor market is available. Possession of various KSAOCs grants more freedom to the employee and allows them to switch the field of professional activity or fill a new vacancy with relative ease. This perk is extremely valuable during the hard times for the national economy when many people are losing their jobs.

Therefore, if I were a manager, I would have told my employees about the benefits that cross-training program provides for them. I would have explained that cross-training does not mean that the employees will have to know and work more for the same wage. Instead, I would have concentrated on the positive aspects of the ECT. My employees would have learned that the ECT will make them better specialists, ready to deal with difficult situations in the workplace. After the ECT, they would be able to take over the work in the event of any trouble, helping their co-workers in time of need. Overall, the crucial point of explaining the ECT to the employees would be assuring them of the ultimate benefit of cross-training. If the employees consider the ECT a mere tool for squeezing extra productivity, the program will most likely fail.


Salem, I. E. B., & Abdien, M. K. (2017). Implementation of employee cross-training during perilous conditions in hotels. Tourism Management Perspectives, 23, 68-74. Web.

Vasanthi, S., & Basariya, S. R. (2018). Employee cross training and its impact on employee performance. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, 9(6), 800-806.

Vasanthi, S., & Basariya, S. R. (2019). On the job training implementation and its benefits. International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews, 6(1), 210-215.