Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cross training to strengthen your team

As the year gets well and truly underway, now is the time to look at how you can strengthen your team.

Take a few moments and look at all the tasks your team has to complete over the year, write these down in a list leaving three lines between each entry.

Next take a look at all your team members and match a name against each entry as the main person to complete this task. From here work through the list again and find a backup person to each task. Finally work through the list again looking for alternate backup people who could do this task.

The important step now is to look through each of your backup people and rate them on their capability to do their backup task, anyone who score less than seven out of ten you need to highlight.

Analyse your list and look for the area you just identified as a weakness in the depth of your teams capabilities. Consider the impact to your team if the principal person got sick or left your team.

Now it's time to earn your money, talk to each member you have identified and come up with an action plan to get them cross-trained to a higher level of competency. Some members will resist while some will see it as an opportunity to grow. Its your job to ensure that by half-way through the year you have covered all these gaps.

As the year progresses look to exercise your backup people from time to time to ensure they keep their skills up to an acceptable level. Be sure to provide feedback as each one of these backup people go through their paces and make sure they know why they are doing this.

By ensuring our teams are balanced with a good level of cross-skilling our team will develop a better appreciation of the other team members and what they do, but also you will have a far greater team with depths of skillful people to call on.

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