Cross-training your staff.

Posted on June 1, 2001 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

In the sport of hockey, the Frank J. Selke Award is given to the best defensive forward. This is an offensive player who excels at playing on the defense. To some, this contradiction may sound silly. If the player was so good at defense, why wouldn?t he just remain playing on the defense? And for the league to condone and actually award a player for being labeled one thing but working in another area may seem ridiculous. It does go against conventional thinking, but then hockey is not your conventional type of sport. However, if you think about it, it?s not a bad idea. It?s also not a bad concept to adopt in your business.

Consider this: Hopefully the members of your staff already know how to work in each of their respective areas (dispatch, driving, reservations, etc.); now may be the time to consider cross-training them in other areas. That?s right: I said cross-training.

Think about it for a minute ? a chauffeur who can dispatch, a reservationist who can drive. There is a multitude of combinations that could be created. Sticking with my hockey analogy, every member of your staff can now become a ?two-way player.?

You may be asking yourself, ?So how is it beneficial to me if my drivers can also dispatch??

Well, for starters, it helps the members of your staff to fully understand more than one aspect of the business. By learning a new job, a staff member can better grasp the full scope of the limousine industry. This, in turn, will enhance their own job performance.

Knowing the duties of a coworker also helps breed a more considerate employee. Your staff will work better together if everyone knows what the other members go through on a daily basis. It?s like the old saying, ?You can?t truly know someone until you walk in their shoes.? This type of understanding makes for a well-rounded employee who will have a greater appreciation of the business. It is also an excellent team-builder!

In addition, properly cross-trained staff members will be able to fill in for any position in a time of need. This can be especially helpful during the summer months when several people on your staff will want to take their vacations. With two-way staff members, you will be guaranteed the coverage that you require. One person can do two jobs.

So returning to my hockey analogy, the most sought-after persons by coaches are good two-way players: the ones who have mastered one aspect of their game and have enough skills to take on another. In your business, you have the ability to stock your entire team with these two-way players and create a flexible staff. Who knows? Maybe someday LCT will establish its own Selke Award for the most versatile operation.

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