Keith, credit manager for a truck plaza, told Session 9B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"Itís that time of year again, the time of year that many people look forward to with great expectations - vacation time. But the truth is, in some ways I dread vacations. Why? Because every time I take a vacation or any other time off from work for that matter, when I return, I return to piles of unfinished work. Nothing gets done when I am gone so now I have to work like a slave to makeup for my vacation. This is not much to look forward to. Why? Because I have never taken the time to properly cross train others in my department to do the work required to be done in my position. Yesterday, I decided to stop procrastinating on this important cross training part of my job.
I decided to stop what I was doing for twenty minutes if necessary to do some well past due on-the-job training. I began by teaching our collection representative how to pull credit reports online. I carefully followed Turboís three-step on-the-job training formula. First I showed her as I told her how. Then I put her on the computer and walked her through the process again. I told her what to do as she took each step in the process. The third time through, she pulled some credit reports on her own and told me what she was doing as she took each step.
She was so enthusiastic about
learning a new program on the computer that we decided to continue meeting once a week for ongoing computer training.
The lesson I learned from this experience is that team members really do want more training. If I train other people on my duties, I will have more backup support and can go on vacation without a sense of dread.
The action I call you to take is cross train other employees to do your job. Donít make judgments like they canít learn or donít want to learn. The benefit you will gain is the freedom to delegate more responsibilities to your team, which will improve their job satisfaction. When you return from vacation, you will return to a clean desktop."
Over the past fifteen years we have conducted employee opinion surveys with tens of thousands of employees. One of the statements included on the survey is ĎOur training equips us all to succeed'; strongly agree, agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree. Of the thirty six statements on the survey, this statement consistently scores as one of the lowest. The point is that you may have people in your organization that would love to be trained on additional opportunities to provide higher levels of service for your organization. That sure sounds like a winwin to me.