The cross training trend has been rising steadily in the fitness world, but it means something completely different, yet equally beneficial in your eyecare practice. Cross training employees involves teaching staff members the skills and responsibilities of another area in your practice. Having employees that are knowledgeable in multiple areas, and who are well versed with your optometry software, makes it much more manageable for you practice to stay on top of things if someone is out sick, takes a vacation, or unexpectedly quits.
Today, we want to highlight some of the benefits that cross training can offer your optical practice, as well as give you some tips for getting started with your training plan!
You'll Ensure Long-Term Success
You didn't put all of that hard work into setting up your practice, just to have it fizzle out over time. Cross training is a great strategy for helping ensure that you'll stay strong and successful in the long-run. When you have multiple employees that can handle various tasks within your office, they can help cover responsibilities if someone takes a long vacation, or leaves your practice, that way you won't have to spend extra money hiring a temp employee.
On top of that, it will probably help your employees from getting too bored in their current role. Just about any job gets repetitive or boring at some point, so allowing your employees to constantly learn new tasks and responsibilites is a great way to enhance career development and keep your staff happy.
When you have employees with expanded skill sets, you have the opportunity to promote within your practice if someone leaves, which will make both you and your employees happy. Plus, you'll boost morale within your practice because your staff will feel valued as they see you investing in their personal skills. Cross training allows you to build a strong team in your office, and who knows, you might even discover some hidden talents within your employees along the way!
Having staff who can take on multiple roles allows your practice to remain highly productive at peak times in your schedule. Not only will cross training allow your practice to be more flexible and handle transitions and changes with ease, but it'll also make it easier for you to spot inefficiencies in your workflow. As employees explain the processes behind their tasks and procedures in your practice, they will be forced to look deeply at the way they complete those tasks. This allows for discoveries and suggestions for improvement.
Cross training allows for higher levels of interaction among your staff which means that teamwork in your practice will improve. This will allow for individuals in your office to not only have deep expertise in one area, but provides them with the ability and opportunity to collaborate across departments. As your staff begins to understand how the various roles connect across your practice, you'll be able to eliminate the "that's not my job" mentality.
When you have staff that is more knowledgeable in multiple areas, they will be able to better understand and answer questions that your patients might have. Your patients will love interacting with a highly competent staff, and will feel they are receiving higher quality care!
Developing a training plan for cross training can be very similar to developing any other training plan. Be patient as you tackle this project, like all training it is going to take time, but as always, it will be worth it when you obtain the benefits in the end!
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