Cross Training

Cross Training


  • Cross-training (also known as conditioning) refers to training in different ways to improve overall performance. …
  • Cross training is training someone in another activity that is related to their current work. The name comes from the fact that you are training them across a broader spectrum of the organization’s work.
  • The systematic training of the soldier on tasks related to another job within the same MOS or tasks related to a secondary MOS within the same skill
  • Allowing employees to have experience in multiple tasks, job functions, or across multiple accounts in order to increase productivity and provide backup.


These are a few of the suggested definitions I found. I feel these reflect a view wide enough to define the concept. What I would like for you to get from this is that learning new disciplines helps you and your group /organization /family survive all manner of difficulties –  from lay-offs, work injuries and leaves-of-absence (medical personnel reductions), disasters, deaths, wars, etc…. Think of this not only in solitary terms. There are more people to this living thing than just you. If you are so well off that you don’t need anyone, then you probably could write a better blog than me. Of course, there are some that absolutely have no other choice than to go it alone, I know of a few. This works for them too, though they are well along in this regard.

Training for jobs other than your regularly assigned duties is important. Having each member knowing something about the others’ work allows for breaks, breathers and rests. Mom would benefit from a hubby that can cook, sew, clean, etc… (No sexism intended…) Dad could use a lady that knows her way around the shop, cars and buildings. Both should be familiar with medical procedures, Fist-Aid and the like.

The kids should know the basics of all of the above, if for no other purpose than to be able to assist. That’s good for everyone – being able to assist. With multiple pairs of hands at work, things get done better and faster – but only if the basic skills are there.

Hence – Cross Training.

Do you have a plan for sharing the knowledge inherent in your group, so that the work can be shared as well? If not, write one. Here’s how.

List each member’s skill sets. Divide them into Best, Okay and Need-to-Improve.
When you are done, you’ll have 3 sets for each person, and a fourth category that didn’t exist when you started – the “I Don’t DO That” category.

It’s the IDDT column that will tell the story. Some of you will be stronger than others. At this point, you need to make judgment decisions as to what skills make sense to share, and then how to transfer them.

The best transfer method is to share the task. Get dad in the kitchen. Get mom some tools and show her a thing or three in the shop. “How DOES that saw work, anyway? Is there a best way?” Get junior and missy involved in the less taxing work, and help them gain proficiency. There really is a lot to gardening, fluid maintenance in the cars and keeping the house in good order.

Some of you have wonderful outdoors skills. These are a dying breed and need to be passed on. You bear a responsibility to keep those things alive and within the vision of each of your groups’ members.

Cross Training isn’t just for sports. . . .

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