Is Cross-Training Employees Good for Business?


The great majority of new employees are hired for a specific role within the organization. But in many cases new hires (and tenured workers) may be exposed to other functions they were not initially called on to perform. For instance, a payroll clerk may be called upon to handle some related employee benefits tasks. Or a shop floor worker, who has been trained on a particular discrete machining job, may be needed to temporarily substitute for another, absent employee.

Certainly employees, who are multi-faceted and can readily handle new challenges, are a tremendous asset to their employer – and to their own personal career aspirations. However, some employees may relish new responsibilities while others don’t.

Whether a company provides formal, structured training, or encourages learn-as-you-go on-the-job training, unquestionably employee training and education is good for business. But what happens when employees are pulled out of their comfort zone to handle unfamiliar duties? Unfortunately this occurs in companies large and small. “Fire drills” arise at unexpected times (hence the moniker “fire drill”). Unless a company has the ability to hire short-term temps to fill in the resource gaps, the situation quickly becomes “all hands on deck”.

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Sports Analytics vs. Scouting Intuition

sports analytics

Baseball Analytics – Player A has an on-base % of .488 against righties with runners in scoring position after the 7th inning

Scouting Intuition – Player A is clutch in key situations

Which player evaluation strategy will win the most ballgames? That is really a rhetorical question, but the answer likely involves both.

Modern sports analytics are everything — they are the true measure of player performance over time. Whether management focuses on simple measures (like On-Base %), more complex metrics like WAR (Wins Above Replacement), or splits-on-splits, baseball analytics tell the whole player story. Or do they?

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