Cross Training: The Dirty Necessities

By: Ricki Sexton

As the hub of our association management company office, our member services department is at the front of all of the operations for the many associations we serve.  At any given time, all of our member services coordinators could be on a call,  processing payments for our members, helping a member who has walked in the front door, as well as juggling internal staff requests.

Cross training all of our staff members is a necessity!  I’d like to share a few tips that I feel have made our efforts more successful.

  1. Train from Different Perspectives  In our department, we’ve currently been implementing two trainers.  I train, as the manager, and I have another senior staff member who has been with our company for several years that also trains our member services coordinators.  While we both have two different training styles, the consensus is that they have all taken something away from both of us.  Additionally, one of us may touch on something the other didn’t mention.   We have had positive feedback from our team by using this method.
  2. clientsTrain with Written Procedures Over the years, all of our client teams have written standard operating procedures on all the tasks we perform.  Sitting down with the written procedures and following all the steps has given us extra opportunities to improve and tweak things for optimal efficiency.
  3. Don’t Overwhelm Your Staff Set up your training schedule in small blocks.  When they already have their own assigned tasks, adding a four hour training schedule to their day can be overwhelming.  Additionally, it’s hard to retain information when you have your daily tasks also on a deadline.
  4. Get Feedback. Repeat This is key for staff managing  multiple client tasks.  How we process one client’s data entry is not always the same across the board, due to different associations tracking different types of information in their reports.  Having mini-training sessions as often as needed to touch on key points that may be confusing ensures we retain all the knowledge to properly manage our clients’ needs.

What tips and tricks can you share that work for your organization?

2016 Ricki Sexton



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