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How businesses can benefit from a multi-skilled employee

There’s always been a tendency in business to employ specialists. That is to say, people who focus on one job and the tasks associated with that type of role. Their degree is often focused on a single subject but then is broken down into secondary related subjects. The thinking is that the more specialized a person is, the more useful they’ll be. That works until you need them to do something else and they don’t know how because it’s outside of the small circle of competence.

Here are a few of the benefits to a business when hiring multiskilled employees.

Multi-Skilled, Not One-Trick Ponies
When you employ staff who aren’t one trick ponies, they are oriented towards competently completing a bunch of tasks across several roles. Companies often make the mistake of believing that they need experts in most positions. The reality is that most often they do not.

What they need is to create a Standard Operating Procedure document for each role that makes it clear how different tasks in the job are performed. By doing so, not only is the company protected from always needing to hire an expert at a higher cost, but it means that a non-specialist can step into the role and get up to speed relatively quickly because everything important has already been documented.

There is an Interdisciplinary Studies degree course which is broad enough to make it applicable for employees who’ll subsequently look for Interdisciplinary Studies Jobs after graduation. This sort of education is designed for people who can be adaptable on-the-fly.

Staff Turnover Reduced
Staff turnover is a substantial expense for companies. Finding a recruit and going through their initial slower performance until they’re up to speed is costly. Also, going through the process is a distraction which affects the productivity of everyone involved. When companies are forced to keep pulling in new people with a limited job remit, they’re setting themselves up for a financial death by a thousand cuts.

By contrast, when an employee arrives who has a multi-disciplinary approach, they’re likely to find many roles and tasks where they can be useful. They’re able to switch across to cover someone on maternity leave or on a two-week vacation without the company needing to find a specialist who’s good enough to cover a short-term post and can get up to speed almost immediately.

Employment Costs Lowered
Not having to continue recruiting and finding experts for every position saves the company money without losing performance. This is because when using Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s), employees drop the ball far less often than they otherwise would. When something is missed, it’s added to the SOP so anyone subsequently taking on the same task won’t make the same mistake.

With standardized training methods, lower staff turnover and a lack of dependence on experts throughout an organization, the business runs more efficiently with fewer mistakes and uses a smaller percentage of the revenue to pay for operations.

There is something to be said about at least having some of the workforce coming under the multi-skilled banner rather than only employing specialists or experts. It gives the business greater flexibility that it would not otherwise have, which is always a good thing.

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