Back in 2007, Jeff Lupient, an expert in automotive retail business, was given the task of running temporarily his family’s automotive dealership near Minneapolis after the store’s previous general manager left the company. Lupient was able to turn the dealership’s fortunes around by reducing fixed and semi-fixed costs significantly, to the tune of approximately $100,000.
His success was partly due to his decision to cross-train employees for multiple tasks. For instance, the store’s service cashier also directed the warranty repair operations.
Cross-training is a management tool that is often overlooked by business leaders, who fail to see how it can keep employees engaged in their jobs and turn in exemplary performances because their skills are developed even further.
For most employees, non-monetary incentives can serve as the greatest motivator. Cross-training them is a way for the organization to exhibit interest in the workers’ career growth and learning opportunities. Giving them expanded responsibilities can be the start for them to reach their potential in the industry.
Cross-training also results in cost-cutting. It is less costly to leverage internal talent and train employees in new skills than to recruit fresh candidates from outside the company. And when one or more workers cannot avoid taking a leave of absence, productivity is not sacrificed because their tasks are easily covered by their teammates.
Jeff Lupient currently serves as the president and CEO of the Lupient Automotive Group. After working every position and every job in the automotive retail business, he understands well both the plight of his employees and the complex process of running the business. Learn more about him and his industry by checking out this blog.