Doing It All: The Benefits of Cross-training

The best way to be #RetailForward and always ready to serve customers: Be cross-trained in multiple departments so you can field any question that arises. Here’s how ASM Desiree trains her team.

“I haven’t met an associate yet who didn’t have a thirst for knowledge,” says Desiree H. of Neighborhood Market 4275 in Peoria, Ariz. “Everybody wants to know more and be more effective at their jobs.”

Just as importantly, Desiree knows that her customers benefit when everyone who works in her store knows how to do more than just one job. That’s why she puts a focus on cross-training her front end team. She shared her thoughts about how she makes sure every associate is ready to make a difference for every customer.

 

KEY AREAS FOR CROSS-TRAINING

  • Using the handheld and inventory management app
  • Cashiering
  • Serving as self-checkout host
  • Stocking
Q&A

WHAT KIND OF REACTION DO YOU GET FROM ASSOCIATES WHEN YOU INTRODUCE CROSS-TRAINING?

Everybody is very eager to help one another. Really, that’s what helps me—they really like to know all aspects of the store and to be able to help out in different areas.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO CROSS-TRAIN?

I mainly focus on front end associates. They’re like the leaders of the customer experience in the store, really. They’re making sure that we have enough registers open and all of the equipment is functional, and they’re handling any customer issues that come up. Then they help train other associates on different aspects of providing customer service.

WHAT IS YOUR CROSS-TRAINING FOCUS?

It’s making sure that all of my associates know as much as they can for their areas. So my cashiers and self-checkout hosts know how to do each other’s jobs. And my service desk associates also know how to cashier and work self-checkout. 

I like to train supervisors first and work my way down, because if you train them, they can pass that knowledge along, too.

WHAT KIND OF THINGS DO YOU CROSS-TRAIN ASSOCIATES TO DO?

One thing I train them on is how to use the handhelds to better assist customers when something is out of stock. When they scan an item into the inventory management app, it shows when our next delivery is and if there’s any stock in the backroom. They can tell a customer, “Oh, it looks like we should have it in a week or two.”

Follow @Walmart4275 on Facebook for more. 

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