Learning & Development

5 Tangible Ways to Build a Talent Pipeline for Your Cross-Training Initiatives

Cross-training employees is a great and more cost-effective way to upskill your current workforce, as well as keep your workers engaged and more likely to remain at your organization long term. But how should HR and learning and development (L&D) professionals go about building their pipelines for their cross-training programs and initiatives?


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Below are five tangible things you can do to build a talent pipeline for your cross-training initiatives.

1. Analyze Employee and Learner Data

If you have access to employee profiles, learner data, career maps, and performance data, track and take note of who will most likely be interested in your latest cross-training initiative, and reach out to him or her.

For example, employee data could indicate that someone on your marketing team has an aptitude and interest in business analytics, so you could contact this person to see if he or she is interested in being cross-trained in business analytics in another part of your organization.

2. Solicit Feedback from Managers

Encourage leaders and managers across your organization to be on the lookout for employees who show an interest in learning different skills or learning more about what different departments inside your organization do.

Managers will often have insight into which employees would be ideal candidates for your upcoming or current cross-training initiatives, so solicit their input and knowledge.

3. Solicit Feedback from Employees

Periodically send out surveys to employees across your organization to see who is interested in learning what to gain insight into who will be interested in some of your upcoming cross-training programs.

You can also use this feedback to learn more about what cross-training programs you should develop. Also, send out notices to employees across your organization once you implement a new cross-training initiative to see who is interested so you can add them to your talent pipeline.

4. Pair Cross-Training Initiatives with Succession-Planning Initiatives

To develop a high-quality talent pipeline for your cross-training initiatives, pair them with your succession-planning initiatives. Doing this will ensure you have employees who are truly invested in their cross-training programs.

For more insight, read “Benefits of Cross-Training Employees for Succession Planning.”

5. Promote Cross-Training Opportunities as Incentives

To build a lucrative talent pipeline for your cross-training initiatives, be sure to promote these initiatives and programs across your organization as incentives that are interesting and exciting opportunities.

Don’t make them seem like boring or tedious obligations. Instead, emphasize how these initiatives will allow employees to learn new skills as they earn more credibility, responsibility, and perhaps a higher salary.

For additional insight and information, read “4 Tips for Launching Your Next Cross-Training Program.”