At most healthcare practices, front-line staff members often need to “wear more than one hat” when coworkers are out of the office or during peak busy hours. That’s why cross-training your admin team can be critical to your operations in ensuring that your office runs smoothly when coverage interruptions occur.

However, what might not immediately be apparent is that the benefits of cross-training don’t just benefit your practice. It also can play a key role in helping team members enjoy a better work-life balance that helps foster more engaged and satisfied employees.

In this article, we’ll look at why cross-training is important, how it specifically benefits your healthcare organization, and how prioritizing employee cross-training can help your front-office staff team feel more invested and happier at work.


Why is cross-training critical to the success of your healthcare practice?

Medical practices can provide extra staff coverage in the front office by cross-training employees. It can also help practice management increase capacity and more reliably cover care gaps. When you cross-train members of your admin team, it also serves to reduce instances of overwhelm and optimize office processes by balancing team workloads.

And the facts speak for themselves:

  • 90% of human resource managers say training benefits employee productivity and career development
  • 86% say it improves retention
  • 85% say it has a positive impact on practice growth

Of course, one of the bonuses of cross-training your employees is that it’s advantageous to both parties. Here are some specific ways it can impact your practice:

  • Greater return on the bottom line
  • Greater productivity
  • Better team collaboration
  • Increased workforce sustainability
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Greater employee retention

On average, it costs a business $19,000 each time an employee leaves. Getting your team members more engaged and involved with your practice can help you reduce onboarding costs and lead to greater stability among your front-line staff members.


How does cross-training improve your staff members’ work-life balance?

So, why would your front-office staff members want more training above and beyond knowing their own duties and responsibilities? After all, they’re likely already operating in a busy and often stressful office environment. What’s in it for them? And how does it increase their life-work balance and prevent burnout? Consider what employees themselves have said on this topic:

  • 74% of workers are eager to learn new skill sets or retrain in core competencies in order to stay employed.
  • Over 90% of employees say they won’t quit if they get development roles/opportunities.
  • 92% of employees think workplace training impacts their job engagement positively.
  • 66% of workers ages 18 to 24 said so-called “upskilling” and “reskilling” is the third most valuable benefit to them when looking for new job opportunities.
  • Employees at companies with internal mobility stay 2x longer.

An effective cross-training program can include vital standard operating procedures (SOP), workflow lists, and easy-to-use patient communication solutions. These resources and tools create a repeatable, “one-size-fits-all” training regimen. Automated solutions minimize your team’s manual tasks and workload and save them valuable time so they can concentrate on key tasks and responsibilities.

But don’t forget, cross-training that starts small, sets clear goals and objectives, identifies specific tasks and skills, and is communicated clearly to staff members is the most successful approach.

“Cross-training is a win–win–win situation,” said Leslie Gordan, an employment development author. “Trained employees win because they feel valued, the trainers win because they have had an opportunity to share their expertise, and the organization wins because employee satisfaction has increased and continuity of service has been enhanced.”


6 ways cross-training contributes to your employees’ overall life-work balance

  1. Personal and professional growth
  2. Improved job satisfaction
  3. Reduced stress
  4. Better morale
  5. Improved teamwork
  6. Ability to be more present
  7. Potential opportunities for advancement


Key Takeaways

Making cross-training opportunities available to your front-office staff members shows them you’re willing to invest in their futures. It conveys that you’re as concerned about their well-being and long-term success as you are running a profitable healthcare practice. In a sense, your employees are simply “internal customers,” and cross-training can be just the ticket to further their professional development while helping you expand your business.

For more tips and best practices on how to overcome staffing challenges while increasing your productivity, download the free guide, “Seven Strategies to Solve Staffing Shortages for Practices.”

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