Cross Training (Mobility Assignments)

Cross training allows employees to learn about other positions in the organization while maintaining their own position. Cross training programs can share employees across units or within units. Advantages include creation of redundancy for a position. In the case of cross training between units, the practice can improve knowledge of the function of other units and how the work in various agency units fits together, and development of personal connections to other units which can also facilitate knowledge sharing on common tasks or projects. This strategy may assist with knowledge sharing in anticipation of a retirement or other loss of institutional knowledge, or in the event of a short- or long-term vacancy. A successful program requires coordination, supervision, and mentoring.




►  Training an employee to do the work of another.


►  An employee familiar with a role can fill in for the permanent employee on a short term or long term basis.

►  This strategy can be used to help employees understand different functions within the organization and gain skills and knowledge.


►  In anticipation of a vacancy or other short- or long-term vacancy.

►  Within a structured program, introduces employees to agency functions outside their units.


►  A structured program will identify appropriate use, timeframe for the training, and evaluation metrics for participants.

►  Within units, training for functional redundancy.


►  Determine approaches to involve new employees, employees at mid-level, and for leadership development.

►  Ensure that supervisors have adequate time to oversee individuals in a cross training program.


Several state DOTs are employing cross-training as a tool to improve performance, respond to workforce transitions, and support a culture of innovation. Information about how cross-training and related knowledge management tools are being implemented at other DOTs can be found in the Appendix to National Cooperative Highway Research Project Scan 13-01: Advances in Developing a Cross-Trained Workforce.


KM Interview: Cross-Training in Construction Services

KM Interview: Cross-Training in Construction Services

Cross-training involves teaching an employee hired for one job responsibility, to perform the functions and skills of other job responsibilities within an organization. We spoke ...