Cross-training can improve efficiency and helps employees become knowledgeable and productive in several divisions. Employees from the construction division may be deployed to the maintenance division to operate a loader in the salt dome at the maintenance station, for example. Photos: UDOT
After being involved in the initial roadway construction, conducting maintenance work on the same road by a cross-trained employee can provide many benefits.
Lasting Lessons Learned
I have found it interesting to conduct maintenance work on roadways for which I was involved in the initial construction. Knowing the effort and cost of maintaining this infrastructure has further increased my desire to do everything in my power to ensure a quality project when I am responsible for inspecting a contractor's work.
Overall, the experience of combining the maintenance and construction divisions has been positive. Employees have earned respect for one another after becoming more familiar with their tasks and responsibilities. Combining the divisions has helped employees understand the big picture of how each worker contributes to all phases of transportation projects—from the initial construction to the long-term repair and maintenance.
Cross-training can be used in almost any job. When a cross-training plan is prepared, give consideration to the possible benefits to the agency and the individual. Overcoming the challenges of learning new skills can provide stimulation to the employees and increase self-worth.
UDOT uses experienced employees to mentor employees through the training process. Just as I was provided with an experienced driver to teach me the basics of snowplow operation, I provided tutoring in English and mathematics for technicians new to the task of documenting construction activity. Using knowledgeable and patient employees with strong communication skills will result in a successful, open environment throughout the training process.
— Peters is an engineering technician with UDOT's Region 2.