Multi-tasking Employees: Yay or nay?
Business is all about collaboration, after all…
Every organization requires niche-driven employees. Individuals who know a certain area of expertise and could work efficiently in it. However, simultaneously, they also often need employees who can do many different tasks efficiently. They need employees who can assist any department any time.
With increasing automation in work, these employees can often work as sutradhaars for the work force.
Why multi-tasking employees?
With increasing educated work force in the country, there is a growing trend in multi-tasking employee requirements and vacancies. Like every trend, this one has its own set of pros and cons. So, multi-tasking employees, yay or nay?
There are several reasons why we would recommend certain positions for multi-tasking employees.
Jack of all trades: A multi-tasking employee is basically a jack of all trades. As an entrepreneur, this employee can serve you as a master key whenever you need. So if you need an addition in your marketing team, place the employee there. Once that requirement shifts to some other team, you need not hire another resource.
Area of Expertise: While multi-tasking employees are basically those who are interested at doing different jobs, they certainly have a certain specific area of expertise. When needed, these specific skills can be of use to the organization.
Easy handovers: Having multi-tasking employees in the work place facilitates stop-gap handovers in case of critical gaps in the management or work force. Because multi-tasking employees are in tune with the basics of every department, these employees can assist in being in positions temporarily until a more permanent replacement is found.
Can be Trained for Higher Positions: A multi-tasking employee has a better connect with the workforce in every division and department. They are in tune and well aware with the vital workings of the business. As such, in the long run, these employees can be major contenders for higher positions in the company hierarchy.
Salary No Bar: Let’s just say that multi-tasking employees can often be started off at the same payment level as freshers or interns. Yes, depending on performance they will expect appraisals and appreciations, but the “risk” period for these employees can be low-cost to company.
Like every coin, this coin has its flip side too.
Not Serious: In a day and age of educational specialization, if an individual chooses to apply for a multi-tasking employee position, it can mean that the individual is not serious about their career. An employee with no clear career goal can be detrimental to the mission and, eventually, the vision, of the organization.
Not in it for the Long Haul: There are times when individuals have such a dire requirement of a job that they are willing to take up stop-gap arrangement jobs. There are chances that the individual is using this position as a way to earn some income till a job in their area of interest and expertise shows up.
Security Issues: Multi-tasking employees can be corporate spies placed in the organisation by competitors in order to gather critical and vital information. We do not say that all multi-tasking employees are spies, but it is essential to do a complete background check before hiring them.
Job is Replaceable: They say, in the corporate world, “never trust an employee for whom the organization is replaceable.” A multi-tasking employee has a higher chance of having the mind-set of the organization being replaceable. Simply put, because they are jacks of all trades, they may want to “change trade” at any given time.
Visiting Card: Frankly this may seem like a small issue, but for the branding of the company, this art plays a major role. Because every employee is a brand ambassador of the organization, multi-tasking employees could be ambiguous ambassadors. Why? What are you going to print as the position on their visiting card? One day they meet clients, the other day they meet vendors and down the line they tele call. Confusion much?
Pros and cons aside, hiring work-force, any work-force, is a judgment call that the entrepreneur needs to take. Recruitment should always be done with through checking, verification and psychometric testing.
How has multitasking helped you in your work? Do share your views.