In today's working society, it is important to not to tie employees down to specific jobs, but to turn them to playmakers. Imagine a fast food chain with alot of kitchen staff but only a few cashiers. During a busy period, there might be a need to transfer cleaners and cashiers to be kitchen staff, to improve operational efficiency and reduce bottlenecks.
But this can happen ONLY if they are cross-trained on various roles in the first place. You can't turn a person into a cook overnight, it has to come with practise.
Its very much like farming. Different crops require different minerals for better growth. If you keep growing barley after you have harvested the previous bactch of barley, chances are that as time go by, the quality of barley will drop. So farmers alternate growing different crops on the same piece of land.
Same goes for people, their learning curve flattens the more they get used to the same role. As graduates get more demanding in job satisfaction and the need to learn, employers should keep them interested enough to reduce chance of them job-hopping. So we gotta do cross-hybridisation - send the IT guy to operations and vice versa. Make them appreciate each other's roles and when they come back to their original assigned roles.
Playmakers are generally needed for the more generic service industry, where employees should be given job rotations to make them jack-of-all-trades in various positions. The upcoming casino in Singapore should create more playmakers. The cleaner should learn how to prepare food at the canteen. And probably the poker card dealer should be taught basic technical skills on how to fix the jackpot machines.
No doubt, it might be harder for playmakers to be developed in specialised roles. We can't expect the accountant double up as the company's lawyer. But the accountant can always help in generic stuffs like event organising.
Playmakers should not just be the job of a manager. Ideally, employees should be empowered with playmaking responsibilities. The cook should decide when to mend the cashier counter, and not just when he is told to. Everyone should have their own responsibilities to their key job scope, but the team as a whole should be held accountable for everything.
Fill the organisation with playmakers, it will improve synergy among various roles, increase productivity and reduce manpower turnover rate.
A manager can only do so much.
Stope being a playa, we need playmakers.