Multi skilling

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Multi skilling
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Multi skilling - the term used in Human resources management, defining the acquisition of new skills and functions and expanding those already acquired by developing the scope and level of competence of employees. This is specifically intended to improve profitability, flexibility, and quality of service in the enterprise [1]. By introducing such a solution employees have a chance to get promoted [2]. Employees possess a wider range of tasks, abilities, competences, and knowledge [3]. It is for that reason that multi skilled worker has better access to the labour market and quality job opportunities. In most cases an employee inclined to be multi skilled is additionally rewarded.

Along with technological progress, adapting to changes in the labor market, multi skilled workers are desired and well regarded by employers. Multi skilling is an ability to cope with change, often based on highly qualified, open-minded workforce, being able to work in a team. Through the widely understood development on the labor market, employees encourage flexible working practises and multi skilling [4]. These requirements can only be met by being cognitively far more flexible.

Types of multi skilling

Two main types of multi skilling can be distinguished [5] [6]

  • vertical multi skilling - an employee learns the tasks and responsibilities of coworkers who work at lower-level or a higher-level position
  • horizontal (lateral) multi skilling - an employee learns tasks and responsibilities of coworkers from another discipline

Benefits of multi skilling

Multi skilling introduces extended benefits for both employees and employers [7] [8] [9] [10]:

  • variety of work performed
  • growth of degree of flexibility in professional duties
  • the multi-skilled, experienced employee begins to be more valuable
  • improvement of employability
  • an employer can deal with a temporary lack of employees
  • improvement of organization efficiency
  • improvement of cooperation between management and subordinates
  • improvement of service quality
  • more challenging, stimulating work
  • increasing motivation
  • self-confidence increase
  • possibility to exploit the potential of the individual
  • reduction of expenses in the enterprise
  • possibility to minimize downtimes
  • increase in employee productivity


  1. Dhar R.L. 2008, p. 157
  2. Bolweg J.F. 2012, p. 39
  3. Carysforth C., Neild M. 2002, p. 197-202
  4. Armstrong M., Brown D. 2006, p. 77, p.130
  5. Dhar R.L. 2008, p. 157
  6. Stredwick J., Ellis S. 2005, p. 58-64
  7. Carysforth C., Neild M. 2002, p. 197-202
  8. Walter M. 2014, p. 17-27
  9. Dhar R.L. 2008, p. 157
  10. Stredwick J., Ellis S. 2005, p. 58-64


Author: Oksana Szłapowska