Cross-Train Your New Hire With a Plan and Schedule
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Texas A&M University Libraries’ Document Delivery Services is responsible for interlibrary loan and in-house document delivery services for our campus of 65,000 customers. A team of 10 FTE staff members, including the director of the department, processed about 156,000 requests in 2015 (74,278 lending requests, 54,032 borrowing requests, and 28,064 in-house document scanning/book on hold retrieval requests). In the summer of 2015, two of our employees (one in lending and one in in-house document delivery) left the department, citing family reasons and professional promotion opportunities. When we advertised the two newly vacated positions, we revised the position descriptions - instead of focusing on only one aspect of operation, we decided to train our two new hires on all three functions, namely, borrowing, lending, and in-house document delivery. This paper shows the readers strategies we employed to train the two new hires, what we learned from this experiment, and how they felt about the training and their workload. Their daily responsibilities now involve in all three functions. This model has paid off. The new hires developed a clear understanding and appreciation for the interconnection of the department's services. They are more confident and self-reliant with a broader skill set. Department dynamics have been improved. Turnaround times have improved by .5 days for borrowing and 1 full day for lending. Training schedules are included.
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