Tapping into Human Resource Potential


We have no doubt that you previously benefited from an onboarding process. If you changed jobs recently there is a high chance that you have also experienced a preboarding phase. Moreover, if for whatever reason you have been out of the labour market for an extended period of time, you might have even benefited from reboarding process. And then there comes cross-boarding. It is somewhat of a new entry into human-resources-slang pertaining to the domain of the employee lifecycle. Sometimes it is also referred to as “to cross-onboard an internal hire.”

This article will discuss cross-boarding as a useful method for ensuring talent retention. We also show how cross-boarding can set you up for further success inside a company. The more time you spend in a company, the higher the value of your contributions. Additionally, the more a company invests in you, the higher your value to the company.

Cross-boarding Insights

Unlike assets that depreciate in value over time, people are the only assets in a business that appreciate as you invest in them.

—Gaurav Mehra – SVP, Global Technical Services, and GM India. 

Crossboarding Definition


Onboarding and reboarding processes target bringing you (back) into a company’s workflow and set you up for achieving productivity. Comparatively, a cross-boarding process refers to keeping the employee relationship with the same company, but switching to a new job. This new job is different enough to require preparation in order to successfully perform your new job duties.

Cross-boarding is a process occurring when filling up positions in a company from an inner talent pool. Thus, rather than seeking external talents, companies would look at existing employees. They then assess who might be the best match for a specific position. However, employees would still have to be successful at an internal interview before moving forward with crossboarding.

In the case of recruiting external talent, the new hire would participate in Pre & Onboarding processes. Meanwhile, in the case of using internal talents for filling up job position, that is no longer a necessity. You already know the company culture, the organisational structure, the rules of conduct etc. You have already formed an internal network and social connections. Notwithstanding these facts,  you might still require some support from the company in order to effectively transition to your new role.

Thus, we define crossboarding in the following way. Crossboarding is the process that assists an employee in their transition to a new role within the same organisation.

Crossboarding has strong training and adaptation strategic components. Yet, there are no rules for the kind of transition that would warrant a crossboarding process. It can refer to transitioning across departments, from technical roles to managerial roles etc.


When and Why is Cross-boarding Desirable or Necessary?


Finding talents is an expensive process in terms of use of resources: even filing paperwork is a time consuming task. It takes away skilled employees from performing more value-creating activities. Sometimes, it is more cost-effective and it simply makes more sense to promote or transfer existing employees to new roles, rather than trying to completely onboard someone new. 

If you would like to review more pros & cons of hiring internally vs. externally, we have devoted an entire article to it on our blog HR.

But cross-boarding does not exclusively apply to use-cases of promotion up the hierarchical ladder. Cross-boarding can also facilitate cases where current employees take new roles that are not promotions per se. Instead, they provide a window of opportunity for grappling with new challenges.

A well-structured and well-documented cross-boarding process provides companies with the means to make the most out of their existing human resources and possible untapped talent and potential. 

Although you already have been working for that employer, crossboarding brings value. It helps you by providing a framework for additional training for your new role.

Through crossbboarding, you get introduced to a possible new team, set milestones and expectations. All the components of the cross-boarding process will guide your path towards full productivity in your new role. You can view it as an Onboarding 2.0.


The Top Five Benefits of Cross-boarding


We will illustrate the top five benefits of cross-boarding. These benefits relate not only to the employer, but also to you, the employee. 


1) Cross-boarding is a Cost-Effective Method for Filling Job Positions


Cross-boarding can ensure your company of financial savings. The training costs for upskilling an existing employee are significantly lower than the costs for onboarding an external worker.

In fact, it can cost as much as 6-times more to hire from the outside than to build from within the organisation.

Moreover, the organisation will avoid spending precious resources on the recruitment process, new employee onboarding and a comprehensive training programme initiating external hires into the company and the role. 


2) When Cross-boarding, Culture Acclimatising is Already Achieved


A successful and effective onboarding process pays attention and devotes resources for acquainting you to the corporate culture, company values, work ethics, company goals, company structure, team management methodology etc. When cross-boarding, all of this has already been successfully executed in the past. Thus, skipping this step contributes to a quicker time to achieving productivity.

As a result, Cross-boarding ensures that roles are filled with employees that are already familiarised with the company culture, its mission and development objectives.


3) Cross-boarding is a Lower Risk Process in Comparison to Onboarding External Talents


We all know the data: many employees stay continually on the lookout for new jobs, better remuneration etc. At the moment, reports suggest that approximately 64% of American workers are seeking a new job. 88% of  managers reported higher turnover than normal, according to an August 2021 survey from PwC. The survey questioned 1,007 full-time and part-time U.S.-based employees and 752 executives.

When you, as an existing employee, experience cross-boarding, there is already a history. There is a proven commitment to the company and its goals, as well as a demonstrated ability to perform and fulfill duties in a proficient manner. 

This is not to say that cross-boarding is a risk-free operation. There is always a chance that you are simply not as good in the new job as you were in the past one. Thus, there is a chance that you spent time away from your full productivity and potential.

Yet, cross-boarding is still substantially less risky than hiring an external candidate. It is hard to properly assess the ability of the external candidate unless a substantial amount of time on the job has passed.


4) Cross-boarding Increases Talent Motivation and Contributes to Higher Engagement Rates


Many employees feel the need to continually grow professionally and upskill. When cross-boarding presents itself as an opportunity for career improvement, it provides you with a feeling of being recognised. In turn, this leads to higher engagement.

“Employees have been clear that they deeply, deeply value non-monetary benefits like expanded flexibility, career growth, well-being, and upskilling,”  Neil Dhar, Chief Clients Officer at PwC.


5) Cross-boarding Can Lead to Lower Employee Turnover Rates, as It Has a High Impact on Employee Retention


Cross-boarding can also be useful in cases where the employees themselves are the ones that require a change of job. Maybe you are not satisfied with your current position. Or maybe your new manager is simply not a good match for you. Maybe your interests have changed and you want to pursue different opportunities in a new career direction. 

But you know the company culture, you value what the organisation has to offer as an employer. Rather than seeking employment elsewhere, cross-boarding will ensure retaining your talent, while focusing it on a different career path.  

In order for cross-boarding to be successful, HR managers and team coordinators play a crucial role. Each employee’s abilities and potential have to be grasped as well as possible. Doing this allows finding the sources of potential and untapped talent.

Cross-boarding Insights

Avoiding a good employee placed in the wrong position, will benefit both the employee and the business’s success. 



Concluding Remarks

Using a Pre & Onboarding Software Helps Cross-board Employees


When companies decide to cross-board employees to new positions, offering them the support necessary to upskill for the new roles, it sends a message to all employees that the company is investing the necessary time and resources into their workforce

Investing into the workforce, helping the employees grow and learn new skills will have a beneficial impact on talent retention, employee motivation. Additionally, it can also contribute to decreased risks of hiring wrong candidates and saved onboarding costs.

A software solution that is easily customisable, allows for the implementation of a structured and effective cross-boarding programme. with introdus, employee onboarding software, you will be even more engaged with your company as you progress towards acquiring new skills and taking on new challenges and responsibilities.

This will ensure that the cost of investing into employees is not overshadowed by the cost of lost talent and unfulfilled potential.

Step into a successful Cross-boarding with an easy to use online platform.


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