Implementing Microsoft training courses to improve business performance
In today’s challenging business climate, it’s more true than ever that organizations must be proactive if they are to remain competitive and profitable. Everyone knows that over the past few decades, most businesses have benefited greatly from the use of routine computer software such as the various Microsoft products, as well as more specialized software.
Software usable by individual employees on desktops and laptops, and more recently on tablets and smart phones, has repeatedly proven itself to be a valuable asset in employee productivity and business success. For this reason, large technology budgets and frequent hardware and software updates are considered an important and routine part of the cost of doing business.
But are businesses really getting their money’s worth from their hardware and software investments? Often they are not — because employees lack adequate skills and training.
Why are Microsoft training courses important?
Microsoft products have a huge market share. Most employees have experience using them and are confident in their ability to do so. The basic use of Microsoft products is easy and intuitive.
For example, using Microsoft Word, it’s easy to compose simple memos and correspondence, using Word as if it were a glorified typewriter (if anyone remembers those).
But many businesses don’t appreciate the extent to which Microsoft training courses can help employees use such everyday Microsoft applications to do much more – and thereby contribute immensely to greater productivity and quality.
The fact is that there is a big difference between being an acceptable user of these applications at a basic level and being a proficient “power user” who knows how to take advantage of their many important advanced features.
Here are two personal examples.
First, I use Microsoft Word to prepare a lot of rather lengthy legal documents, many in excess of 20 pages. At times I do not work in a linear fashion. That is, I jump around in the document, adding content as I encounter it while performing research or while thinking about it. This process used to cause me to waste time tediously scrolling to find particular locations within a long document.
Then I learned how to combine the use of heading “styles” with the “document map” feature. This way, I have a sidebar that shows the outline of the document and can quickly jump to any outline heading and work on that section.
A second example is that I sometimes use Microsoft Excel, but I have only a rudimentary knowledge of it because I use it relatively rarely. Once a client sent me an Excel spreadsheet that included a pie-chart graph that was a perfect illustration of workforce racial composition – much better than just staring at the numbers on the spreadsheet.
I then taught myself more about the Excel graphing functions. Later, I used bar graphs to show business profits and losses. This helped when mediating a settlement concerning improper practices that had led to a massive decline in my client’s business at the same time as the opposing party’s business was on the rise.
The bottom line is that to maximize the benefits from various software solutions, it is not enough to simply provide the software to employees who have some knowledge of their use. Rather, businesses seeking the greatest benefit from their software dollars must ensure that their employees understand how to effectively use these programs at more advanced levels.
Enrolling workers in Microsoft training courses will expose them to many advanced features that can greatly enhance their performance of their day to day responsibilities, regardless of their position.
Making the most of the training dollar, to make the most of the software dollar.
The costs associated with Microsoft training courses require careful planning in allocating resources toward the expense.
However, the benefits achieved will improve workplace productivity and employee satisfaction and provide real solutions to needs within the organization. Employees will gain the valuable insights needed to more effectively complete job requirements and feel like a value-added part of the business. These improvements will allow a company to realize greater successes, both within the industry and in the eyes of clients that work with the organization.
Some thought and preparation is needed before deciding which courses should be taken by which members of the workforce. Various educational institutions offer a wide array of different Microsoft training courses to fit a variety of business needs. Training should be offered to employees who will gain the most benefit—in those software products that are most vital to the business in general and the employee’s job in particular.
While this may seem counter-intuitive, it is often the users who are already quite familiar with the programs who can realize the greatest advantages from modest amounts of training—by upping their game, so to speak. They should be the first to be offered course opportunities.
Benefits can be achieved quickly by then allowing these more seasoned personnel to use their sharpened skill sets to provide guidance to fellow employees. These people are probably already viewed as internal “experts” in the software; now they will be more expert.
This process will allow the quick introduction of best practices and relevant procedures into the company at least cost and help determine the need for future training investments. Not only will this training sequence improve the overall success of the organization, but a planned approach towards software training can also help maximize the bang for the training buck.
Another strategy to use for Microsoft training courses is to present such training on a voluntary basis as a chance for employees to improve their personal credentials. Microsoft offers certification for software products and for various roles, including for IT professionals, developers, business management, and business professionals. Many employees enjoy learning more within a job role and achieving a level of recognition within a chosen career field.
Obtaining a universally recognized certification to use to verify one’s skill makes the training more rewarding at the individual level.
These certifications come with a number of benefits and different levels of prestige within the corporate world. Employees can list a specific certification on business correspondence, business cards, etc. This conveys a level of credibility and a sense of expertise to clients and other business contacts.
A well thought out plan for corporate training in the use of Microsoft products will allow an organization to both maximize the benefits of technology investments and manage the costs associated with employee technology training.