The Power of IT Training

After being in the IT industry for several years, it still amazes me to find that a surprising number of computer users only use a fraction of their technology's or software's capabilities. It's the 80/20 rule: 80% of computer users only use 20% of the features available to them. My hunch is that the ratio may be even more skewed than that. To this day, I'm consantly uncovering features in the software I use that help me do my job just a little more efficiently each time.

If you knew you could save 10-30 minutes per day (or more!) by simply familiarizing yourself with features already built into the software you use, wouldn't it make sense to invest some time in learning these capabilities? Imagine if the majority of the computer users in the office were able to save equivalent amounts of time. How much productivity could your office reclaim as a result?

Understandably, one of the reasons that computer users haven't uncovered such productivity gains is that no one has showed them. Finding this information alone can be very difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating. Additionally, many training programs are tooled to only cover basic functionality, and leave out many of the "hidden treasures."

If this resonates with you, a customized training program designed specifically for your staff and the applications you use could offer some major benefits, helping unlock productivity gains, improving computer user satisfaction, and even boosting morale. The following process will help your organization get the most out of such a program:

  1. Survey your computer users - Do this over the course of at least a couple weeks, rather than a simple e-mail survey. Ask them which programs they spend most of their time in. Ask which programs seem cumbersome to use. Ask them which programs they could use more training on. You'll generally find that users are eager to respond.
  2. Develop a training agenda - Identify which topics would most benefit the entire organization. If you have a certain subset of users who would benefit from training that wouldn't necessarily apply to the organization as a whole (e.g. accounting staff on QuickBooks, marketing department on Adobe CS), consider a separate program or session just for them.
  3. Select a training provider - Inform the training provider of the specific needs you identified in the previous step. If your organization needs basic, 100-level instruction, great. If you need more advanced, specific instruction, be sure the trainer can meet these needs. Keep in mind that many trainers specialize in specific areas. For instance, they may be experts in QuickBooks but not Adobe CS. Because of this, you may need to line up multiple trainers and have multiple sessions to ensure your agenda items are covered.

P&L Technology has been offering customized training solutions to its clients in addition to quarterly, free webinars (available to the public). Past webinars can be found on our YouTube channel. For a training consultation or more information about how a customized training program could help your organization, please give us a call. We'd be happy to help!

 written by: Jake Molko - 7/15/2014