Stop training your employees and start training your software!

Businesses spend thousands of dollars every year on software on new installations as well as upgrades in and effort to supply tools that help people get their work done. Is this what is happening in your office?

When was the last time you checked to see how everyone was using their computers? Which software they use the most, and how well it’s working for them? The purpose of these questions is to identify how well you are employing your technology, not which employees need more training.

Most, if not all software has built-in tools and functionality that allow it to be customized as well as set up to automate redundant tasks. The software you and your staff are using, every day, can be working much harder than it is. It SHOULD be working harder than it is.

What do I mean? Here are just a few examples…

* Templates in Word that you only have to modify instead of cut and paste text into.
* Macros in Excel that, with a single keystroke, can reformat a spreadsheet, including removing data, rearranging data, and creating formulas.
* Rules in Outlook that can automatically sort incoming email into appropriate folders, allowing you to read the most important ones first.
* Report filters in ANY accounting program that present ONLY the information you want.
* Alerts in CRM programs that remind you of, well, almost anything you want to be reminded about.

None of these things require “programming” and can be completed and operational in a matter of hours.

Your software needs to work the way your employees work. When software is more intuitive everyone is more willing to work with it leading to increased efficiency and less stress. Is this what is happening in your office?

Next time you hear someone in your office complaining about their computer, consider that it may be the software that needs to be trained, and not the employee.

Author's Bio: 

Ellen DePasquale is The Software Revitalist™ and Founder of Efficient Office Computing offering services to help you get the most from the software you use every day and make your job easier. She is a Sage Software Certified Consultant and Small Business Partner as well as a Microsoft Partner.

As a nationally-recognized writer, her articles have been published in PC Magazine, Crain’s New York Business, Worth Magazine, Accounting Technology, Self-Employed Professional, Inc. Magazine and many others.

Because of her passion for personalized service, she also enjoys public speaking and has been invited to talk about software to a host of organizations from NYC, to Orlando, to San Diego, including the Financial Women's Association, NYSSCPA, and Inc. Magazine. She has not only spoken, but was also a moderator at Sage Software's annual reseller conference (Insights), and the annual American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.