We’ve all heard the saying that the most common source of error or mistakes in computing lie between the keyboard and the chair. Every office has one of those people who seem to struggle with technology. They can’t seem to work out simple technical challenges and even call IT when a mouse battery has run down. Fortunately, even the most technophobic employee will find that many of the most common technical glitches can easily be fixed. Leaders can help to maximise workplace productivity by providing key technical training to employees that allow them to fix their own common technical glitches.
Taking the time to train employees on the technologies they will be using on a regular basis can prevent many of these issues from the beginning. The first training programme that should be developed is an overview of the technologies that are used universally across the organisation. All employees should receive brief overview of common programs, such as internal databases, email accounts, and project management software systems as soon as possible after hiring.
Throughout the training process, instructors should strive to include common technical difficulties and simple solutions the employees can use to solve the issue before calling in IT staff. Surveying the IT staff before developing the training program is a great way to make sure that the most common problems are included. Odds are these individuals will be able to quickly provide their own ‘Top 10’ errors specific to that office.
The more seasoned IT professionals are also likely to have a deep understanding of the types of requests that are specific to individual job titles, work teams, or departments. This insight can help to streamline training methods specific to each position and decrease the amount of irrelevant training given to employees during the breakout sessions.
For the majority of employees, a group presentation should be sufficient. However, experienced trainers will be able to identify the employees who seem overwhelmed or confused by the incoming information. These employees may benefit from hands-on training to walk them through their tasks. If another employee seems to be picking up the material quickly, asking them to help the individual who is struggling can be a great way to reinforce the lessons.
Many employees will also benefit from a “cheat sheet” demonstrating menu settings and instructions for common tasks. Trainers and IT staff can work together to create illustrated text guides use screen captures to walk employees through the use of the technology, or even use recording software to create video tutorials employees can refer back to.
These guides can also be made for the common errors experienced by employees. Separate guides can be created for general system errors and those specific to the technology used in each department. For the truly technophobic employees, guides can be created to demonstrate restarting software programs and computers, checking to ensure keyboards and mice are appropriately plugged in, and even how to replace batteries if needed.
As employees successfully solve their own technical issues, their self-confidence regarding technology will continue to increase. Before long, they will be able to successfully navigate technology in the workplace without calling for help. This increase in technical ability will far outweigh the time and money taken to create the troubleshooting guides by significantly decreasing lost productive time for these employees and IT staff alike.
Senior Trainer & Consultant
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