When it comes to software knowledge, I believe each small increment of learning can make a significant difference to your, and your company's bottom line.
Your problem today: Staff are flat out. Software changes quickly - especially the devil of going from the menu to the ribbon system in Microsoft. Habits form. Tight budgets eliminate training. New hires don't know your software. University graduates don't have a clue about Outlook as all they use is webmail.
Your Cost: The precious and costly commodity called time, wasted. Opportunities lost, especially lost sales. Things done one by one by one rather than many at once. Stress.
Examples: Taking 45 minutes first thing in the morning with email instead of 15 minutes by using time saving techniques such as Rules, Quick Parts, Archive, Search folders. This might not seem like such a big deal, ½ an hour a day. Let's look at the numbers though. An average salary per hour for an admin staff member $25; for a senior executive $100; for a professional working on billable hours at $150. Thirty minutes a day, five days a week, 45 working weeks a year. That is 112.5 hours annually. The admin person, it's $2812.50 per year paid time wasted. For the executive, it's $11250 a year wasted. For the professional services, it's $16875 of billable hours lost. Now multiply this by the number of staff in your business.
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Losing a prospective sale from forgetting to follow up. How many times has this happened? It's easy to keep control simply by knowing about and using the Task/ To Do function of all software programs.
Sending letters or emails with countless errors - or having a staff member take hours to days fixing the list It could have been done with a push of a few buttons, fixing the inconsistencies and duplications using Excel functions. The cost besides embarrassment could be duplicated or incorrectly addressed mail at an average cost of $1.00 a pop.
Accumulating a huge mobile phone bill while traveling overseas. Instead if a free Skype smartphone application had been downloaded, all the calls could have been made for free in a wireless zone. Two weeks away. Ten five minute phone calls $250 or zero.
Your Solution. It's easy really. I won't say go put everyone on a training course. Why not try doing a tip a week? Little nuggets of education about your software features, and then more importantly brainstorm how to cleverly use it.
* Take or add 5 minutes to staff meetings - share a software tip.
* Have staff take a turn sharing their favourite shortcuts - writing them out for others.
* Create how-to videos. Or search for those already made on YouTube.
When you look at the magnificent return on investment, I'm sure you'll agree it's worth taking the time to find and share tips.
Written by Debbie Mayo-Smith, International business speaker and bestselling author of 14 books. Sign up for Debbie's Quick Tip Newsletter today at www.successis.co.nz