Offering Office Tool Training to Entry-Level Associates
Some lessons are better learned through direct experience, which is why when it comes to learning office tools, there is no substitute for first-hand involvement. The same applies to an intern or a recent grad’s comprehension of office functions and advanced applications of these tools. Although the knowledge that senior-level executives have acquired over the years may seem second-nature to them, it is only due to the fact that they’ve had years to use these tools in the workforce. Therefore, when training, employers should not assume that new hires can perform advanced office functions. With that being said, it is up to you to gauge the employee’s comfort level with these systems, and to then educate the next generation of up-and-coming workers on the more advanced uses and functionality of common office tools and software. Below is a list of some workplace essentials that all students and new graduates are encouraged to learn while working in an office/professional setting.
Email Etiquette: Common annoyances, like pressing “Reply All” when you intend on sending someone a direct response, are items that take first-hand experience to understand the nature of their annoyance and inconvenience. In addition to some common etiquette and pain points, employers should go over salutations in addition to other business approved greetings to train students how to address clients/stakeholders before they begin to speak to contacts on behalf of an employer’s company.
Scheduling Meetings in Outlook: Simply sending an email with a suggested time is common when corresponding with a friend or contact via text or on the phone, but when it comes to Outlook, employers need to stress the importance of using Outlook scheduling functionalities. Employers should take the time to teach the advantages of using the Scheduling Assistant tab, which ensures meetings are set up during free time for all those involved. Without experiencing the stresses of setting up a meeting to only have it rejected, the functionality of the Scheduling Assistant isn’t as commonplace as one would assume.
Mail Merge: Setting up mass mailings can be a meticulous and time-consuming task. However, Microsoft Word has set up a mail merge feature to facilitate this tedious process. Why spend hours manually inputting data if the process can be expedited in a matter of minutes? The efficient solution is Mail Merge.
Track Changes: Reviewing documents to gather input from multiple stakeholders often results in a hodgepodge of crossed out words and red lines. However, Microsoft Word’s Track Changes option allows users to view who has incorporated changes, tracking each reviewer by assigning a colour code to them.
Conference Calls: Before asking associates or students to set up a call, employers should review the basics such as dialing into conference lines and sending dial-in information to all parties. Seeing as borders and distance do not hinder business relationships these days, conference calls are a must in most offices, therefore they have been included on the list of essential office tools/technology to master.
Most educational systems do not go over the advanced functions of office tools, so employers need to take it upon themselves to lead their company to success with appropriate training.