Appropriate Training: the key to empowerment.


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Training

By Marius Lubbe, Creative Minds

Staff TrainingTraining your staff, or for that matter yourself, in computer skills is an integral part of creating a more efficient workforce. The need to train staff in skills that will be of use to the company has become a focal point. Many employers, however, are mis­guided as to what qualities as appropriate train­ing for their staff.

Example:

To illustrate this point, let’s take the example of an employer who recognizes that a particular employee has more potential than her current job as receptionist allows, but that she lacks the skills for the bookkeeping job he has in mind. The obvious next step would be to send her for training to a computer training company that can teach her the necessary skills.

Talking to his auditors, the employer receives the following advice. “Microsoft Excel is an important program, and furthermore, if you send her on a course for an accounting program like Pastel, it will save you a lot of money by allowing you to do your own monthly input, invoices and such, and not having lo pay us a fortune for doing so on your behalf.” The employer gets a few quotes for these two courses and happily forks out a few thousand rand in the belief that once this employee com­pletes these courses, all his problems will be over and she will be productive in her new job, saving the company some money. The employ­er’s misconception of what is appropriate train­ing is going to cost him money, frustration and a very unhappy employee.

This employee is probably going to arrive at the training center with few computer skills. At best, the training company will give her a one-hour crash course on computer basics, which will confuse her even more. As these centers have to deal with a classroom full of students, personal attention is practically non-existent and our poor intimidated employee will sit quietly, just trying to make it through the course. Alter a horrific eight hours of paging back and forth through her manual, she is thoroughly con­fused, scared and depressed, Even though she may land up owning a certificate of completion, money has been wasted and the employee is terrified that the employer will expect her to cope with these programs ones she returns to the office. This experience has made the employee feel stupid and worthless, and the employer has paid for the privilege.

Sadly this is not a fictional tale, but a reality that many employers and employees face. A small business owner cannot afford this type of wastage of noi only money but employee’s time. What is needed is appropriate training.

Conclusion

An employee lacking even the most basic com­puter skills must first learn how a computer works, and how to do basic housekeeping tasks on the computer- From there, the employee should learn how Windows works and how to organise work within Windows. Once the em­ployee is secure and happy coping with these tasks, she can progress to word processing – learning what it is and how it works. The same applies to teaching employees about spread­sheets, databases and Internet tasks.

Take the employee mentioned earlier, after com­pleting this type of training, she will be far more productive and valuable to the company, not only having learnt how to work with word processing, spreadsheets and databases, but also e-mail and researching on the Internet. The most important point, however, is that this training as defined by Creative Minds®  appropriate training – allows the employee to complete a course with a real feel­ing of self-worth and accomplishment.

When it comes to Pastel, the employer from our example can feel secure in the knowledge that the employee is being taught the rudiments of bookkeeping during the Pastel course. You will be surprised how many people wish to take Pas­tel courses, without understanding why one has lo know quite a bit about bookkeeping to come to grips with the Pastel program.

The important distinction of appropriate train­ing with Creative Minds®  is that the information is not crammed into the students head in long continuous sessions, but at a slower pace of one or two hours per day. Training people in eight or ten hours flat per day is not to the advantage of the .student, but rather to the training company as it pushes through more students and, therefore, makes more money  for less effort.

Getting appropriate training for your employ­ees means that you need to choose a training company like Creative Minds® which will take the time to get to know your employees on a more personal level, i.e. under­stand their personal needs, progress at a pace that makes sense to the them and, most impor­tant of all, be there when they need advice in the future.

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