While we don’t expect non-experts to know everything surrounding IT, there are basic IT skills every employee needs to be successful.
If your employees are active on computers during work hours, basic IT skills will make them more confident and more productive.
Technology has come a long way in the past 30 years. Some more experienced employers remember when their office got the first computer. Then, there are younger workers who don’t remember a world without devices. Regardless of each employee’s familiarity with technology, they need to know these basic IT skills to succeed in the workplace.
10 Basic IT Skills All Employees Need To Succeed
It is true that you have a choice in who you hire. Ideally, everyone would already have extensive knowledge of your office’s software, but that’s not always the case.
However, basic IT skills can go a long way. Whether employees come in with the know-how or require a little more training, getting everyone on an even playing field is possible. Setting your employees up for success is setting your business up for success.
1. Operating Systems
Understanding the basics of Mac and/or Windows operating systems can be extremely helpful. While they are not the same, having a basic understanding of one can help ease into understanding the other.
From turning it on to opening programs and finding saved documents, these are certainly the most basic IT skills needed by every worker. If a new hire has extensive knowledge of Mac, but your office uses Windows, a couple of training sessions should get them set up for success. Keep in mind that the more training you offer, the more confident your employees will be in troubleshooting to solve issues as they arise.
2. Office Suites
Candidates love to claim their extensive knowledge of office suites, such as Microsoft Office or G Suite, on their resumes. While all employees should have some familiarity with office software, there may be candidates who bring other skills to the table. If you are willing, on-the-job training of your workplace’s choice of office suite can teach a valuable skill while onboarding an asset who brings other value to your team.
3. Email Communication
This may seem obvious to some people, but it’s important to keep in mind that email has not been around forever. Unless your employees are all Gen Z, then most of them probably remember setting up and sending their first email ever.
Some employees may be hesitant to embrace technology or email etiquette. However, a simple training session (and maybe some follow-ups) will get every worker on board with email communication.
When transitioning employees, it’s important to make sure your network is secure. New hires need to get set up, while past employees need to have access revoked. Contact Brooks IT Services to ensure your network is in tip-top shape to keep your business secure and productive.
4. Document Creation
Document creation is really not that difficult with some practice and is a key IT basic skill. The most well-known being Microsoft Word and Google Docs, creating documents is a game-changer.
For anyone new to the software, do them a favor and adjust settings to save every 30 seconds or so. We all have memories of losing documents we’ve spent hours on, right?
Documents can be useful for a myriad of different purposes, including:
- Creating a contract
- Documenting meeting minutes
- Creating notes for yourself
- Making a home for Standard Operating Procedures
While some positions may require extensive knowledge of utilizing spreadsheets, it may be beneficial for every employee to have a basic understanding of the software.
From making lists to tracking certain data or even plugging in formulas, spreadsheets can be extremely useful. You can find some helpful information to learn Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets online.
6. Presentation Software
Being able to present information can be critical to the success of an employee. Programs like PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides allow users to easily transform their data into a polished and professional presentation.
Not only is this information useful, but if allowed, an employee can choose certain colors and designs to personalize their presentation. Many schools teach these basics, but don’t assume every employee has had the opportunity to learn these skills. If someone working for you seems to struggle with this program, there are many in-person and online tutorials available.
7. Collaboration Tools
If your office wasn’t using these tools prior to 2020, forced lockdowns probably turned them into one of your most useful tools.
Programs like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, etc. really made a name for themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. These software tools allowed teams to continue to collaborate on projects as if they still sat a few feet away from each other. In fact, online collaboration tools made it clear to many businesses that employees can work successfully from home. This is why many companies have now made the choice to go completely remote or allow employees the option of working from home.
8. Chat Communication
Chat communication also became a critical IT skill for all employees to have when the pandemic forced everyone to work from home.
When workers could not simply walk over to another’s desk to ask a quick question, they could simply send it in the chat. Furthermore, chat communication is very versatile. You can have threads for each client and/or project, making retracing steps much easier than searching for a lost post-it. To continue company culture, create channels specifically for water cooler conversations.
These programs help employees collaborate without having to pick up their phones or schedule video meetings for every little thing. Because let’s face it, once you pick up your phone, how many times have you gotten sucked into the apps of distraction?
9. Phishing & Virus Awareness
Especially for people working on your network, you want to make sure they don’t unknowingly introduce any viruses to your system.
All employees should be given updates on the latest trends in phishing attempts and the red flags of viruses. Encourage all workers to notify a manager or IT expert of any suspicious emails or pop-ups. And most importantly, make sure they know not to click on anything. If you want to access IT tech tips in your inbox, you can subscribe here.
Your IT expert could even bait your employees by sending a suspicious-looking email with an embedded link. They can then discuss the associated risks of clicking suspicious links with those that actually clicked the links.
Furthermore, ensure that all of your employees are using unique passwords and changing them often. Some regulatory compliance organizations require you to change them every 30-90 days.
Without the proper defense measures in place with regular updates, you are leaving your business exposed to hackers with ill intentions. Avoid costly downtime with proactive measures. Reach out to Brooks IT Services to make sure your systems are secure.
10. Social Media
Yes, even social media is a basic IT skill that can help your workers succeed. Whether it’s keeping up with public company announcements or bringing people together for morale, the powers of social media have a long reach. We’re not expecting everyone to master the latest TikTok dance trend, but knowing how to search, like, and share can be useful.
Prepare Your Employees For Success With Basic IT Skills
Whether you are tech-savvy or a novice, unless you’re a certified expert, you are vulnerable to the hackers of the world.
While you are busy running your business, BITS remains busy researching the latest software, updates, and phishing and virus trends. Unless your company revolves around IT, it’s nearly impossible for you to know everything your business needs to remain secure.
Rather than trying to do it all yourself, leave the technical aspects of onboarding new employees and training to the experts. Set your business up for success by contacting Brooks IT Services today!