Teaching Non-Tech Employees How to Use a Computer

You Should Consider Encouraging your Employees to Familiarize Themselves with the Internet and Network Security.

The nature of the 21st century workplace is such that computer training has become necessary. Computers can help businesses enhance the speed and efficiency of their operations, a factor that will result in smooth operations and higher revenues. Today, companies use computer training programs to make their employees more valuable as well as to increase productivity. In addition, it is possible to ensure that your employees learn basic computer skills on the job. However, training non-tech employees how to use a computer comes with its fair share of challenges. The good news is that you can follow these simple tips to teach such employees basic computer skills.

1- Explain the Goals of the Exercise

Before you can even begin teaching your non-tech employees how to use a computer, you will need to explain the goals of the exercise. It would be important to explain to them the relevance of such skills in today’s workplace as well as their impact in the business world. Such information will not only help them prepare for training but also make it easy to understand how to apply the knowledge acquired in real life situations.

2- In-person and Online Training

Both in-person and online training will have their own benefits. While having a trainer to teach the employees will encourage interaction and help learners to retain information, there are times when the trainer will not be physically present. This is why you should consider blending in-person training with online training. As your employees try to apply the skills they have learned, online training will guide them whenever there is confusion or lack of clarity.

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3- Provide Hands-on Training

Just like with most training programs, teaching your employees how to use a computer will incorporate both theoretical and practical knowledge. Although both are important, you should allow the learners to feel what they are learning about by focusing on hands-on training at the appropriate stage. When done in a controlled environment, you will be in a position to identify the mistakes they make and help them build their confidence.

4- Allow the Employees to Learn at Their Own Pace

There is no doubt that a business whose employees possess basic computer skills is likely to perform better. With this in mind, you should design the computer training in such a way that learners will not rush through complicated content. Since each individual learns at their own speed, you should give them time to process what they have learned over the course of time. This will not only allow them to internalize what they learn but also apply it while executing their mandates.

5- Avoid Using Complex Computer Jargon

One of the challenges you are likely to face when teaching non-tech employees how to use a computer is identifying the appropriate medium of instruction. Speaking computer jargon may hinder effective communication, making you lose your students in the first five minutes of the training session. Since it is possible to learn how to use a computer without knowledge of the terms, you should only use tech language when it is absolutely necessary. Such employees can be introduced to computer jargon gradually and through simple but interesting language.

6- Show Them How the Mouse Works

The mouse is one of the most important parts of a computer. As beginners, you should make it a point to teach them how a mouse works. The best way to do this would be to provide step by step instruction before the steps can become habitual and you let the students practice them on their own. Encourage all the employees until they are able to position their hands correctly, single-click, double-click and drag the mouse.

7- Take a Break

When learning how to use a computer, there is a limit to how much a newbie can absorb. This is why you should take regular breaks to allow the student time to relax. You can carry on with the sessions once they are in a position to concentrate again.

The world of computers is changing fast, thanks to innovation and the related advances in technology. This makes it necessary for any business that is keen on staying ahead of competition to keep up with these changes. Apart from basic computer skills, you should consider encouraging your employees to familiarize themselves with the internet and network security.

What Employees Should Know About Computer

Every time something goes wrong with one of your employees’ computers and they call their IT support, they lose time and your company loses money. However, computers will inevitably experience technical or hardware-related problems, so it’s important that employees have a basic level of knowledge that will enable them to recognize problems when they occur, allow them to try a few simple troubleshooting steps that may resolve the issue more quickly than calling IT support, and take a few easy steps to prevent small issues from blowing up into big problems.

With that in mind, here are the top three things that we think all employees should know about computers:

  1. When and why you should restart your computer

You should restart your computer at least once a day for it to perform at its best. Restarting your computer frees up memory space and clears temporary files that have been stored on it, allowing it to run faster. It can also resolve the following issues:

  • Frozen applications or frozen operating system
  • Disconnected network drives
  • Hardware issues such as loud fan noise or an unusually hot system
  • Finally, restarting your computer is necessary to install Windows Updates, and may be necessary to finish installing other software or software updates.
  1. How to recognize when you have a virus

Malware comes in many forms, including spyware, ransomware, keyloggers, and other malicious code. Listing the symptoms of every existing virus would be impossible, but it’s a good idea to run a virus scan every time your computer behaves unusually. Ignoring a virus or failing to recognize it for too long can have disastrous consequences.

If a computer starts running slowly and a reboot doesn’t speed it up, there may malware running in the background that is slowing it down. If you start receiving strange pop-up messages on normally secure websites, or when you aren’t browsing the internet at all, it’s an almost guaranteed sign of a virus. The same can be said for any time your default browser window is set to a strange search engine or another unfamiliar page, and almost every time a toolbar has been installed either without your permission or packaged as part of an unrelated software.

However, it’s also important to recognize when you are being tricked into believing you have a virus. Malicious code on websites frequently relies on scaring people into downloading a virus disguised as antivirus software. Another common tactic is to scare you into calling the scammer, who will use that opportunity to try to steal your personal information. If you suddenly receive a message while browsing the internet warning that you have a virus and need to download antivirus software or call a phone number, chances are you don’t yet have malware on your computer. It’s best to simply close the tab or window in which you received the message, then run a virus scan from an antivirus software you trust.

  1. Why you should save your files on the network

Most businesses today use a NAS to store network drives. Depending on what permissions are set, network drives can either be accessed by some or all employees or can be restricted to a single user. When each user is given their own network drive, they are presented with the option to either save their files on the network drive or save them on their local machine (e.g., in their My Documents folder).

It is extremely important that all employees save their files on network drives instead of on their local computers. In the case of a system infection, where all files are encrypted and held for ransom, or in another situation involving data loss, it’s necessary to be able to restore all information quickly and accurately. Loss of data can also lose companies time, money, and trust from their customers.

It’s important to always back up your files. However, if regular backups are made of data stored on servers but not on local machines, or if backups run more frequently on servers than individual computers, any files that were saved on an employee’s computer may not be recoverable or may be restored from a much older version.

This is also the case for any system or hardware malfunctions that may render a hard drive unsalvageable. Files saved on the local computer may not be recoverable if the hard drive crashes, but it only takes minutes to connect a user’s network drive to a new computer without any loss of data.

Ensuring your employees know when to restart their computers, how to recognize when they have a virus, and why they should always save their files on the network, will significantly decrease the amount of time they spend on the phone with their IT team and will help prevent potentially disastrous situations for your company. We would highly recommend including this knowledge as a part of the training process for all new employees.

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