Are you and your employees using your computers to their full capabilities? A business owner whose employees properly utilize the business's system will reap the rewards of a computer-savvy staff. Teach your employees in three easy steps: Train your employees until they are proficient on your most commonly used software. Give them the resources to sharpen their skills. Keep yourself and your staff updated on system upgrades. Focus on the Basics There are many types of computer training and software tutorials available online. Remember not to overload your employees or hard drive with unnecessary software. Stick to what they need to know to do their jobs well. Practice Makes Perfect To ensure that your employees have a grasp on your business's computers and software, give them the opportunity to practice their skills (not on a customer!) and then evaluate their understanding before turning them loose. Equip your Employees It's easy to give into the temptation of training employees on just the bare minimum to operate the computer, but don't fall victim to this mindset. They must be well equipped to do their jobs and help your clients and customers. Bradley University offers short references (think CliffsNotes for Computers) for both Windows and Apple systems. You simply download, print, and post near the computers. Or check out Courses on Disk for software-training courses on CD. Stay Up on Upgrades Computers and software are continually being updated, so you must train your employees on a consistent basis to keep up with the changes. Don't let too much pile up at once, or you'll have to invest a large chunk of time again. Check out Microsoft Small Business + Online Training, which offers software training for small companies who sign up (for free) on the site. Take advantage of Education Online for Computer's Free Software Training Newsletter for notification of new free computer training and tutorials every month. Take the time: Don't try to cram in software training while customers are waiting in line. Wait until you and your employee have time to focus. Choose wisely: Train your employee at the beginning of his shift, when he is refreshed, rather than at the end of a long day when he just wants to get home. Don't catch a virus: Before you do anything online, make sure that your computer has a good anti-virus program installed and updated. Have patience: Remember that people learn at different speeds, and what took you a half-hour may take your employee two hours, or vice versa.