The importance of fundamentals

People get so wrapped up in fancy, super-advanced features and capabilities that they frequently overlook the power of the basic tools.
 Outlook is the most powerful collaboration tool out there. Everyone has it, everyone underutilizes it.
 Not knowing the basics leads to huge time consumption. For example, an employee declines a meeting because a conflict has come up. The meeting organizer has to contact that employee to figure out why and re-schedule. But what if your company set the expectation that employees use the “propose new time” function?
It’s so easy to do. I love it, have come to rely on it, and yet so few people seem to know that this feature exists or how to use it. You would be amazed how much time is saved across your entire company when simple little things like this are widely utilized.
Athletes drill on the fundamentals of their respective sports. Doctors of all types are expected to understand the basic functions of the human body — and to stay current on new advances as they occur. Doesn’t it just make sense that employees — from the C-suites right on down to people on the front lines — should be familiar with the basic operations of the programs they use every day? The more complete their understanding of these fundamentals is, the more likely they are to explore advanced features and propose new, simpler, more productive ways to do things, further benefiting the company.
As if that isn’t enough, consider this: many people consider the opportunity to learn new, transferable skills a benefit. It’s a win-win.
Fundamentals like this can make your organization much more productive and save valuable time. We recently completed a class for our employees that did a simple walk-through of each of the functions on Outlook’s basic tool ribbon.
An added benefit of these types of sessions is that they can provide valuable feedback about not just technical issues but identifying early on the differences in how your company chooses to use the product; disparities that may be hampering the flow of your business processes. It’s important for management to pay attention to the feedback received during training sessions.
 I highly recommend basic classes like that for organizations of every size. It will be a useful learning experience for users and managers alike.

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