I need you to understand this about the story I’m about to tell: Jennifer was a GOOD employee. Everyone thought so.  Everyone thought she was good at her job – and really, she was.  What happened was not her fault.  And I guarantee it’s happening to many of your clients, right now.

Years ago in my first IT service business I had an engineering firm as a client, and they had an office manager named Jennifer.  The office I supported was mostly engineers and architects, with two accounting people, and Jennifer.

Jennifer answered the phones and handled the admin work, which meant she was the acknowledged Microsoft Office guru of the organization.  When engineers needed a client proposal typed up, they gave their notes to Jennifer and she promptly turned them into a Word document.  When they needed to send an invoice or estimate, she would whip out a form using Excel.

One day, I get a call from the company – Jennifer is on vacation, and they need to edit an estimate she had sent out the week before, but they can’t find the file.

Now, this was before the days of remote support, so we scheduled the service call and I went out the next day.  Seemed like a too-easy call, but if they’re willing to pay my rates for finding a file, I’ll come find a file.

Except I couldn’t.  I checked Jennifer’s computer, and not only could I not find the estimate that matched their printed copy, I couldn’t find ANY estimates.  Well, there was one.  One estimate spreadsheet.

I guessed – and later confirmed it with Jennifer – that she only had the one file. She did not know she should save copies of each document as it’s own file, she just typed over the same file each time they asked for an estimate.

It gets worse – on that service call when I started re-entering the info they wanted into her Excel estimate template, I noticed the totals at the bottom of the form weren’t changing.

Again I guessed – and later confirmed with Jennifer – that she DID NOT KNOW that Excel could add things up for you.  Her process had been to enter each line item, then use her desktop calculator to add them up, then enter the total back in Excel.

Let me reiterate – this person was good at her job.  She was respected in the office as the Microsoft Office guru.  And she was clearly, CLEARLY doing things in an extremely unproductive way – but she had no idea.

How much time did she waste (and the company pay her for) because she didn’t know better?  It’s impossible to calculate.

But I know this – Jennifer might be an extreme case, but every office has people who are inadvertently wasting time because they are missing skills.  Every person has room to improve their productivity by potentially learning new and better ways to use the tools and apps that are part of their job. Statistics show that 80% of the features in O365 are not being utilized by end users, because of lack of knowledge.

That’s why we started Bigger Brains, and it’s still the core focus of all that we do. Helping people work smarter, especially with things like Office 365, QuickBooks, Microsoft Teams, and more.  Over 140 courses on topics that business professionals can use.

It’s also why we work hard to make our courses effective and engaging – which is why eLearning magazine calls us the “Best IT Skills Training”.

And it’s why we partner with over 600 IT professionals and MSPs, who resell our courses or bundle it with their service plans.

Sign up for a free reseller account at www.BiggerMSP.com and get an NFR license to explore our 140+ courses.

Chip Reaves
Latest posts by Chip Reaves (see all)