Power Source

Basic Training

In a rush to put new software applications to use? Don't sign your employees up for expensive software training courses just yet. A recent study found that users often find other training methods more effective.

In fact, allowing users time to experiment and "play" with new software programs on their own is the most useful training method, according to a 1995 survey conducted by Candice G. Harp, a training and development consultant in Atlanta. Consistency within a program, asking co-workers for assistance, and reading the program's on-screen prompts and messages while working with the software were also cited as highly beneficial by respondents.

Among those training strategies deemed least useful? Attending a formal training seminar on the software package, watching lectures and demonstrations on videotape, following computer-based training courses, and calling the in-house help desk with a question.

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This article was originally published in the October 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Power Source.

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