Recognising training gaps could be quite difficult, especially in large, busy organisations where you don't have the time to check that employees are using applications correctly.

It's far easier to recognise our own struggles with technology than find out which fellow workers may benefit from increasing their skills. Even if you work for a company that appears to show no signs of suffering from a staff training gap because workers are using specific programmes regularly, they may by ignoring aspects of the applications that could boost efficiency even more.


Meetings have been missed and clients have been accidentally ignored due to packed inboxes that mean important mail goes unnoticed. Microsoft Outlook is designed so these outcomes become far less likely. The programme gives you the tools to organise your messages quickly, without you having to go through each and every one in order to categorise its importance.

There are grouping functions, allowing you to place emails with similar topics in one location. Features also automatically delete messages that contain keywords that do not interest you, so there's less to wade through. In addition, Clean Up commands delete messages that contain conversations that are repeated in later emails, saving you the bother. Some of these features are apparent; others may require experts to show your employees or yourself how to activate the commands.


As well as showing you all the Outlook tools you need to keep your inbox neat and tidy, a training company can teach you how to make the most of the application's calendars. These are much more than a collection of dates that see you creating appointments. The electronic tools are a great way to keep track of your own events and the schedules of others, as you're able to share information easily via the programme.

In addition to being able to view individuals' events, you can also see and compare what tasks have been allocated to groups. This helps you to keep on top of your colleagues' diaries and is an important tool when it comes to project management.


If you're running your own firm, then you'll have to heed the taxman. Every year you're legally obliged to send in details about your accounts so your taxes and national insurance can be calculated. Microsoft Excel is an effective way of keeping track of your income and outgoings, for both larger and smaller businesses.

The programme can be used to create professional invoices and is a handy location to store data regarding billing and sales generated by your firm. If you need to manipulate the figures in tables for the purposes of performing calculations then this is possible via the programme, as you're able to sort and highlight the necessary data.


Microsoft Access databases are a large step up from Excel files, as they hold all sorts of data and you're able to make links between files in a way that the spreadsheet application can't. This makes databases a prime place to store inter-related data, such as a customer's name, their order and the amount they have paid/yet to pay. This can have a positive impact on your company as you know exactly how much stock is coming in to and leaving your business.

You are able to keep on top of inventory levels and make changes where appropriate, such as running promotions on items that are proving hard to shift. Another great aspect of this programme, is you have the opportunity to create reports. These are visual representations of the data contained in Access files, which transforms dry figures into charts and other images.

In order to address any training imbalances you could inquire whether staff feel they are utilising lots of aspects of current software and book sessions with a training provider if there are topics they are unsure about. Depending on the firm, you could find tutorials consist of small groups, allowing you to really focus on the areas that may increase the efficiency of your company.