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Teaching Data Entry to New Hires


So everyone needs training, are we agreed? Agreed! Let’s move on!

Your new hire said they knew it all, typed a million words a minute and were quick as a pistol. After dishing out the assignments and handing over the materials you found yourself analyzing their performance only to discover that you think they might be missing fundamental skills required to get the job done. You may consider to yourself your options at this point. Debating how much time should be shall we say, donated, from your existing workload for teaching the new employee how to do their job correctly. Despite many large companies demonstrating how each new group of employees goes through some training process whether it be a few days or a few weeks, many small business owners tend to ignore this. We can all understand that we hire someone to do the work we don’t have time to complete. There should always be some consideration to how much time you will need to subtract from your own day (assuming you have to do the training yourself) to teach a new hire how to do the job the way you want the job done!

Data entry does not differ from any other job, in that it takes time for beginners to get a rhythm down before they start cranking out the work. The more help you can provide them, the quicker they will catch on and start performing to the level you had hoped. So let’s examine some simple prerequisite skills when getting starting teaching data entry.

  • Typing – Though perhaps not as fundamental as some jobs, basic typing skills and speed will certainly play a role in over all performance.
  • Computer Savvy Understanding basic computer use will probably go a long way with speeding up your data entry.
  • Web Surfing Skills – Again, as simple as this may sound, having the ability to understand and use the world-wide web is probably fundamental.
  • Photo / Image Knowledge – Does your data entry also require photos to be uploaded, or perhaps photos that need editing?
  • Reading & Writing Skills – Let’s face it, despite the simplicity of this skill some, some people have it and some don’t.
  • Tools – Nothing could be as important as the ability to provide the employee the right tools for the job!
  • A Good Attitude & Aptitude – Sadly this process may be tedious for all parties involved.

We should ask ourselves what we can provide our employee to help them enter that data efficiently, quickly, and most of all enjoyably. Finding the right tools for the job will not only make you as the employer happy because work flow is consistent and faster paced, but also serves to create happy workers. When you don’t have to feel frustrated hitting block after block performing simple jobs, your work day seems to pass more pleasurably.

  • Teaching Typing – I’m going to spend very little time covering this aspect. This is an issue faced by employers dating back to the typewriter. It is important to have someone with some typing skills where data entry is concerned. When faced with someone is pulling the old one finger routine, you most likely have two options. Either send that employee off to the next job in their life, or if you are determined to make it work you can suggest practicing with programs like the ever popular Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. There are also a ton of websites out there that will provide this practice, however I believe that nothing but practice is going to increase speed in this area.
  • Computer Skills – Computer savvy is another topic right away that often times is directly proportional to the time spent in practice. This may be another make or break item on the list depending on your particular needs. If it is a requirement to work with files and folder, pictures and other computer files then sorting those files and basic operations and file structures may be something mandatory for your job. Teaching file structure, naming conventions, and simple utilities such as copy and paste are just some examples of basic computer skills that may be necessary.
  • Web Savvy – In today’s world the internet plays such a huge role in business that it may be just as important as both typing skills and computer skills. Again this may depend on what the exact needs of your job will be, but the ability to surf the web, understand the web pages you are working with, and how to navigate to various website and files may be something required to even obtain the information which is required for data entry! It would certainly put a pin in anyone’s balloon if their new hire was so unfamiliar with the web that they were unable to download required documents and images to enter!
  • Photos & Image Editing – Everything comes down to your needs, and if photo editing is part of the job you may find it challenging to find a data entry expert who is also a graphic artist. I know, you’re saying this can’t be rocket science and I can’t possibly need a graphic artist to do simple little photo edits before uploading my fantastic products! As simple as those edits may seem to you, it certainly requires some skill to edit photos on demand. In addition to finding someone who can do this, you must also keep in mind that you may need to buy software for just this purpose if you do not already have it. If simple edits are all you need, and you just want something that’s full featured and free I highly recommend giving GIMP Image Manipulation Program a chance.
  • Reading & Writing – You might be in luck with this particular aspect as many popular programs like Microsoft Word have not only a spell check features but some rather advanced sentence fragment detection features as well. Google.com can be your friend here as well. Anyone can quickly Google search a word to discover spelling and other useful grammar related information. This even works with other languages in Google too! Other free document writers that are free include Google Docs and LibreOffice Writer. There are dozens if not hundred or thousands of full featured document writers (editors), one of which is bound to do the job.
  • Data Entry Tools
  • – First, you are going to need a comfortable chair. Okay, so I am only sort of joking when I say that (less than half, going down as we speak). Here are some tools I use to make data entry easy for everyone in my office and telecommuting!

Tips & Tools For New Data Entry Employees:

  • ClipIt – I like ClipIt however I recommend the use of any Clipboard Management Software when it comes to doing data entry.
  • The Snippet Tool – The Snippet tools or any quick screen grab software can come in super handy if you have to deal with cropping images and you don’t need a full graphic manipulation program.
  • Adobe Photoshop – This is if you do need a full featured graphical editor. I mentioned GIMP earlier which is a less popular free alternative. Again, when it comes to software applications the possibilities can be endless.
  • Have 2 Monitors – It may sound crazy, it may sound simple, but the power behind using multiple monitors in a data entry environment is priceless.
  • Email Clients & Synchronized Software – Consider using internal company email addresses for the purposes of assigning and tracking projects. Use software synchronization to allow employees to work from home, a different computer, or a different continent!
  • Is Your Data Entry Software Streamlined? – Having a simple streamlined application for your employees to use is key! The easier it is for them to understand and perform, the more they will.
  • Could You Automate Part of the Job? – Sometimes basic data entry can be completely automated, and other times you can automate parts of the job to further simplify the steps required to get the job done.

Remember, it is your job as the employer to do the research, provide the tools, and give the help required to ensure you have the skilled employees you need.

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