The most organized and profitable companies offer employee development programs to enable their employees to rise up through the ranks. Those that don’t tend to suffer from attrition, watching their best workers depart for greener pastures. If you don’t want to be the company that loses good talent – and you don’t want to be the worker that never becomes good talent – then continuing education is one of the best approaches.
In many cases, these programs involve advanced Excel training. The ability to organize, calculate and evaluate quantitative data are important skills needed today in many fields. Moreover, they’re commonly used in business and managerial decision-making, which means they’re extra-critical for those at the top. If you hope to advance to the C-Suite, or have a promising employee you’d like to see climb the ladder, Excel courses are a must.
Let’s talk about the top 10 business benefits of advanced Microsoft Excel, first for the employee and then for the company. Although if you look closely enough, you’ll probably notice that everyone benefits from all. (Wink).
For the Employee
1. Improve Your Skills
Advanced Microsoft Excel training teaches you a huge array of skills, including the ability to:
- Visualize and manipulate data
- Build complex equations to help you pose and answer questions about company finances, efficiency, workflow, inventory and much more
- Clean up and prepare data for analysis
- Design professional-level spreadsheets to lay out data intelligently and usefully
- Analyze information quickly and accurately
- Transition from one workplace to another with a common “language” in your pocket to help you speak to new employers, databases, etc.
- Solve business problems with the advanced application of data
- Balance complex accounts
- Find and remove bugs in your workflow
- Implement tracking systems for a huge variety of departments and operations
… and so much more. Taking a look at the list, chances are good you can already pick out at least five skills you could make good use of right off the bat. Once you become proficient at advanced Excel techniques, you’ll see even more.
2. Increase Efficiency
It’s probably obvious how using Excel faster can make your use of Excel itself more efficient. More importantly, though, understanding Excel at an advanced level enables you to complete a variety of other tasks more quickly. Make decisions more quickly, find the answers to questions immediately (both, those you’re asking and those that are being asked of you), and help team projects move along much more swiftly.
3. Up Your Value as an Employee
Obviously, as you have more skills to offer to your company and become faster at your work, you quickly become more useful to them. If you want to be indispensable in your employer’s eyes, it’s important you keep increasing your value. Otherwise, you’ll find that one day someone else comes along who has all of your skills – and more. You can avoid that by constantly learning, starting with Excel.
4. Make Your Job Easier in Ways You Can’t Imagine
Once you get truly proficient at it, you’ll see that Excel involves the use many shortcuts. Those shortcuts are applicable in more than just Microsoft Office, though; you can use them across your tasks and in other software as well. In some ways, learning advanced Excel strategies can help you become more proficient using the entire suite of Microsoft products. Even a class or two can teach you ways to become more proficient you wouldn’t even have imagined.
In the specifically Excel-oriented space, advanced use of spreadsheets has a large number of applications. From tracking tasks to organizing information to digging through data you don’t yet realize you have access to, Excel can give you a whole new outlook on work and life.
5. Enjoy Working More
Does this seem a little simplistic to you? It shouldn’t. Research indicates that when you’re better at your job, you enjoy it more. No one needs to tell you that, of course; all you have to do is think of a task you’re not that great at (dread) and one at which you excel (enjoyment) and you’ll see the difference in how they make you feel. Learning advanced Microsoft Excel techniques can make you better at what you do, which in turn makes it easier for you to zoom through your tasks, which finally makes the job more gratifying overall.
Plus, studies indicate that “those in more skilled roles tend to be happier (71%) and more interested (77%) in their work. Progression and training are therefore fundamental.” Why wouldn’t you want to be happier and more interested in your work? Answer: You would, so free training offered to you by your employer should be an automatic yes, please.
For the Company
6. Increase Efficiency
Wait, didn’t we already talk about this? Why, yes we did! In fact, your employees will become so much faster and more efficient after taking Advanced Microsoft Excel courses, that you can expect them to save the company overall boatloads of time. After all, if one employee becomes more efficient and shaves a few minutes (or a few hours) off their day, imagine how much time you’ll save if you multiply that by 10 or 20 people. Right?
7. Make Use of a Pre-existing Asset
Lots of skills require preloading of other assets before you can make use of them. You might have to buy specialty hardware, install new software on your company computers or even buy new machines themselves.
Not so with Excel. The great thing about teaching your employees to use Excel more effectively is that it’s already installed on basically every PC in existence. There’s no more efficient spreadsheet tool in the world, and yet it’s so ubiquitous as to be considered nearly free. Not to use this tool is almost a crime, because it’s just sitting there for the taking.
8. Get Quick and Painless Training
Even better news? Imparting advanced Excel skills to your employees doesn’t require paying for a great deal of training. In fact, most people with a basic understanding of Excel can progress to a fairly proficient state in a week or two. Those who already have an intermediate level of understanding can get there in less time.
If you want to give an employee the gift of new skills – and yourself the gift of better-equipped workers – it’s as simple as setting up a short training right within the walls of your company. Usually, when you hire a trainer to come in, you can save even more money by sending individual employees to separate classes (or even to the same classes) and can educate everyone at once.
9. Reduce IT Load
If you don’t teach your employees to use Excel effectively, then you’ll have to rely on your IT department to run numbers, analyze data and give you the numerical tools you need to make decisions. The problem with that is twofold:
- Your IT department is already kept busy running from workstation to workstation to help employees, upgrading systems, interfacing with software vendors and more. They don’t have time for another task.
- IT professionals may be able to “do the math,” but that doesn’t mean they can apply the resulting information to best effect.
On the other hand, if you train your employees to use Excel themselves in an advanced fashion, they’ll be able both to manipulate data in the moment and to draw meaningful conclusions from it to keep your company whizzing right along.
10. Keep Good Talent Around
If your employees know they can receive ongoing education and rise through the ranks at your company, they’ll have more motivation to stick around. If, on the other hand, your people don’t have faith that they can get much more out of the company past a certain point, they will start looking elsewhere.
One of the best ways to reduce turnover and keep good talent around is to offer to educate your employees. It’s a win-win, because they get to put something on their resume, and you get to leverage those skills immediately after training them.
If you want to train them thoroughly, you might consider sending employees to school for an Advanced Excel Course, or even a master’s program (not to say this is necessary; it’s just an option). In these cases, it’s beneficial to have employees sign a contract stipulating that they will work with you for a certain amount of time afterwards. Often, the skills they’ve learned make them so much more valuable to your business that you’re willing to compensate them at a significantly higher rate, and they have all the motivation they need to stand by you.
At the end of the day, knowledge is always a good thing. If your employees use Excel at all in their work, it’s a good idea to train them. Not only can they perform pre-existing tasks more efficiently, they can use their newfound skills to develop new processes and ideas to improve your organization overall.