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October Black Swan Newsletter



Make Your Spreadsheets Work For You

For many Excel users, the toughest challenge is to get to grips with all the functionality that's available. More often than not, you find a really neat trick years after using painfully slow work-arounds.

Conditional formatting is one such piece of functionality. What it offers you is the ability to make key figures in spreadsheets highlight automatically to draw your attention to them.
We have created a very quick 'how to' guide for using conditional formatting in your spreadsheets. Just take 10 minutes to try it a couple of times and we're confident that it will become second nature to you.

So, get rid of eye strain and headaches, and use conditional formatting to make it easier for you to pick out what you need from your spreadsheets.

Don't Call me 'Madman': Great CV Blunders

Automated spelling check is, for many, the best possible solution to lazy fingers and hasty emails.

One rather crucial side-effect of using such help is that it can be trusted too much. Below are some great CV blunders which, because they passed spell check, have been found on CVs. Much to the amusement of the recipients.

  • “My experience include filing, billing, printing and coping
  • “Demonstrated ability in multi-tasting.”
  • “My work ethics are impeachable.”
  • “I consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts.”
  • “Dear Sir or Madman,”
  • “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”
  • “I am anxious to use my exiting skills.”
  • “Speak English and Spinach
  • “Following is a grief overview of my skills.”
  • “I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”
  • “I am experienced in all faucets of accounting.”
  • “Hope to hear from you, shorty.”

And the most embarrassing one to finish off our list:

  • “Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations.”

So, how do you avoid these mistakes in your CV writing and communications? Here are five simple tips to make that final check work for you.

Why Training Needs Attention!

There are two key areas you need to focus on to ensure your business or organisation gets the most out of training.

Firstly, invest in mapping out what training requirements are needed within your business.

It would be great if it was automatically apparent where training is required. Sadly, training needs are often uncovered, and sometimes at too late a stage. Energy and resources can be wasted. Job satisfaction can plummet.

Secondly, see training as developmental, not just a treatment for problems.

Staff can sometimes struggle in silence and training can be seen as a luxury. Yet, if you look beyond the short term: if training improves productivity and performance for staff members, then surely the best time to book training is as soon as a need is identified.

There are also key times when training needs to be evaluated:

  • When new staff arrive within an organisation
  • When staff are moved to a new role or departments
  • When a manager takes on a more senior position
  • When a member of staff starts to manage other people

If training is not used, related problems can arise. There could be a dip in productivity, heightened stress, staff disruption, or communications problems. So, as you evaluate the health, efficiency and motivation of your workforce, then bring training into the mix.

When businesses are short staffed and working hours are extended then training is a great way of getting the most out of colleagues and ensuring the staff you want to stay remain with you.

Whilst you may have everything in hand, if you want us to discuss with you how you can put a training plan in place, then contact us or call 01256 323 223.


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