The Hard Truths About Soft Skills

The construction industry relies on the strength of its workers — not the physical strength — but strength of character.  Employers need engaged employees who put in an honest day’s effort every day.

ABC of Wisconsin’s online training partner, Penn Foster, recently conducted a survey of employers in the hospitality, retail, and restaurant industries.  Although, the survey did not cover construction, the results are universal, regardless of the industry.

“Over 64 percent of respondents said there was a significant gap when comparing the level of soft skills of the average candidate to the level needed for success in an entry level role.” Despite that fact, “only 46 percent offered any sort of soft skills training for entry-level employees.”

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ABC of Wisconsin provides leadership training to hundreds of construction crew leaders, foremen, and supervisors every year.  Supervising and working with new employees has been the most common problem among training participants.  The soft skills gap is very real.

In response to requests from employers, Penn Foster developed a new online training solution employers can use when on-boarding new employees.  It is called the Career Readiness Bootcamp. The Boot Camp goes beyond basic soft skills, covering employee engagement, leadership, and emotional intelligence topics. This is a new program, but already more than 700 employees from around the nation have been enrolled in the course by their employers.  See a short video on how the Career Readiness Bootcamp can help.

Forbes Magazine a featured a recent program graduate. What struck me is that the participant didn’t think he needed the Career Readiness Bootcamp; especially since he was already employed.

What he discovered through the program was that he had a lot to learn.  The skills he learned in the program helped him rise to an assistant manager position a lot faster than he thought possible.  He is now teaching other employees.  Read his story in Forbes here.

Are you interested in finding out what the Career Readiness Bootcamp and other programs can do for your employees?  Check out the ABC of Wisconsin/Penn Foster Online Training page here.

By Wayne Belanger
Wayne Belanger is Education Director at ABC of Wisconsin. He can be reached at 800-829-9926. 

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