Training / Development
Accel offers top-notch online continuing education and professional development courses for the science, engineering, and technology management community. Our courses are instructor-led and are taught by respected experts, with a focus on applications of subject matter.
Would you like the flexibility of learning anywhere, anytime? That’s what our interactive online format is all about. We give our clients access to our learning community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any computer with Internet access.
Accel understands the challenge of retaining employees in today’s workforce. Soft skills have more to do with who we are than what we know. As such, soft skills encompass the character traits that decide how well one interacts with others, and are usually a definite part of one’s personality. Whereas hard skills can be learned and perfected over time, soft skills are more difficult to acquire and change.
To get, and keep, a job employees typically need some level of technical skills. Beyond the technical skills, though, how do you communicate effectively in the workplace? Why is it important to report to lunch and back to your work area on time? How do you keep a positive attitude even when you’re having a bad day?
In these situations, and all the others like them, it’s the soft skills that matter.
While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, people skills are what open most of the doors to come. Work ethic, attitude, communication skills, the way that people interact and a whole host of other personal attributes are the soft skills that are crucial for career success.
The problem is, the importance of these soft skills is often undervalued, and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organizations seem to expect people know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, and producing high quality work.
Assuming that soft skills are universal leads to much frustration. That’s why it’s so important to focus as much on soft skills training and development as you do on traditional hard skills.
The Soft Skills Gap – Do You Have One?
When your workforce has lots of technical skills but an absence of soft skills, you have a soft skills gap. Soft skills are what accompany the hard skills, and help your organization use its technical expertise to full advantage.
- If you’re really good at getting clients, and not so good at retaining them, chances are you have a soft skills gap.
- If you have lots of staff turnover and have to keep retraining people, chances are you have a soft skills gap.
- When you have lots of managers but no real leaders – that’s a soft skills gap.
In fact, whenever you are unable to capitalize on the wealth of knowledge, experience and proficiency within your team, then you should be assessing the level of communication and interpersonal skills that are present in your organization.
The workplace has evolved an interpersonal dynamic that can’t be ignored. The acts of listening, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, and fostering an open and honest work environment all come down to knowing how to build and maintain relationships with people. It’s those relationships that allow people to participate fully in team projects, show appreciation for others, and enlist support for their projects.