Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

Back to Listing

April 3, 2017

Employers report that PrepareU soft skills helped their staff perform better

prepare-u-logoPrepareU recently surveyed employers whose staff completed the soft skills program over several weekly sessions last fall.

Although the sample size was small, 100 percent of employers surveyed said they would recommend PrepareU to their colleagues or employees.

And when asked how they would rate the degree to which PrepareU helped their employees in their jobs, 100 percent said it had a positive effect.

PrepareU is a training program sponsored by Creating IT Futures, an IT workforce charity founded CompTIA. Developed in 2016, the program is a classroom-based course designed to provide career skills for today’s tech worker. PrepareU helps IT workers land the jobs they desire and gives them tools to help them perform better on the job, leading to promotions and pay raises.

“We hear time and again from employers that their biggest challenge when it comes to filling vacant IT positions is not the lack of candidates with technical skills — rather, it’s the lack of candidates with strong soft skills,” said Eric Larson, senior director of IT Futures Labs at Creating IT Futures. “Employers value folks who can communicate tactfully and clearly, have a strong work ethic, and know how to provide customer service.”

PrepareU has two main components geared to different audiences: Job seekers and working IT professionals.

Those who are not yet working in IT are exposed to learning modules that include developing an elevator pitch, perfecting a resume and job interviewing skills.

Both audiences can dive into modules on strengthening customer service skills; using active listening and improving communication; learning to work collaboratively; developing a work brand; and understanding the role that different social styles play in the workplace.

Becky W. Ryan is the senior manager of HealthPartner’s Enterprise Support Center. Her organization recently sponsored two employees to participate PrepareU.

“We sent a couple of analysts who have been working with us for a while,” she said. “We considered them both to be good employees and asked them to take the class to see if it would be worthwhile for others on the team to attend future classes. Both candidates personally felt they benefitted from the material presented and agreed that they’ve learned more about themselves in order to become even better employees. It’s a good way to promote personal knowledge and growth for existing employees.”

For PrepareU sessions offered last fall, employers committed to sending a staff member for eight Wednesday afternoon sessions totaling 32 hours.

In the recent survey, employers said PrepareU best helped their staff members with customer service skills, perception checking and stress and anxiety reduction. The program also helped improve their work practices and ability to handle conflict appropriately.