Cegos and DisasterReady.org have formed a unique partnership…

Empowering Humanitarian Aid Workers with Soft Skill Curriculum

Cegos and DisasterReady.org have formed a unique partnership to empower humanitarian aid workers across the globe with a one-of-a-kind soft skills development curriculum. Academics and aid experts agree that, while logistical skills are critical for the relief worker and humanitarian aid worker alike, an equal if not greater focus must be placed on developing their “soft skills” – namely the nontechnical skills needed to effectively manage problems and work with others in high stress situations.  Thanks to the generous support of Cegos, DisasterReady.org is able to make a collection of soft-skill courses available to humanitarian aid workers at no cost.

DisasterReady.org, a signature program of the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, is a collaborative nonprofit effort informed by an advisory committee of prominent aid agencies including Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee, Project HOPE, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Mercy Corps, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), World Vision, Oxfam America, and others.

Created in 1926, Cegos is one of the world leaders in professional development. Its 3,000 consultants’ and 1,000 employees’ expertise is applied to 1,000 courses that cover all areas (46 existing thematics) in the professional sphere and in the development of skills for business success.

Why Humanitarian Aid Workers Need Soft Skills

A number of studies over the past ten years focused on identifying best practices for training aid workers have found that soft skills, often left out of training programs, are critical to implementing logistical assistance. The typical focus of training has been on developing functional knowledge, or “hard skills” – legal process, transportation and communications logistics, shelter and food preparation, etc. The success, however, of transmitting that knowledge effectively in high stress situations in unfamiliar cultures is directly tied to workers’ soft skills capacity, or their ability to relate the hard skills to the situation itself in a humanitarian way. As Atish Gonsalves, Director of DisasterReady.org explains, “From the start, our advisory committee has placed a high priority on including training in people and project management.  We can’t be more thrilled to have a partner like Cegos enabling us to offer high-quality eLearning courses in this area to our community of more than 45,000 humanitarians.”

Generally, soft skills can be defined as the cognitive, social and personal resource skills that complement technical skills and facilitate task performance. Good communication, leadership, teamwork, decision-making and situation awareness are all part of that base.

Incorporating Soft Skills into eLearning on DisasterReady.org

The importance of soft skills is recognized as critical to success in the business world.  60% of managers claim that soft skills are more important than hard skills in getting a job done and are more sought after in employees. Hence, training and resources for developing these skills in employee populations within business cultures have been honed over decades. Cegos, which works with 250,000 people in 50 countries with eLearning courses, is one of the leading providers of training in this area.  Pascal Debordes, Director of Channels & Alliances at Cegos commented, “We are honored that our business training programs are part of this critical initiative and are playing a small but important part in improving the operational effectiveness of humanitarian missions around the world.”
Specifically, Cegos and DisasterReady.org have combined to offer more than 40 training resources on the Soft Skills page of DisasterReady.org including:

  • Leadership Skills: 5 Levers for Producing Great Leaders; The Role of Ethics and Integrity in Assessment.
  • Communication Skills: Successfully Adapt your Message.
  • People Management: Making Success of Your First Management; Project Management Essentials.
  • Project Management: Dealing with Time-consuming Tasks; Focusing on Your Key Priorities.
  • Interpersonal Communication: The Relational Skills of the Manager.

A New Model for Soft Skill Training Directed to Humanitarian Workers

The most powerful aspect of the partnership is the blending of proven soft skill business content together with proven humanitarian content via videos, case studies, and live webinars. For example, the Essential Skills for New Managers curriculum, derived from Cegos professional development courses including Becoming a Manager Coach, includes commentary from I humanitarian champion John Fawcett on how to effectively apply managerial concepts in a remote relief effort. Through a short interview on the experience of managing a relief project and a longer webinar on cross-cultural team building in emergency settings, Fawcett provides a real-world perspective to put the soft skill concept into practice.

This combination of Cegos’ eLearning courses with recorded webinars from experts in the humanitarian sector has been very well received by DisasterReady learners.  As Christine Amy, Sr. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) described, “These new soft skills courses have advanced our training to the next level. DisasterReady has done it again – identified exactly how to transfer key concepts in the most effective way possible to our relief workers.”

How to Get Started with Free Soft Skill Courses

Managers, trainers, organizational leaders, and on the ground aid workers alike can access all of these professional development courses for free immediately just by registering on DisasterReady.org. Courses are available in English, French, and Spanish, and only a computer, an internet connection, and 30-45 minutes are needed to develop a new skill today.

What our clients say about us – RICS

As a leading global provider of e-learning content, with a real understanding of our business, Cegos were a natural choice of supplier to partner with to populate our in-house Learning Management System (LMS) and grow our online CPD offering.

Pierpaolo Franco

Global Director of Training Products, RICS

What our clients say about us – Total

At Cegos, we found all the skills necessary to design this bespoke training module. The Cegos team demonstrated strong engagement, professionalism and availability to make the project a complete success.

Patrick Antoine

Manager, Total Digital Academy

What our clients say about us – Nissan

We chose Cegos for its ability to provide guidance and support on aspects other than training expertise. This team of motivated, responsive professionals was able to satisfy our request for greater participant engagement and attentiveness, using a fun but effective approach to training.

Nadine Vienne

Section Manager Network Training and Sales Method, Nissan

What our clients say about us – Hutchinson

We decided to set up the Purchasing University to build our function's professional skills and develop a common set of standards and tools. We chose Cegos to be our partner in this initiative, which gives us the added advantage of being able to design new training modules to meet the demands of a fast-moving international market.

Pascale Garois

Hutchinson Group

What our clients say about us – Sun Chemical

Working in partnership with Cegos allowed us to bring about a real change in attitude to value selling across the group. The training they provided was a real eye-opener for many of the staff, and supported a company wide drive to build better long-term customer relationships.

Mark Frost

Commercial Director, Sun Chemical

What our clients say about us – Berendsen

We had already put in place LEAD Development Centres for our senior leader group, and it was very important to introduce Centres that would work for our large population of Plant Managers across Europe. Cegos have been excellent partners in helping us get the design right, and then in the delivery of lively, action learning based programmes. I have greatly enjoyed seeing our managers have ‘light bulb’ moments!

Chris Thrush

Berendsen Group Director, Human Resources

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