When it comes to employee training, a lot of focus has always been on developing employees’ hard skills. But not anymore!
With the global market becoming more interconnected, soft skills, sometimes referred to as human skills, have become increasingly important for companies to have a competitive edge.
A study conducted by Harvard University, Boston College and the University of Michigan found that soft skills training delivered a phenomenal ROI of 256%! That was not all.
The study also revealed that soft skills training improved employee retention and increased productivity by 12%.
In the current scenario, 44% of employers believe that candidates lack the vital soft skills needed to perform their job well.
Businesses have now started to realise that soft skills are essential for a company’s success and the focus is now rapidly shifting to providing soft skills training to employees.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills encompass personal attributes and social behaviours that are necessary for success and career development. These skills are non-technical, more to do with managing your work, interacting with colleagues, and solving problems.
Types of Soft Skills Employees Need to Grow Your Business
If you think you can’t train people to develop these personal characteristics, you are highly mistaken. These skills can be taught. Soft skills training for employees focus on skills that have a long-term impact in the workplace. They include:
- Time management
How to Design a Soft Skills Training Programme for Your Employees
If you are ready to train your employees, your first step should be designing a soft skills training programme that is right for your employees. Follow these steps:
1. Align soft skills training with your business goals. Decide what soft skills your employees need to do their job well.
For example, if your goal is to improve sales by 10%, provide soft skills training on skills associated with increasing sales, like communication skills.
2. Align soft skills training with your culture. Your soft skills training programme should reinforce your company culture and values.
Define the most valuable soft skills that you want your employees to have and will help you build the culture you want to drive.
For example, if your culture is focused on learning and development, you may want to foster self-awareness in your employees.
3. Use scenarios and role play with different possible outcomes. When designing soft skills training programme, stay away from passive content and include interactive activities.
Create scenarios androle play, where employees get an opportunity to make difficult social and ethical decisions and practice their skills in a safe environment.
Also, create an environment where employees can discuss these activities and learn, share and compare multiple approaches from each other.
4. Make soft skill development an ongoing activity. Soft skills are personal characteristics, and they won’t become a part of daily behaviour unless you enforce them often and repeatedly.
Formal training and infrequent workshops aren’t enough to practice these skills. Give your employees a platform where they can indulge in social learning.
Make blogs, polls, forums and video conferencing a part of a learning toolkit where employees can work on team projects, solve problems, and share their opinions.
In this time and age, the power of soft skills training for employees is still largely underestimated. If you aren’t investing in upskilling your employees, you may limit your business’s growth potential.
A strong, soft skills training programme will not only increase the probability of future success but also give you a competitive edge.
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