Soft skills are important for smooth and effective communication, both with customers and within your team. Since businesses are comprised of people who join their efforts and have a common goal, soft skills are the glue that holds teams together. That’s why it’s important to devote time and effort to your employee training on soft skills, and here are some proven ways to do this effectively.
What Are Soft skills? A Quick Refresher
Soft skills are the competencies that impact impersonal relationships and they are driven by a person’s behaviors and attitudes. Contrary to job-specific hard skills, they don’t demonstrate how well you use specific tools or techniques and are unrelated to your vocational experience.
Soft skills include flexibility, benevolence, active listening, constructive criticism, or the art of objection handling. Like any other skill, they require training and exercise. Finding time and space in tight business schedules for their development can be challenging, but you can totally make soft skills training scalable and available for employees anytime.
Provide Resources to Grow
Decide on the skills that your company values more (i.e., open communication) and wants its employees to possess, and then choose the means by which you will train your employees on these skills.
Here are a few ideas on resources that you can provide your learners:
- Corporate libraries. Select books that teach how to build necessary skills and share them with your learners.
- Online courses. Rework those helpful readings into online courses for internal use and add interactive quizzes to them. These quizzes will assess how learners retain information and understand the key principles of a productive dialogue.
- Knowledge base. Put courses and other training materials online by uploading them to a learning management system (LMS). With this training management software, you can store all e-books, courses, videos, and other training materials in one place. Your learners will be able to access the LMS from their devices and study at their own pace, and you can track employee training in real time.
Role-play Particular Scenarios
Let your employees practice soft skills in role-playing scenarios. You can conduct live interactive workshops during which participants will role-play dissatisfied customers or negotiate in teams.
But actually, your employees can train in online dialogue simulations on their own. This won’t require the presence of a trainer and other people, so training can be replicated many times and for many people. Building such dialogue simulations is easy with authoring software: you only need to have a script and fill in the needed spaces to build an interactive dialogue. You can learn more about other types of training modules here.
Assess Soft Skills and Gauge Team Morale Regularly
Although many consider that soft skills are intangible, we can measure them using specific assessment tools. Consider using 360-Degree feedback for this purpose. It collects various people’s anonymous evaluations of a staff member’s soft skills and compares them with that person’s self-evaluations.
360-Degree feedback is effective for checking team morale, identifying collective and individual areas of improvement, and planning further action. You can also assess the soft skills of your managers, perceive probable bottlenecks in soft skills training, and minimize them in the future.
Author: Helen Colman
Helen is an editor and content strategist at iSpring. She enjoys combining in-depth research with expert knowledge of the eLearning industry.