If you want your employees to be more efficient, productive, and empathetic on the job, soft skills should be an important part of your online training strategy.
The reason soft skills are so important is that they are related to teambuilding, communication, and human interaction, as opposed to hard skills/technical skills that deal with job related talents. For example: knowing how to troubleshoot a technical problem would be a hard skill, while knowing how to “actively listen” would be a soft skill.
So, what are the most relevant soft skills for your employees, and how can these skills be incorporated into your online training programmes?
In the corporate world, communication is key. It unlocks doors, giving your employees the ability to successfully diffuse, resolve, or prevent conflict, interact well with customers, and empathise with colleagues.
Communication skills are made up of a variety of secondary skills that include, but are not limited to: collaboration, problem solving, and active listening. These skills are an essential part of career and business building, and can be facilitated into your online training programmes effectively.
These skills can be taught using character based training simulations and branching scenarios. These interactive and engaging learning tools give learners the chance to understand situations or scenarios and handle them professionally – translating this into real-world skill.
Employees need to be able to lead and follow, and get along with their co-workers. The soft skills that teach these talents involve collaboration and teamwork skills. These can be part of your learning programme by creating online group projects and social learning activities.
Make use of social media pages, online forums, and chatrooms to give your learners a platform to share and discuss information, and provide feedback regarding a common goal.
Related to organisational skills and stronger work ethic, time management is an essential skill for business success. Employees who are able to manage their time well are usually more productive and have clearer thinking. Employees with effective time management skills can create detailed, step by step schedules, keeping their team and projects on track.
This is because by managing their time effectively, employees can concentrate on one task at a time and make the most of their resources because everything has been planned in advance.
A way to train your employees in time management is to encourage them to map out their own online learning paths and reach certain milestones at specific times. They need to meet these deadlines while having time to analyse their work behaviour and habits after the fact. By being given, and completing these tasks, your employees will find ways to improve their organisational skills and find ways to save time.
Problem solving is made up of secondary skills that include: reasoning, creativity and lateral thinking. Employees need to think of innovative approaches to solve a problem, even if this approach goes against the status quo. So, how do you teach your employees these skills through online learning? This can be done through gaming, feature badges, points and related gamification tools that can be used to motivate employees.
To create the ideal training experience for problem solving is to clearly identify your objectives and goals, and to develop a scenario that focuses on the problem, challenges, and obstacles.
We have delved into the importance of teamwork, but project management and leadership takes this further. Project management has a larger scope, and it means an employee needs to handle every aspect of a project, every process, and every role involved in the project.
In some instances, the employee may be a subordinate, and in some cases, they may be the team leader. Employees need to learn how to be both a team leader and a subordinate within a team. This ensures that they have more compassion for subordinates when leading, and more understanding of the pressure on the leader when being subordinate in a project.
So, how do you create effective project management and leadership training courses? Encourage employees to work in groups to create one online presentation around a certain topic, while making online demo videos and blogs about the topic available to the group. Put guidelines in place to ensure that every team member has their say and stays on task.
A business is just like a living organism, continually moving, growing, and evolving. Employees need to grow with your business, and this requires the ability to adapt. It is important that your corporate learners are given the resources and tools they need in this regard, and they need to know how to use these for a wide range of situations.
To achieve this, you need to provide learners with courses that include: online simulations, online demos, and branching scenarios that provide them with this targeted knowledge. You also need to give them case studies and real-world stories that emphasise this knowledge.
Always ensure your online content is up to date and relevant so that your employees have a fully rounded idea of how to use this knowledge in the work environment.
Some choices are harder than others, and your employees need to predict all possible outcomes and make the correct choice to succeed in decision making.
The best way to foster effective decision-making skills is with branching scenarios. This gives corporate learners the ability to explore the consequences and repercussions of their actions without judgement or risk.
This gives them the opportunity to see innovative solutions to common challenges. You also need to have some level of pressure on your students so that it more or so mimics a real-life situation.
Training your corporate learners in soft skills provides them with the building blocks to career and business success. No matter their position, these skills will serve them and help them reach their true potential.
Related courses offered by Masterskill include:
|CCT-053-S||Face to Face Communication, First Edition|
|CCT-087-S||Working in Teams, Revised Edition|
|CCT-193-S||Time Management, Fourth Edition|
|CCT-205-S||Problem Solving for Teams, Third Edition|
|ELK88-679SG||Project Management Skills for Non-Project Managers|
|CCT-011-S||Creative Decision Making, Revised Edition|