Job Skills Training for Persons with Disabilities
According to the latest reports, individuals with disabilities currently make up about 19.1% of the workforce in the United States. Part of helping more people within this group find employment is helping them master certain soft skills.
Read on to learn more about the most important soft skills for students with disabilities. You'll also learn how to identify soft skills and gain some valuable information on how you can construct an effective soft skills curriculum.
What Are Soft Skills?
When many people focus on elements of job training, especially when it comes to helping people with disabilities find employment, they emphasize hard skills and neglect soft skills. While it's important to know the technical aspects of performing a job to the best of one's abilities, it's also necessary to have interpersonal skills.
Soft skills are core individual competencies. They can be harder to define in some cases because there are so many different topics under soft skills to take into account. Some common examples include things like communication, listening and time management.
The Importance of Skills Training for Students with Disabilities
Every worker needs to master basic soft skills. Focusing on soft skills training objectives and a vocational skills list is especially important for everyone.
People with disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, often face greater challenges when it comes to connecting with others. This includes their colleagues and superiors, as well as the customers or clients with whom they might interact.
Without proper soft skills training, it can be very difficult for people with disabilities to find or retain their positions. It can also have a negative impact on their earning potential.
Top 10 Soft Skills for Employees
Before you can answer questions like, "how do you learn soft skills?" or start mastering how to teach soft skills, it helps to know which soft skills to focus on. Different companies elevate certain soft skills over others. In general, use the following as your top 10 employability soft skills checklist for in current and future hires:
1. Communication Skills
On most job resumes, “good communication skills” ranks #1 as a quality that businesses want their employees to excel in. The better employees are at communicating with their bosses, coworkers, and customers, the better able they'll be to continue performing their jobs.
2. Conflict Management
Conflict disrupts the culture, morale, and overall productivity of any workplace. The modern workplace in general is a complex place with a range of generations, technologies, skills, cultures, and opinions. Data suggests that more employees spend almost 3 hours per week dealing with some sort of conflict resolution. Good communication can greatly reduce the extensive time spent in conflict, which is why it comes first on the list.
3. Personal Productivity
Not everyone has this skill, but businesses would be significantly more productive if this were the case. Being internally motivated to do your job, and do it well, is an important soft skill for all employees to master. Time tracking apps and software like Microsoft’s habit tracker can help employees grow in this area.
No matter what kind of job you are hiring for, good problem-solving skills are a must. Students with disabilities may have a difficult time doing this on their own, but this is an opportunity for their coach, colleagues, or manager to step in. Team problem solving helps build a culture of teamwork and comradery.
5. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is part of problem solving, but also helps with strategy and assessing new ideas or opportunities. Employees need to be able to look at situations from multiple perspectives and find the right approach for handling each one.
Whether a learner has a disability or not, all employees must conduct themselves in a professional manner. The way employees dress, speak, and behave all reflect the company, especially at work. Professionalism is also important as it relates to written and verbal communication with both coworkers and clients.
7. Time Management
Some people with disabilities have trouble managing their time. They might get so caught up on a task and don’t realize how long they've been working on it. The better any employee gets at managing their time efficiently, the more productive their work week will be.
All workers, including those with disabilities, have the potential to be great leaders. They must learn to provide constructive feedback and clear direction while guiding and instructing others. For those who lack leadership skills or simply want to grow in it, leadership training is a great way to improve this soft skill.
9. Positive Attitude
A positive attitude is also an important part of any soft skills checklist. Workers who can turn negatives into positives and find the good in difficult situations will be rewarded. Negative or pessimistic attitudes can hurt morale and kill company culture. Keep things on the brightside!
10. Attention to Detail
Last, but certainly not least, on this soft skills list—attention to detail is crucial. From emailing to pitching to proposal writing, attention to detail is everything. Employees must learn to identify small but important details to make sure nothing gets overlooked.
Tips for Teaching Soft Skills
Part of mastering the skills needed to work with developmentally disabled people is figuring out the right way to teach soft skills. When it comes to coaching employees and putting together a soft skills training curriculum, the following can help you teach soft skills:
Role-playing is an effective tool for helping individuals with disabilities as they learn how to handle common workplace situations. This gives them an opportunity to learn to read facial expressions, figure out the right way to respond during difficult moments, and ensure that they're abiding by their training.
Activities to Teach Soft Skills
Consider using activities to improve soft skills in the workplace. We wrote a blog on tips for activity-based learning to help you navigate this recommendation. Check out the blog to learn more about how you can incorporate practical exercises that help your workforce improve their soft skills.
Create Opportunities to Practice
It's important for all workers, but especially those with disabilities, to have opportunities to practice their soft skills. The more chances employees have to put training into practice before being out in the field helps them fail in a safer environment.
Unbox Better Training Today
There's a lot to keep in mind when it comes to teaching soft skills for students with disabilities. Start by taking note of these guidelines, though. Remember them and it'll be much easier for you to help your students or these individuals you work with through the process of mastering soft skills for workplace success.
Traditional and Modern Approach of Training and Development
The one-size-fits-all method doesn’t work for everyone, especially those with disabilities. Off-the-shelf corporate training solutions are not always inclusive and can regularly fail to meet the specific needs of your company and individual employees. This method often lacks flexibility and customization.
The modern approach to training and development utilizes customized, actionable, employee-focused techniques. What are the specific needs of each employee, and how can we provide them with corporate learning solutions that work for them specifically?
Customized Corporate Training vs Off-The-Shelf Training
Custom training content, particularly through the creation of custom training videos, can ensure that your training efforts are successful and on brand. Personalized training solutions meet the needs of the modern learner without stretching your own resources too thin.
At Unboxed, we also offer a semi-customizable, turn-key training solution called ReadySet. Our off-the-shelf training takes a modern approach. High quality, sustainable, and action-oriented training for the business that needs training now. Ready. Set. Train.
Do you want to learn more about employee training solutions for learners of all abilities? If so, contact us today to learn more about our corporate training resources and services.
The start of every new year is a chance to revisit training goals and aspirations for the coming 12 months. How do you know what’s worth your investment?