How to develop soft skills training for employees in the workplace
Did you know that soft skills training in the workplace can generate a high ROI? Or, that those who receive soft skills training opportunities can greatly increase their productivity?
To get specific, one study found that soft skills training could produce an ROI as high as 250%. Another study reported productivity increases of 12% for those who received soft skills training.
These statistics show that it’s not a waste of time and money to invest in soft skills training for employees—your employees and overall organization will benefit.
Professional soft skill development is also necessary for employees in all industries. So whether you’re in the finance, healthcare, or technology industries, teaching soft skills to employees is a valuable investment.
So, how do you teach soft skills in the workplace?
And, what are the top soft skills training topics to include in a soft skills training course?
If you’re wondering about these (or other) questions regarding workplace soft skills, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’re sharing how to teach soft skills to employees in the workplace. You’ll also learn about different types of soft skills training programs and the best way to deliver soft skills training to employees.
Keep scrolling to gain a greater understanding of how to improve soft skills in the workplace.
What are soft skills and why are they important?
Soft skills are non-tangible, non-technical skills needed for workplace success. Some of the most common and in-demand soft skills in the workplace include:
- Creative and critical thinking
These skills are vital for organizational success because they directly affect how effectively and efficiently an employee does their job. They also influence how well an employee interacts with colleagues and customers/clients.
However, it wasn’t until recently that many larger companies realized the value and importance of soft skills—hard skills and technical expertise often overshadowed soft skills.
But after extensively researching data from the past two decades, Google found that its most successful employees all possessed a large number of soft skills in addition to industry knowledge—the best employees have both soft and hard skills.
Soft skills are now in high demand, especially in team leaders, managers, and directors.
Fortunately, as an employer, you don’t need to hire entirely new staff. Instead, you can create soft skills training opportunities and start teaching soft skills to your employees.
The problem is that most companies aren’t sure how to conduct soft skills training for their managers and leaders.
How to teach soft skills in the workplace
Like hard skills, softs skills can be taught and learned. But you can’t expect your employees to grow and develop their soft skills without a well-thought-out training program.
Here are four steps you can take to start implementing soft skills training in the workplace.
Step #1: Identify employee skill gaps
The first step toward teaching soft skills to employees is to identify employee soft skill gaps.
Before training your employees in soft skills, you need to know which soft skills to focus on. Running a skills gap analysis will allow you to know which soft skills you most need to teach your employees.
Some of the ways you can identify skill gaps include:
- Using questionnaires or surveys
- Observing employees and examining their work
- Giving an assessment
- Talking to managers
If most of your employees have strong communication skills, you may want to provide training in another skill. But if a majority lack organizational skills, then this is a skill you’ll want to target.
At the end of your analysis, you may have a long list of potential soft skills that employees need training in. But you can’t train your employees in every skill and each team may need an emphasis on some soft skills over others.
Whittling down your list of skills is where step two comes in.
Step #2: Choose the top soft skills training topics
Once you know which soft skills your employees can improve in, you can go through the list and pick a few of them.
But you don’t want to simply pick a certain number of skills and move on to training. Instead, you want to choose the skills that are most necessary and beneficial for the specific team you’re training.
Are you planning to train your sales team, customer service team, or another team?
What soft skills do this particular team need to be more effective and successful?
Take time to think about who you’re training and what soft skills will benefit them the most. Each team is unique and will require different soft skills to succeed in their given roles and jobs.
You have limited time and can’t teach every skill simultaneously, so it’s essential to know where to focus your training. Knowing which skills to focus on will help you tailor your professional soft skill development program to suit the needs of each team.
Step #3: Create a soft skills training program
The preliminary steps of identifying skills gaps and choosing soft skills training topics are complete. Now, it’s time to create the actual training program.
But do you know how to conduct soft skills training in the workplace?
Or, what types of soft skills training programs are best for your employees?
Will a turn-key training solution or a custom training program be most effective?
Many employers don’t know how to improve soft skills in the workplace. They also aren’t sure what training modalities will truly drive learner engagement and retention.
To avoid the mistake of investing time and money in a training program that doesn’t get results, you’ll want to ensure your program includes:
- Contextualized and relevant content
- Compelling and engaging material
- Bite-sized learning modules
- Various learning modalities (e.g., games, micro-learning videos, etc.)
- Quizzes and assessments to assess learner behavior
- Opportunities to practice new skills and receive feedback
The goal of your program should be to deliver helpful content in a way that’s tailored to the modern learner—no more long PowerPoints or training videos. Many companies find that creating a new, custom training program is an excellent investment that ensures the training content is fresh and relevant.
Step #4: Deliver the training to your employees
We’ve reached the final step of the training process: deploying your soft skills training in the workplace.
However, most organizations are navigating a remote or hybrid workforce. As a result, it can be challenging to get and keep everyone on the same page with employees in many different locations.
So, how do you create a custom program and get it into the hands of your employees?
Whether your workforce is in-person, remote, or a hybrid of the two, the best way to deliver your training content is through an online learning management system (LMS)!
An LMS is an online learning platform packed with powerful features and tools to upskill your employees and empower your managers. With an LMS, you can:
- Create and deploy custom training programs
- Deliver training through various learning modalities
- Access content remotely
- Promote Skill Agility and continuous learning
- Track learner progress
- Receive real-time feedback and insights
An LMS, like Spoke, also integrates easily with other learning and HR platforms that you may already be using.
By investing in custom training and an LMS, you’ll make gaining new soft skills collaborative, interesting, fun.
Give employees soft skills training in the workplace today
Soft skills in the workplace are the non-tangible, often interpersonal skills that make someone successful in their day-to-day work. They’re the skills that allow an employee to:
- Work with others seamlessly
- Communicate effectively
- Handle client relationships professionally
- Think critically and creatively
Employees with refined soft skills are also often more productive than those without.
Soft skills aren’t less important than hard, technical skills—they’re complementary and necessary. And like technical skills, soft skills can be taught. However, many employers don’t know how to improve soft skills in the workplace.
The best way to upskill your employees and help them develop soft skills is through soft skills training opportunities. You can start teaching soft skills to employees by following these four steps:
- Identify soft skills gaps through a training gaps analysis
- Choose the specific soft skills training topics your teams need to be more successful
- Create a soft skills training program that delivers engaging, relevant content
- Deliver the training through an LMS
And if you want expert assistance creating and implementing a soft skills training program, you can always reach out to the professionals.
At Unboxed Training & Technology, we specialize in working with organizations to create and deploy custom training solutions. First, our team takes time to understand your business and employee needs. Then, they craft creative and engaging content that captures the learner’s attention and drives learner retention. And when you pair our custom solutions with Spoke LMS, you get a training program that allows you to continuously train employees and keep them on the cutting edge of your industry.
Connect with our team today to get a demo of our custom training programs.
Request a custom training demo to see what a difference having a custom training program can make.