For decades, hiring managers have looked through resumes and asked, “Does this candidate have the knowledge and experience to get the job done?” They actually need to be to asking a few more questions to identify the best-fit candidates for the job.
Employers used to rate candidacy primarily based on hard skills. These are specific, definable abilities that can be measured and proven, like typing speed or programming knowledge. These skills are admittedly essential, but business owners are now realizing that these skills aren’t enough to predict long term job success. An increasing body of research has shown that soft skills - characteristics like empathy, positivity, social skills, and drive - are critical for an effective workforce. These skills allow employees to thrive not only in the present, but to continue to grow as the demands of the job evolve.
At first glance, soft skills may seem like innate talents, but studies are now finding that training soft skills is entirely possible. Soft skills training courses and coaching are proven to have a moderate to strong impact on performance and a strong impact on individual career outcomes. Considering how costly training new employees can be, investing in soft skills training is a smart move for companies of all shapes and sizes.
How Soft Skills Training Solves Big Problems
While being able to run an IV is a necessary skill for an RN, communication and compassion are just as important to a successful nursing career. When those soft skills are in short supply, consumer and customer satisfaction drops rapidly. Soft skills training helps organizations achieve their missions by improving:
- Interpersonal skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Critical thinking
- Communication and presentation skills
- Negotiation abilities
- Business etiquette
- Leadership skills and
Because most people lack awareness of which areas they need to work on, self-awareness is one of the best soft skills to train for early on in a training program. Training in the areas above apply to most industries, but the exact soft skills required by each organization understandably varies. A sales rep may need more communication and negotiation training than an IT professional, for example. Before designing or purchasing a soft skills training course, consider what skills impact your organization the most.
Online Microlearning Makes Soft Skill Development Easy
Soft skills development tends to be less involved than developing hard skills; all that’s needed is a little time, reliable internet access, and a willing team. Most soft-skills training is conducted through digital learning platforms, allowing employees to complete training on their own schedule. Employees need not read through endless pages of dry material, either. Microlearning breaks information down into small, digestible learning elements, making it easier to pick up new skills quickly and without mental fatigue. The ease and convenience of online learning allows employers to improve the effectiveness of their team as painlessly as possible. As a bonus, soft skill training provides employees with the opportunity to develop the skills they may need for that next promotion!
Soft Skills Training is Good for Everyone
While soft skills training is a relatively new practice, it's a mutually beneficial investment to a business and its employees. For a business, adding soft skills courses to your employee training program helps to prevent common productivity killers like miscommunication, ineffective problem solving, and poor management of projects and time. Before hiring new talent, consider giving existing members of your team the coaching they need to deliver the results you both can be proud of. For employees, they're given the opportunity to validate or improve upon their soft skill abilities.
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