For L&D leaders across industries, soft skills training is the most important goal. And it’s not without reason. Business needs change so quickly as a result of fast technological innovation, and talent shelf life continues to shrink as a result.
However, there is a gap between L&D departments’ and employees’ efforts. We discovered that convincing employees to make time for soft skills training is L&D executives’ biggest difficulty. Despite this, 94 percent of employees indicate that if there are opportunities for professional advancement, they are more inclined to stay at a business longer.
The issue isn’t getting employees to recognise the value of soft skills training. Rather, L&D executives should make professional development courses more easily accessible.
5 Key Traits to Target with Soft Skills Training
When hard skills are the major focus, it’s simple to measure abilities and relate them to a specific function in an organisation. We’re growing better at quantifying soft talents, but the calculating return on investment can be difficult. An excellent place to start is with qualitative comments. However, we should pay close attention to the relationship between soft skills training and team metrics, and employee retention.
Individual employees’ performance is improved by the following 5 soft skills. They also improve team and company performance.
Communication: How coworkers evaluate an individual’s capabilities and contributions to the organisation is primarily determined by written and vocal communication skills. When employees are able to communicate effectively, they appear more productive, and it is easier to form relationships and collaborate across the organisation.
Employees can’t become complacent with their present skill sets because market demands change so quickly.
Adaptability/Flexibility: Because market demands change so quickly, employees can’t become content with their existing skill sets. Recognizing the value of soft skills involves remaining adaptable, pivoting, and learning as roles change to keep businesses ahead of the pack.
Critical thinking: In the age of big data, organisations need to know that their staff can make sense of a plethora of data. Data is useless to a company if no one can extract useful insights from it. Employees that offer fresh perspectives and ideas to a company will be highly valued, regardless of any changes in the required hard skills.
Time Management: The barriers between work and personal life are blurring, and people are more distracted than ever before, preventing them from being fully engaged at work. Employees that are good at time management can provide value to a company by staying busy and coming up with fresh ideas that will help the firm grow.
Resolution of Disagreements: Even in the best work environments, conflicts arise on a daily basis. That is what occurs when individuals collaborate (whether they are good collaborators or not). Employees that are valuable have great dispute resolution skills and can discover ways to foster teamwork in any situation.
These are just a few examples of important soft skills that can boost team productivity and employee retention. It’s worth noting, though, that these (and other intangibles) are frequently assumed to be innate. People believe that they are either born communicators or they are not. They see other people who are good critical thinkers or problem solvers and believe they are better suited for different jobs.
Employees who receive soft skills training may be able to shift their professional development mentality. Even if a person isn’t born with a certain soft ability, it is feasible to learn it.