Making the case for soft skills training in corporate training curriculums…
For years soft skills, such as teaming, problem-solving, and communication took a back seat to hard skills, the knowledge and technical skills needed to perform a specific job, such as computer skills, accounting, or research analysis. No more. Recent studies reveal that business leaders see a huge soft skills gap in their organizations and it’s hurting productivity, increasing turnover, and impacting the bottom line. Millennials are being hired in with many of the hard skills needed but are seriously lacking in the soft ones. Corporate training functions need to step in to fill the gap by providing a soft skills training curriculum to their employees. While it is easier to train a new hire in a particular hard skill, it is more difficult to train a soft, interpersonal skill.
The importance of soft skill training: How can soft skills training help organizations improve the bottom line?
Over the years the demand for tech-savvy employees in the workplace drove an emphasis on technical skills development and instruction. Skills like data security, data analysis, database management, and mobile and web development have been in high demand. Soft skills training topics such as feedback, mentoring, facilitation, planning and prioritizing were undervalued. Business leaders noted that this shift in emphasis resulted in business goals being met in the short term but caused a lack of employee engagement and self-management that led to a decline in productivity over the long term. A key reason for this decline is that soft skills facilitate an environment in which employees can communicate, collaborate, create and think critically. Employees feel valued and recognized for their contributions. In short, employees do their best work when soft skills are fostered throughout an organization.
Soft skills are developed over time through on-the-job learning and mentoring combined with and face-to-face soft skills training courses. Online soft skills training is best combined with classroom application and feedback for best results. Learning and development professionals often offer onboarding training programs that focus on soft skills considered essential within their organization.
While the ‘tug of war’ between the value of soft skills versus hard skills in the workplace may shift in either direction at any given time, it is clear that both skill sets are essential for any organization to thrive in today’s business world.
Getting it done: Finding a soft skills corporate training partner
Designing and training up-to-date soft skills courses can be challenging and time-consuming. Having a corporate soft skills training partner can ease that burden. The Training Clinic has over 30 years of experience helping clients achieve success with practical and useful soft skills training, tailored to meet the needs of the organization.
We offer workshops that cover a full range of soft skills training topics including communication, interpersonal, self-management, supervisory, management and customer service soft skills training.
Our content and delivery philosophy focuses on:
• Modeling contemporary design and facilitation of learning.
• Practical and useful soft skills training materials.
• Soft skills training activities that spark learning by doing, not just by listening.
• Workshop exercises and case studies that are customized to the client's industry, typically at no additional charge to the client.
• Asking participants to work on real work situations and issues and to develop action plans and materials to use on the job the very next day.
We also offer professional services to support your soft skills training efforts including custom instructional design, re-design or coaching, as well as on-site instruction coaching.
Closing the soft skills gap
Today more than ever, organizations with employees who demonstrate strong soft skills have the cutting edge to compete in the marketplace. The Training Clinic is the trusted partner of choice for soft skills training by learning and development professionals worldwide. We provide practical and useful interpersonal skills development to help employees engage and sustain productivity. Above all, we want to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for interpersonal and self-management to help individuals improve performance and help organizations close the skill gap!
Maria Chilcote & Melissa Smith
The Training Clinic