What are soft skills? People skills, attitude, empathy, time management, conflict resolution, negotiation, networking, creative thinking, communication… a whole host of positive personality traits and behaviors.
Many believe that soft skills can only be taught in person since they are, at their core, interpersonal skills. However, with the right strategy, e-learning is not just possible but actually very well suited to delivering effective soft skills training. Here’s how…
Step 1: Assessment
How do you decide what soft skills training is needed by each employee? Create a list of soft skills needed for every job. Interview the employee and his or her reporting manager, and review the written job description. You then have a basic framework for the learning and development (L&D) needs for your different job profiles.
Step 2: Employee Assessment
Once you have a comprehensive list of soft skills on which you need to train your employees, it’s time to understand the needs of your employees. Develop interesting and engaging assessments for each soft skill. This could be a simple quiz. To increase participation and engagement, you could consider trying something more complex such as interactive case studies.
Step 3: Start the Training
The traditional model of soft skills training involves mentoring and in-person training. There are great benefits to this model, but the quality of delivery is unfortunately heavily dependent on the trainer.
To deliver results that last, create content that consistently holds the learner’s attention for an extended period of time. With a one-time focus on creating content that works for e-learning, you can deliver a consistent, dynamic, customized training experience via the digital medium.
To ensure the content you are delivering is on point, here are a few concepts you could consider incorporating into your e-learning modules.
It is hard to study soft skills at home, in addition to which online learners often find it hard to focus and absorb real knowledge over long periods through distractions and other priorities at home. Break the course into small modules of 10-20 minutes each.
Diverse e-learning tools
With soft skills, practice is key. While training should primarily be built around training videos, dialog-based stories and practice role plays, use other kinds of tools as well: prescribe books and articles; use chat rooms, digital group discussions, practice sessions and breakout rooms for social learning; increase interaction with polls and quizzes.
It’s important to keep in mind that social skills can only be truly imbibed through considerable interaction with real people. Assign practice as homework. You can also create weekly social groups getting together digitally to discuss the class.
Step 4: Continuous Assessment
Deliver micro-assessments at the end of each module to ensure that your learners are learning well. Consider a digital one-on-one assessment session with a trained instructor at the end of the course to confirm that the learning results have been achieved.
Assess, review and improve the course at every stage. Request continuous feedback to ensure that the course is going on track.
With Hornbill FX in your corner, you can create, maintain and analyze great online soft skills training content that works for your employees. Contact us today to discuss how to get started.