Designing User-Centric Soft Skills Training in the Era of Digital Transformation

Amit Gautam
Amit Gautam August 12, 2021
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In a highly competitive corporate landscape, if companies want to retain their best-performing employees, they need to offer them robust learning and development opportunities. Moreover, it’s not just digital or hard skills training that’s enough, there’s also a growing demand among the workforce for acquiring important soft skills like leadership, creativity, communication and negotiation to propel career progression.

What employees want?

Employees are increasingly looking at agile learning experiences in this era of digital transformation as they try to constantly and continuously upskill themselves. Since everyone is armed with digital devices, it’s easy to browse and look up for information at the point of need. It helps to transfer this digital approach to workplace learning too with the help of advanced technologies.

However, as a Deloitte report points out, employees have only 1% of a typical work week to focus on training and development. Naturally then, it’s important to make the most of this 1% by offering training, at the point of demand in the form of crisp and relevant learning content. Now, it’s upto L&D professionals to personalize soft skills learning content for learners and offer them access to courses at any point during the workday.

The question is how to design such learning experiences that make the learning journey interesting, accessible and engaging. Let’s explore some ways of achieving this by making the best use of digital transformation technologies to improve learner experience.

  • Personalized Content

With the help of advanced technologies, you can identify the type of content that is relevant to individual learners. Data like learning speed, time spent on learning etc can assist Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered learning systems to be more responsive to learning needs. Additionally, latest technologies can also measure how employees are sharing content and collaborating on it, what they think of it etc. This kind of collaborative learning is essential for development of important soft skills like language and communication.

  • Content Curation

Another way is to deploy the right, curated content through a consultative approach with the helpof a content provider that can offer competency-based course mapping for skill training. This can prove to be an effective model for aligning learning outcomes to competency requirements while reducing inefficiency in the organization.

  • Customized Learning Paths

After curated content, another method isadding learning paths that are designed around a focused outcome like plugging in skills gaps, upskilling high-performing individuals, achieving capabilities in IDPs, PIPs &Building Competency. These can be built to serve multiple levels of expertise, learning requirements and learner profiles and are not just a good-to-have feature, but a must-have especially at a time when soft skills training is an urgent need.

  • Mobile Learning

At a time when 89% of employees want training available anywhere and anytime and during the time of their need, it’s imperative to ensure that training content works very well on mobile devices. The flexibility of mobile learning removes the need for scheduling specific times and places for learning. Besides, with mobile learning, as employees get to choose from a wide range of instructional content on their devices, you get the assurance of learner adoption and engagement.

  • Bite-sized Content

There is no doubt that incorporating the latest digital technologiesgoes a long way to help encourage organization-wide learning that is crucial to meet soft skills training. After all, developing these skills is a must because they often open the doors to business success. It helps to use technologies like microlearning that make the content easier to digest because it’s delivered in small, bite-sized chunks for just-in-time support which makes the learning more accessible.

 

Takeaway

As today’s skill shift accelerates, it is essential that organizations enhance soft skill training initiatives for business longevity. Companies offering such training report positive impact on their workforce, including higher productivity and better results. However, it is necessary for L&D to design training programs keeping in mind the changing needs of learners in this era of digital transformation.