Why Soft Skills Development Should Be Your L&D Priority In 2022
While hard skills are undoubtedly the cornerstone for business success, there’s another very important area that requires equal attention and that is soft skills training. Hard skills are focused upon operations, processes and function, soft skills are character traits that employees need to possess to strengthen their overall performance.
Sadly, many organizations view these skills as innate and ones that cannot be developed.
However, that’s hardly true. Soft skills development require targeted training and development programs and organizations that have these, have definitely witnessed great results. As many as 93% of employers have said that they consider soft skills to be “very important” or “essential.” Not just that, more than half of employers feel that the dearth of both soft and technical skills has exacerbated over the years, and almost 30% of all job candidates do not have the correct soft skills.
Even though proficiency in soft skills has been an issue plaguing employers for some time now, the Great Resignation and ensuing vacancies have made this gap in skills even more visible. As an L&D professional, if you want to stay on top of employee efficiency, you have to ensure that your organization focusses on a soft skills training program.
Given that 2022 is just around the corner and a new year will likely come with new beginnings, this is the best time to consider investing in a soft skills training program, if you already don’t have one. Here are a few points to consider when you decide to go head.
- Gauging the Right Demographic
It’s true that every employee in every department and team requires soft skills. However, a more focused approach in terms of who exactly you wish to target can work much better. It’s okay if the answer to that question is, “we wish to target our entire workforce”.
But if you want to enhance the working of some specific areas of your business and decide on a proper budget for the program, then it helps to look at a precise target audience. This will help you understand your needs and how much you can spend on the exercise better.
- Undertaking a Needs Assessment
Every L&D program works best if there is a proper needs analysis to support it. This is even truer for a soft skills training program. A proper assessment is imperative to understand the gaps in soft skills especially since they are not related to a tangible business outcomes.
For instance, if your organization is experiencing a fall in its customer experience, it may not be easy to identify the exact cause. However, undertaking a needs assessment is a great way to help know what could be the base of the problem and what steps can be taken to solve it with a training program.
- Choosing the Right L&D Medium
There are myriad powerful ways to deliver training programs to employees. While it may be a bit tough to understand which works perfectly and pick the right one, that choice is important. The right L&D format is one of the main factors that can affect learner outcomes.
There can be a number of factors that you should consider before choosing what solution works for your learners. However, some of the key considerations can be agility, learner engagement and accessibility. Developing a learning solution that can be customized to the preferences of your learners will give you better outcomes.
- Looking at Sustainable Solutions
A soft skills training program cannot be a one-time experience. As soft skills will continue being an important pre-requisite in the foreseeable future, your organization needs to create a program that is sustainable.
So whatever solution you choose, it needs to be scalable and one that can be harnessed for a longer time by old as well as new employees. The solution also needs to be long term that can offer innovative soft skill proficiency to future proof the workforce.
As the corporate ecosystem continues to experience change, soft skill training should remain an integral part of your L&D strategy.
Plethora houses a comprehensive catalog of soft skill courses, and with the help of seasoned eLearning content experts, is able to custom build individual learning plans for employees. Since these courses are off-the-shelf eLearning courses, companies don’t have to invest time, cost and resources on their development. The courses can easily be procured and deployed for their workforce to consume.
To learn more about Plethora courses and view our curated plans, please get in touch here.