How To Develop Soft Skill Courses For Corporate eLearning
Soft skills are specific abilities or traits that learners need in real world environments. In many instances, these skills offer individuals the opportunity to effectively manage their time, increase their productivity, and become an integral part of a team. Given the nature of these skills, they are often difficult to measure, which can make it challenging to cultivate them in eLearning settings, as you cannot quantify how well someone interacts with their peers or how successfully they can manage a team. However, there are some tips that can help you integrate soft skills online training into your eLearning experience.
Top 6 Soft Skills To Include In Corporate eLearning Programs
Regardless of the position a person holds or their job responsibilities, they need to be able to work well with their co-workers. They must be ready and willing to take and follow orders, as well as give them when they are fulfilling the leadership role. Otherwise, this person cannot be a productive member of the team and may be a liability instead of an asset within the organization.
Learners must have the ability to articulate their thoughts and express their ideas with precision. This applies to both written and verbal communication. Can they write a concise email that highlights the main points of the business strategy? Can they convey their concerns and questions effectively in a business meeting?
- Time Management.
This soft skill focuses on meeting deadlines, staying on-task, and setting priorities. Does the individual make the most of their work day, or are they constantly distracted by side tasks? When they are given an assignment, can they outline every step they must take to complete the task and how long it will take?
- Critical Analysis.
Critical analysis is all about collecting data and know how use that data to achieve the desired outcome. For example, if a learner is given a list of statistics, can they use that information to make an informed decision or do they have trouble processing the data? Do they have the skill to manage and manipulate data to make the most out of it and apply it in real world settings?
This is also referred to as personal growth and flexibility. It requires learners to identify their weaknesses, then strive to improve them and grow as an individual. They must be willing to learn and to adapt, to be lifelong learners who have a thirst for knowledge.
- Problem Solving.
Individuals who are adept at problem solving are able to view the problem from different angles and apply previously learned knowledge to arrive at a solution. Do they know how to resolve conflicts and overcome challenges that they face on a daily basis? Are they able to use lateral thinking to come up with a new approach to an old problem?
4 Tips To Enhance Employees' Soft Skills Through Corporate eLearning Programs
- Include interactive eLearning scenarios.
eLearning scenarios are one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal when developing soft skills online training experiences. They are interactive, engaging, and give your learners the opportunity to explore real world consequences without the risk. They are also given an example of the soft skill in action. For example, if you are trying to develop their teamwork skills, create an eLearning scenario that features a group of characters and various decisions the learner must make in order to lead them. The learner can get a firm grasp on how their actions and behaviors impact others, so that they can then alter undesirable behaviors and build the skill.
- Define measurable performance goals.
It’s true that soft skills are difficult to measure. However, you can set specific performance goals around the soft skills that can be measured. For example, a 20% increase in customer satisfaction would be a performance goal that centers on communication or customer service skills, both of which are soft skills. This is a quantifiable measurement that allows you to track the learner’s progress. If they fail to meet this number by the end of the quarter, then you may need to offer them additional support.
- Focus on one soft skill at a time.
Grouping a variety of different skill sets into one online training experience may seem like the ideal solution, but it typically produces lackluster results. In fact, it’s best to focus on just one specific soft skill at a time, so that you can give learners the chance to quickly and conveniently build the desired skill. For example, rather than spending an hour participating in simulations and reading numerous text blocks, make the online training course 5 minutes long and have it focused on a specific skill they need to develop. Use a variety of online tools and exercises so that they can explore the skills from many different angles and in different applications.
- Tie soft skills online training to real world applications.
Learners simply won’t be motivated to build their soft skills unless they know it will benefit them in the real world. More importantly, they need to able to use the skill in the real world after they have mastered it in the virtual learning environment. For this reason, it’s important to tie the soft skills online training to real world applications. Use eLearning scenarios, real world examples, and simulations to give them a clear idea of how and when they will be applying the knowledge they have learned.
Soft skills are life skills, and giving your learners the opportunity to build their self-confidence, boost their communication skills, and effectively collaborate with their colleagues can make a world of difference outside the virtual learning environment.
Now that you’ve learned tips on how to build soft skills, take a moment to read the article Active Learning In Online Training: What eLearning Professionals Should Know to learn how to integrate active learning into your online training course in order to increase your employees’ engagement, motivation, and performance levels.