7 Soft Skills Your Online Training Program Should Focus On
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7 Soft Skills To Focus On In Online Training

Soft skills pertain to relationships, communication, teambuilding, and any other ability that deals with human interaction. This is in contrast to a technical or hard skill, which deals with job-related tasks and talents. For example, active listening is a soft skill, while learning how to troubleshoot a tech issue is a hard skill. As a general rule, soft skills are more challenging to facilitate in online training, as it is difficult to measure an employee’s progress and gauge their proficiency. However, they are crucial for workplace success. Here are 7 must-have soft skills and tips on how to incorporate them into your online training program.

1. Teamwork

Employees must be able to get along with their coworkers, and follow as well as lead. This involves teamwork and collaboration skills, which can be cultivated by integrating online group projects into your online training program. Social learning activities are highly effective teamwork tools. Use online forums, social media pages, and other online networking platforms to give your employees a place to share eLearning feedback and work toward a common goal.

2. Communication

Communication is the key that unlocks doors, especially in the corporate world. It gives employees the ability to resolve conflicts or diffuse them before they even begin, empathize with their peers, and interact with customers effectively. Communication consists of a variety of secondary skills, like active listening, problem solving, and collaboration. To facilitate this essential soft skill in your online training program, include branching scenarios and online training simulations that are character-based. This gives employees the chance to study body language and interact with different personas. Opt for an eLearning authoring tool with a built-in asset library, so that you can develop and enrich your branching scenarios and online training simulations with featured characters, images, text, audio, and much more.

3. Problem Solving

Problem solving is actually a trio of skills, which includes creativity, reasoning, and lateral thinking. Employees must be able to think of new and innovative approaches to a problem, even if the approach may go against the status quo. Serious games are a great way to foster problem-solving skills in your online training strategy. They also feature eLearning badges, points, and other game mechanics, thus motivating and inspiring employees to give their all. The first step in designing a serious game for online training is to identify your learning goals and objectives, then create a plot that focuses on a problem, challenge, or obstacle.

4. Time Management

Time management is also closely related to organization and, to some degree, a stronger work ethic. Employees who can manage their time effectively are typically more productive and have a higher degree of mental clarity. They are able to concentrate on the task and make the most of their resources, because they have every step planned in advance. These individuals are also able to create detailed schedules and keep their team on track. To help your employees build their time management skills, encourage them to set their own online training paths, and reach milestones. Ensure that your corporate learners meet their deadlines, track their progress through your LMS, and dedicate time to analyze the work habits and behaviors after the fact. Chances are, they’ll find ways to save time and improve their organization skills as they gain more experience.

5. Adaptability/Flexibility

The needs of your company are constantly evolving and changing. Your employees need to be able to change right along with it. This requires adaptability and flexibility. It’s important to give your corporate learners the tools and online training resources they need so that they can use them in a wide range of situations. To achieve this, include online training simulations, branching scenarios, and online demo videos that equip them with targeted knowledge. Provide them with real-world stories and case studies that emphasize the applications of what they’ve learned. Make sure that your online training content is relevant, so that employees have a clear idea of how they can use the information in the workplace.

6. Project Management/Leadership

I covered teamwork earlier in the list, but let’s take it a step further by adding Project Management and leadership, too. Project Management is a much broader scope, as employees must have the ability to handle every aspect of the process and every role that’s involved. In some cases, they may need to play the part of a subordinate, and in others they must serve as the leader of their team. Therefore, they need to possess a wide range of skill sets in order to take on every task and get the job done. If a coworker is out sick, they’ll have to fill the position. If a member of their team isn’t able to stay on task, they must effectively communicate with them and use their problem-solving skills. Encourage employees to break off into groups to create online presentations, online demo videos, and blogs that center on a specific topic. Set some guidelines to ensure that everyone gets their say and that they stay on task.

7. Decision Making

Some decisions are more difficult than others. However, your corporate learners need to make the right choice and predict all possible outcomes in order to succeed. Branching scenarios are the most effective way to foster decision-making skills. It gives corporate learners the chance to explore the repercussions of their actions and decisions without any risk or judgment. They can come up with new solutions to common challenges and innovative strategies that can help them on the job. Make certain that you include some degree of pressure in order to mimic real-world situations.

Soft skills in online training provide your corporate learners with the building blocks they need to pave the way to success. No matter what position they fill or how far they advance up the corporate ladder, these soft skills will serve them well and allow them to reach their true potential.

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