Many organizations focus on technical skills, productivity, and employee engagement but rarely do you see managers focusing on the soft skills of the employees. It is one skill that is taken for granted assuming it doesn’t have any effect on the employee’s performance. However, it affects various aspects of employee performance.
Communication skills which are one of the essential soft skills are necessary to help the employee to communicate his/her ideas. Leadership, problem-solving and interpersonal skills all play a huge role in shaping up an individual personality which shouldn’t be ignored. Once your employees become senior managers and leaders, soft skills are more needed than technical skills to manage a large team. Thus, soft skills should never be ignored. But, how do organizations actively build a strategy that helps the employees to improve their soft skills? Keep reading the article to know more.
1)Emphasize the importance:
You can’t just tell all your employees to develop their soft skills in a meeting and expect them to do the same because it doesn’t work that way. In a hectic work schedule, employees need some motivation to prioritize a task be it honing technical or soft skills. To give them that initial push, try to explain to them the importance of soft skills and how they can help them become better professionals. Showing them real-life explanations on how it helped great leaders to become good at what they do. In this way, you can instill the initial motivation in them.
2)Introspection is the key:
You cannot build a strategy to improve soft skills unless you know which soft skill you need to brush upon. So, before you start assigning courses, ask your employees to self introspect and identify which soft skills they are lacking. If not introspection, through feedback and peer-reviewing, you can get an idea of which skills your employees should improve.
These days with learning management systems like Performance Pro, you don’t need to worry about the employee location, timings, and training expenses. You can simply design a soft skills course, upload it in the software with minimal costs. You don’t either need a physical classroom or learning equipment. All you need is internet access and an electronic gadget to access the content. Learning management systems are not only accessible and affordable, but it also offers amazing features like gamification and other interactive elements.
4)Create opportunities for practical exposure:
Soft skills are not just learned through completing an online course, it needs real-time practice to master them. Give them more opportunities to test their soft skills through presentations, seminars, and various test drives. Outdoor treats offer a great environment for practicing soft skills like teamwork and collaboration etc. Give assignments to your employees which help them improve their problem-solving skills. However, if you’re operating your team online, branching scenarios and simulations in your LMS are a great way to boost soft skills.
It is very hard to master soft skills in a limited period and courses, you need lots of real-time practice because it demands a change in your personality and habits. So, the best way to make them learn the skill is by providing constant feedback which can help them improve. Constantly monitor the progress of your employees by assessing their communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, and collaboration skills at the workplace.
To wrap up, soft skills cannot be mastered just like any other skill as it needs more practical exposure. No matter how quickly you try to learn them it will take more time than you expect as it’s a slow process. Patience and dedication are the keys here, practice them actively over some time and you can see a significant change in your soft skills. We hope this article helps you to build a robust strategy to improve the soft skills of your employees.