How Soft Skills Training Can Have a Big Impact on Your Workforce
Soft skills can be invaluable in a modern workplace. With employees having to adapt to new working situations, developing skills that allow them to flourish and thrive during a turbulent period is becoming more important than ever.
But it’s not just down to employees to equip themselves with these skills. Companies can play a more significant role in giving staff across their business dedicated soft skills training that can allow them to work more efficiently and have greater opportunities for collaboration. In this article, we’ll run through some of the ways in which soft skills training can be a powerful tool for businesses to use.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are non-technical skills and can be learned and honed by anyone. Unlike hard skills, skills that focus on specialist areas, soft skills focus on areas of development that allow an individual to perform well in the workplace.
The best thing about soft skills is that they can be applied in almost any role within any industry. Common soft skills are time management, creative thinking, leadership and adaptability.
Although a lot of people pick up these skills as they progress in their careers, you can speed up the process by offering dedicated training that covers the key soft skill areas. Although soft skills are less about technical training and more about understanding how to work effectively, they can be broken down and taught to employees in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
Is it worth investing in soft skills training?
The short answer is yes. Investing in soft skills training can immediately impact a company’s productivity, team morale, and overall revenue. Companies could be missing out on huge potential for growth, as one report found that soft skills were worth a whopping £88 billion to the UK economy and called for more attention to be directed towards this vital part of employee development.
Meanwhile, another study that looked at five companies found that the additional revenues generated following a soft skill training programme outweighed the programme’s costs by 250%.
It’s not just about the benefits though, as failing to invest properly in soft skills training could have a negative impact on your business in the long run. A detailed study by McKinsey found that the UK workforce is at risk of having over 10 million employees who are heavily underskilled in the areas of leadership, communication and decision making by 2030. It also pointed out how an under-investment in these areas could be a productivity ticking time bomb, as the productivity levels from British workers is at a serious risk of lagging even further behind those in other major countries in years to come.
What skills are best for each team member?
Each member of your team may benefit from training in specific soft skills areas. Although soft skills will be beneficial across the board, tailoring each training programme for sections of your workforce could give you the results you want more quickly.
Best soft skills – leadership and critical thinking
Although people in managerial positions already have a good grasp of leadership skills, it can always be worth investing in some extra leadership training. This can will equip them with the right knowledge that will allow them to move their team forward.
Bear in mind that it can take some time for managers to perfect their communication, leadership, and critical thinking skills. Instead of waiting for them to learn from experiences, get ahead of things so that they can get on the front foot and improve your workforce’s output quickly.
Best soft skills – communication and teamwork
Experienced staff who aren’t at management level but have a lot of responsibility within your business can benefit significantly from training and development in the area of communication. When working with colleagues, knowing how to flag issues and communicate productively can positively impact your whole organisation’s workflow.
Meanwhile, sharpening skills within teamwork can allow those employees to maximise their training in communication by applying it in a way that benefits every member of the team. You can even choose communication courses that are tailored to your industry to get the best results.
New Staff and Graduates
Best soft skills – adaptability and listening
The basic structure of the office went out of the window at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning those who are new to the workforce have had to adapt quickly. By working at home, they’ve had to learn more advanced digital skills faster and be more self-reliant, working without supervision.
Teaching new employees to your company skills around adaptability will help them to feel more focused and comfortable in their role. Furthermore, giving dedicated training around soft skills like listening will help to improve employees confidence and hopefully create a more ambitious and forward-thinking workforce. 91% of graduates say a lack of people skills hinders their potential to be a manager, so getting those skills down early will help them to rise within your company faster.
Rather than learning slowly on the job, employees who take part in soft skills training can quickly get the knowledge they need to work well in a new environment.
Training in soft skills can often be overlooked, but it can significantly impact your company and workforce. Explore our Workforce Training hub to find out more about how we can help upskill your team in this area and move your business forward.