Soft skills are essential in the workplace. But how do you offer effective soft skills training to large groups without spending a fortune? And what if you need to train employees spread out over multiple locations? The answer is e-learning.
That’s right: Online learning is an effective way to teach soft skills within organizations. With the right approach, your e-learning program is just as effective as face-to-face training – even when you’re teaching so-called “people skills.” This article explains why.
For some people, working in teams doesn’t come naturally. Others struggle with time management or personal productivity. Fortunately, these are all skills that people can learn. The solution is soft skills training.
This relatively new area of learning and development (L&D) focuses on “people skills” and personal management skills. We all need soft skills to do our jobs. Some common soft skills training topics for the workplace are:
These are just some of the best soft skills training topics but the list goes on. It’s easy to see why so many companies of all sizes embrace soft skills training for their teams. Imagine how much easier it is to work in a team where everyone understands conflict management and interpersonal communication, for example. And how much more your employees can achieve with a well-trained service mentality and solid time management skills.
Digital culture is such a huge part of daily life now. New technologies make online experiences more and more lifelike. Think of how instant messaging, social media, and online shopping now blur the boundary between online and offline.
The exact same applies to e-learning. There are many benefits of e-learning for employees. And the right e-learning platform gives your learners an interactive, engaging training experience that’s just as meaningful as in-person training. But the emphasis here is on the “right” platform. Choose your approach wisely, and watch those soft skills grow within your organization.
Get expert tips for a smooth transition from classroom training to digital learning.
Here are three ideas for using e-learning to meet your company’s soft skills training needs.
Modern e-learning platforms let you create rich, immersive learning modules. This turns topics like conflict resolution and interpersonal communications into interactive, scenario-based learning activities:
This approach encourages employees to imagine real-life situations. By responding to realistic scenarios, they learn by doing. Practicing soft skills this way in a low-pressure e-learning environment helps learners internalize useful skills and establish good habits.
Make sure that the scenarios you present are realistic. They should apply specifically to the employee’s work situation. Add details that evoke the employee’s real-life workplace.
Soft skills are all about developing better habits. This is a gradual process. It takes frequent reminders or “nudges” to get people moving in the right direction on their soft skills.
Microlearning is a useful e-learning tool for serving small nuggets of useful information to your learners. It can be offered in the form of push notifications from your mobile e-learning platform, or as small training modules that cover a single, bite-sized lesson each day.
Use microlearning for topics like stress management, time management or company culture. These topics can be broken down into small nuggets that you provide gradually to your learners over time. Try thinking of tips or life hacks that can be used to promote the right kinds of behavior within your company.
Microlearning is effective because it prevents information overload. Spreading out the knowledge achieves much more than trying to pile on loads of information all at once.
Be sure to make all your microlearning content available on-demand. Since the modules are bite-sized, they are ideal for repeat viewing and sharing. Learners will enjoy referring back to tips they found useful.
Many soft skills, such as interpersonal communication, teamwork, customer service mentality, and company culture involve complex emotional situations. Video is a great format for demonstrating knowledge and skills in action.
Bring your online soft skills training to life with videos containing dialogue, facial expressions, and reenactments.
Video is a far more immersive training material than text alone. It captures the viewer’s imagination by appealing to multiple senses at once.
With video, you show soft skills in action. This is more engaging for the viewer because instead of “telling” them what to do, you are “showing” them. They learn more instinctively this way.
To get the most out of video training, focus on people. After all, soft skills are people skills. If possible, ask real team members to participate in the videos. For example, film interviews of real employees in which you ask them what company culture means to them.
This adds realism to the training. By making it personal, you increase the emotional impact. That makes the material more likely to stick.
E-learning is more interactive than classroom training. It also has a much broader reach. You can make it available via the cloud to learners throughout your organization. Best of all, learners can access the content on-demand at the times when it matters most to them.
Now, you can reap all the benefits of e-learning for your soft skills training too. Try applying the tips above and see how e-learning enriches soft skills at your organization.