TOP 5 soft skills training for employees

Ensuring your employees are equipped with the right soft skills can set them up for success in their roles. We’ll walk you through what soft skills are, why soft skills training is important for employees, and how you can create the right resources to keep up with their learning needs.

By Alexandra Hemmer on Jun 15th

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What is soft skills training?

Ever wondered what it means to train someone on soft skills?

Simply put, soft skills are a combination of abilities related to people and social situations rather than a person’s technical abilities. Some common examples of soft skills are relationship-building, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and leadership. Training your employees on soft skills like these can add immense value to your organization. We’ll cover the importance of soft skills training in more detail later.

Soft skills vs. hard skills

An explanation of soft skills wouldn’t be complete without a comparison to hard skills. Unlike soft skills, hard skills focus on a person’s technical abilities. Hard skills are usually trained and learned over time with consistent practice. They also tend to be specific to job functions. For example, coding, graphic design, and data analysis are all types of hard skills. Hard skills are also much easier to measure, like with a test or assignment, which also makes it easier to certify someone’s competency in them. In contrast, measuring soft skills is much more challenging since they have to do with unique personality traits and character.

Top 5 soft skills training for employees

As we briefly mentioned earlier, here are some of the most common soft skills in the workplace:

  1. Communication

    Good communication is beneficial for any role. It’s not just about speaking well and conveying your message clearly, but also about practicing active listening – listening intently to someone so you can respond meaningfully. Communication skills are key to healthy workplace relationships, whether with colleagues, potential clients, or existing customers.

  2. Negotiation

    Knowing how to negotiate well is important for roles that focus on reaching agreements and closing deals. Sales positions are a common example, where Account Executives may need to negotiate valuable contracts with prospective customers in order to reach a mutually beneficial deal.

  3. Presentation skills

    Delivering a successful presentation is about more than just having visually pleasing slides. It’s important to know how to articulate your key points in a way that keeps your audience engaged throughout the presentation, all while making sure they develop clear takeaways.

  4. Emotional intelligence

    Emotional intelligence (EQ) is about knowing how to manage your emotions as well as those of other people, which can play a major role in workplace interactions, especially in avoiding misunderstandings. The better you understand yourself and those around you, the better you’ll be able to manage your relationships.

  5. Critical thinking

    Thinking critically means being willing to analyze facts to form a sound judgment. Often, it also means, means second-guessing your opinions (and the opinions of others). This is particularly useful for making unbiased, and – therefore – professional decisions.

What are the benefits of soft skills training?

In an increasingly digital world, the demand for hard skills in the workplace is only going up. For example, without the ability to understand HTML and CSS, it’s impossible to become a professional coder. Because of this, it’s easy to overlook the value of soft skills in the workplace.

But soft skills can leave a positive impact that’s far from soft. In fact, soft skills can play a major role in the growth of your business and are also directly applicable to certain roles. Here are some examples of how soft skills training programs adds benefits for employees and the organization:

  • Higher employee retention

    Like all skills training programs, conducting soft skills training is a way of investing in your employees’ professional development. Not only does this show that your organization values its employees, but also ensures your current workforce is up to date with the latest skills needed to perform their roles — which can subsequently reduce your need for new hires.

  • Better customer service

    While good customer service starts with hiring the right people, training your team on relevant soft skills ensures everyone is aligned on standards. For example, it can ensure that all team members understand express empathy when resolving customer concerns over the phone. It can also ensure your team is equipped with the necessary listening skills to identify customer concerns in the first place. Ultimately, the right soft skills can set your customer service team up to deliver a consistent brand experience for your clients.

  • Better sales approach

    Negotiation and problem-solving skills key to a successful sales conversation with a prospective client. Training your sales team on these skills can set them up to identify pain points and respond accordingly. It also ensures your team is prepared to personalize their sales pitch to a prospective client’s unique background and needs.

How to learn soft skills online

Because soft skills can’t be easily measured and certified, the best way to equip your employees is by creating quick resources they can refer to on the job for tips and answers to their questions. For example, you could create a short how-to guide for customer service representatives that offers communication tips for handling customer concerns over the phone. You could even create a checklist for sales professionals to remind them of the various ways they can respond to pain points during a call with a prospective client.

Easygenerator can help you create all these resources and more. Using our Checklist and How-to creators, you can easily share your expertise with teammates and improve soft skills in the workplace. Our user-friendly authoring tool is built with subject matter experts, meaning you don’t need a background in instructional design to get started.

Resources are an engaging yet easily digestible way to meet your employees’ learning needs just in time. Learn more about how Easygenerator can help you coach your employees on soft skills by booking a demo.

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About the author

Alexandra Hemmer is a copywriter at Easygenerator. Originally from Singapore, she spent her higher education years in the U.S. where she kickstarted a career in content marketing and journalism. She currently resides in the Netherlands, embracing her Dutch-Indonesian roots.

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