We always try to make our customers think about the changing business market. From technology and AI to the demographics of our future workforce, HR has a lot to keep up with. As one of the most important aspects of HR, learning and training are no different. Today soft skills are becoming just as desirable, if not more so, than hard skills. Where once competencies and qualifications were the most sought after, it now seems that skills like creativity and problem solving are starting to take over.
Like most things in HR, the new demand for soft skills training programs is born out of changes in the workplace. Technology including automation and AI is changing job roles as we know them. With many processes and technical tasks now handled by technology, it’s actually soft skills that are beginning to make people stand out from machines and therefore each other. This doesn’t make hard skills obsolete, but a study by LinkedIn has shown that there has been a significant shift in the types of skills that are now being sought after by talented professionals.
Soft skills are also a source of competitive advantage for many businesses. Just as they are beginning to separate top talent from others in the talent pool, businesses that excel at things like problem solving and collaboration are beginning to stand out from competitors. These workplaces tend to be the ones ahead of the curve on all trends including diversity and inclusivity. They’re able to think outside the box, innovate quickly and act with more agility.
According to a study by Deloitte, soft skills will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030. The Manpower 2018 Talent Shortage Survey found that more than half of employers now rate communication skills as their most valued attributes. Collaboration and problem-solving were also close behind, showing a clear trend towards soft skills.
Of course, like many trends, not all businesses are prepared for the changing work environment. In fact, while many may now be recognising the advantage of soft skills training within the workplace, most simply aren’t equipped to be able to take on this change. By their nature, today’s workplaces are built with a reliance on hard skills. These are the skills that in-house recruiters scan for in CV’s, managers prioritise during the interview process and HR teams cater for in training and development programs.
You need an LMS that can be flexible and adaptive, in order to make sure your company is ready for the change towards soft skills and also to make sure you’re still developing the workforce you need, to succeed in the future. A superior learning management system like SuccessFactors can provide you with all the tools you need to start developing effective and engaging soft skills courses and make them an intrinsic part of your career development. Follow the steps below to get ahead of the trend by training your employees for soft skills.
You need to be able to keep up with the changing demands of the skills market, whether it’s to meet the soft skills requirements of today or a new trend of tomorrow. Ensure that your courses are offering the best in today’s work environments to stay ahead of the competition as well as to attract the top talent who are just as clued-up on the skills that sell as you are.
SuccessFactors Learning’s intuitive and versatile platform enables you to quickly and easily create courses that fit into strategic career development plans. HR teams and managers alike can collaborate on courses to provide insightful resources in less time than ever. Update and adapt existing courses with ease so you’re always providing the best material to help your employees truly grow and develop.
If you want to start nurturing soft skills within your current workforce then be aware that this change will be as unexpected for them as it is for you. Not all your employees will understand the importance or value of soft skills training, so you’ll need to make sure your learning materials are highly engaging. Utilising tools like gamification and a versatile range of media formats can help to make sure your content is engaging for a wide audience.
SuccessFactors Learning provides the tools you need to create a huge range of course materials, from step-by-step guides to videos and progress quizzes. You can blend formal and informal learning that includes certificate-based exams alongside rankings and polls to help build an engaging soft-skills learning culture.
Though nurturing a culture of learning soft-skills is essential for employees to adopt in your current workforce, it is also important that employees feel they have control over the skills they build and learn. Soft skills should be encouraged but optional. Giving employees control over their own learning enables them to have a say in shaping their own career within your company. With intuitive recommendations, you can suggest soft skills courses and highlight them in employee self-service portals.
A superior LMS like SuccessFactors can help you provide courses on communication and collaboration, but it’s the ability to implement and encourage peer-to-peer learning itself can help to ingrain skills like communication and collaboration into your work culture.
Employees can upload their own resources to create a diverse, more in-depth learning experience and share their own skills and training. This is perfect for soft skills training, where some employees may already show a natural flair for skills like communication or problem-solving.
You can also utilise internal social networks and link to communities and discussion forums to develop a culture of continual improvement and learning experience. As a bonus, these types of learning tools can also save your HR team’s significant time and money in developing or updating courses.
You can take soft skills employee training even more seriously with SuccessFactors by creating relevant courses and weaving them into specific career paths. Automated learning assignments based on certain criteria can make some soft skills a requirement in setting career paths depending on your company goals and needs. For example, you could make communication as an automated assignment for any employee moving onto a managerial role, however, collaboration as an automated assignment might be more suited for specific teams or departments.
Don’t forget that just like any new undertaking, you’ll want to keep an eye on the prise or any problems with developing soft skills within your workforce. SuccessFactors provides you with all the analytics you need, to monitor enrollment and completion rates for individual courses or specific skill sets to identify trends and patterns. Use the intuitive dashboards to adapt and change your strategy for continual improvement, whether it’s taking down courses altogether or updating them with more engaging content.
Soft skills training for employees is essential if you want to remain competitive, but there needs to be a balance between making them an entrenched part of your culture and creating truly engaging content that engages employees. You want to make sure that these skills are really taken on board, and then used and practised in everyday tasks to drive business success.
Contact us today to know how it could help you create the skills you need to succeed in the future.