In case you hadn’t heard, soft/power/human centred skills are the high value currency for employees today. With more and more standardised processes being outsourced or sped up by digital products, what drives organisational success today is people power.
So how can you ensure your people are prepared not just for day one of their work, but also engage in continual honing of their soft skills?
1) Give employees opportunities to practise skills in a low risk environment
Most organisations have mission critical situations, where the soft skills of their people are key to their success. Whether it’s closing a high-stakes sale, providing outstanding customer support or being an evangelist for your brand, soft skills such as empathy, diplomacy, active listening are all crucial to success.
In the past, we trusted that time and experience would teach employees how to navigate these high-stakes situations. Maybe they’d pick up a few tips and tricks from more experienced colleagues along the way too. But what if you need your people to hit the ground running? Maybe you’re low on resources or have scaled back to the essential elements of your business? Or maybe you’re scaling up fast and need everyone to bring their A-Game every day? How can you give employees an opportunity to practise their human-centred skills in a safe way that doesn’t risk impacting your business?
Traditional approaches might have been to bring in a training company or role-play team to address soft skills, or maybe you’ve even had training delivered remotely via Zoom or Teams. But these are occasional and can descend into learner passivity, lack of engagement and in the case of live role-play training - embarrassment!
If your business runs on the soft and interpersonal skills of your people, they need a reliable, repeatable way to practise, away from the pressure of on the job performance. They should have the choice to engage with realistic and impactful simulations to develop their skills in their own time, bringing in peer collaboration when they are ready.
2) Use next-gen learning tech to give employees meaningful and impactful soft skill training experiences
Live role-play training allows learners to try out different approaches to workplace situations and take on the perspectives of others. But these experiences shouldn’t be limited to a once-a-year workshop or a fuzzy Zoom meeting. Employees should have access to a range of on-demand, simulation based learning that they can jump into as and when they need to practise a particular skill set.
If your business is lucky enough to get an increase in high-profile customers contacting your sales team, maybe they’ll need to brush up on their negotiation skills, by navigating a conversation with an intelligent AI avatar.
Instead of sitting through another narrated D&I training presentation or webinar, what if your employees could step into the shoes of someone who is on the receiving end of biased or aggressive behaviour, and experience the situation from their point of view?
What if, rather than mandatory attendance at training, employees challenged themselves to better their soft skills, incentivised by gamified learning and peer-to-peer competition?
These things are possible right now with the next-generation of skills training platforms, where you put the power back into the hands of your learners and give them meaningful and memorable learning experiences.
Virti is the only all-in-one platform that can optimise the entire remote learner's journey.
If you've read this far, you're clearly interested in how innovative new tech can change the way your employees interact with learning.
Our award-winning learning platform empowers organisations like yours to create digital learning experiences that feel like real life.
3) Leverage objective data about learner performance to pinpoint areas of challenge
Experiential learning is known to be a powerful way to train people in soft skills, but what use is it if you can’t measure success?
The tricky thing in the past with soft skill training was it was assumed to lack objectivity. In person role play training relies heavily on facilitators or trainers to be on top of everything that's going on, and to provide consistent and meaningful feedback and guidance. It also hinges on the performance of the employee on that day, in that room. But remote, on-demand, simulation based training gives you data driven insights that humans aren't easily able to determine. This might be how often a learner engages with a particular simulation, where their attention is directed, or even what they said during an interactive conversation with an AI character. More objective data, over a longer period, will give you a clearer picture of how your employees are responding to your soft skill training and lets you connect it to their on-the-job performance.
More accurate data driven insights allow you to apportion your resources for developing new training or updating existing simulations to target the areas your learners need most. Being able to drill down into individual areas for development is key to retaining top talent - employees today are on the lookout for opportunities to grow professionally and develop new skills, so the more detail you can extract from their soft skills training, the more targeted you can be when helping them along this journey.
Look for ways to create a culture of continuous improvement, where employees challenge themselves to improve.
Employ innovative training tools with gamified/immersive training that will excite and motivate your people to push themselves further.
Support this culture with next-gen learning tech that gives you the tools and control to create the perfect simulation training for your industry.