According to a study by LinkedIn, 59% of 291 hiring managers surveyed believe that developing soft-skills using eLearning is difficult. With ‘Communication’ topping the list, ‘Teamwork’, ‘Social Skills’, and ‘Interpersonal Communication’ were among the Top 10 Most In-Demand Soft Skills recorded.
Soft skills prepare your workforce for the long-term success of your organization. After all, almost every job requires employees to engage with others, either inside or outside of your organization. It helps build a positive work culture, reduces friction, and increases employee satisfaction.
With young employees being more accustomed to texting than talking, they often seem to fall short on interpersonal abilities. But training is inevitable. However, preparing to train your workforce for this particular skill-set, is going to be a little different as compared to hard-skills training. Especially in terms of the approach and the implementation.
What Makes Soft-Skills Training a Challenge
Hard-skills are technical abilities that are job-specific. They can be acquired from education, certifications, training and work experience. These skills can be taught, are measurable, and have the ability to be tested through exams and practical assignments.
On the other hand, Soft-skills are not as specialized. These attributes are more general in nature and focus mainly on a person’s ability to communicate.
Truth be told, the ‘change’ you’re looking to make with this kind of training, is a very personal one. The real challenge here is to make your workforce aware of their ‘softer’ shortcomings and the importance of working on them. Unless you get them to take initiative at a personal level, there’s only so much you can do.
How to Prep Your LearnDash LMS for Soft-Skills eLearning
There are two critical parts of any training program. The ‘Implementation’, and the ‘Evaluation’.
Unlike otherwise, a couple of relevant courses or certifications during the initial phase of training won’t do the job. You’ll need to incorporate subtle and effective exercises consistently for a long period of time, even after an employee’s formal training is complete.
The reason is pretty straight-forward. As I mentioned earlier, soft-skills are to be developed and not learned.
The second tier of this training program is, of course, measuring the outcome of your training efforts to gradually improve and streamline the program.
So, without further ado, let’s discuss how to get your LearnDash LMS to comply with your training needs.
#1 Set Measurable Goals
Tracking progress and measuring outcomes often seems like something that comes after. However, setting a goal helps you focus your efforts in the right direction.
You can use your LearnDash system to set performance-based metrics that allow managers and supervisors to assign milestones and observe progress.
Key performance indicators include:
- Reduction in dissatisfied customers who received technical support
- Reduction in time spent in meetings
- Improved client retention rates
- Better workplace communication and a higher level of employee engagement
- Increase in the number of times that managers provide positive feedback
- Increase in sales of a specific product line
Keeping a track of these indicators enables you to see which soft skills are being used at the job. It’ll also give you solid data on how you can personalize your training activities for certain job profiles.
#2 Use Audio, Video and Interactive Content
Since LearnDash is built on WordPress, you can count on the flexibility of your LMS.
When it comes to videos, you have two options. You can either Self-Host your video content using the built-in file uploader in WordPress, or you can upload your video file to a third-party video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo.
Similarly, in the case of an audio file, you can upload your .mp3, .m4a, .ogg, or .wav files to your WordPress media library and directly insert the file into your course. Or, you can upload these files on SoundCloud, which is basically like Youtube for audio.
As for your content delivery strategy, you can get extremely creative with it.
Interactive training is one of the most effective ways to coach your workforce on soft-skills. You can roll out interactive quizzes, adaptive content based on your trainee’s performance, mock client calls, and even presentations; all of which your LearnDash system can help you with.
#3 Implement Micro-learning?
Do you really want to take the traditional fire hose approach to training, where learners are flooded with more information than they can absorb at one time?
An ideal soft-skills eLearning module would place the maximum focus on practical on-ground activities. In that case, minimizing the time spent on theoretical learning becomes the norm.
The single concept learning or “thin-slicing” approach, suggests that due to short attention spans, each eLearning involvement should include a single topic at a time.
How do make that happen? That’s right. You take to a micro-learning strategy wherein you provide your employees with short consumable content.
Diving your training into bite-sized pieces will help you easily integrate little nuggets of information into the day-to-day activities of your employees. For instance, you could have a post-training email campaign that gives your learners their daily pill of soft-skills knowledge.
#4 Use Gamification
Gamified learning modules expect learners to think rapidly and utilize rationale so as to deal with upcoming issues. This helps learners develop basic leadership skills as well as the necessary administration aptitudes.
Gamification primarily helps enhance key reasoning, empathy or the development of analytical and communicative skills, among your trainees. Another awesome thing is that it helps produce measurable results and gives instant access to performance feedback.
By implementing a reward-based system on LearnDash for a specific set of activities, you can encourage employees to perform predefined tasks in an orderly fashion. Even if you’re using a basic gaming component like a leader-board, the users immediately know where they stand among their peers.
Besides, how frequently do you find your young employees playing Pokemon Go, PUBG, or Fortnite at work? A little too often, right? That right there is all the more reason to gamify your soft-skills eLearning modules.
#5 Create Group-Based Learning Programs
As I mentioned earlier, the best way to help your trainees improve their soft-skills is to give them the maximum opportunity to implement what they’ve learned. Group-based learning programs are extremely effective, especially when you’re looking to build a collaborative learning environment.
Your group-based training program could include everything from fun team-building activities and on-going discussions to regular interaction with colleagues on your LMS.
The eLumine theme for LearnDash will help you integrate a number of awesome features onto your existing platform. It lets your learners access all the necessary information (their profile, achievements, courses, groups, messages, and notifications) from a single interface.
It provides subtle yet effective nudges that encourage your employees to participate.
#6 Give Continuous Feedback
Communication is important, and so is feedback. Helping your employees improve their soft-skills is more of a hands-on process.
You need to bring in a culture of collaboration where colleagues share constructive feedback with each other. This type of assessment can be in the form of peer evaluation, feedback from the immediate supervisor or trainer, subordinates, or even external stakeholders like customers, vendors, and mentors.
Needless to say, digitizing as much of the process as you can with the help of your LMS will help take a significant chunk of weight off your shoulders.
The Ratings, Reviews, and Feedback for LearnDash offers all the basic feedback features you need for your online courses. But if you’re looking to innovate with features like anonymous feedback, surveys with MCQs, and the like, you can always customize your LearnDash LMS.
There is no denying that employees with good soft skills are an asset to the company. With a good soft-skills eLearning program in place, you can expect an increase in business productivity and an improvement in workforce collaboration.
The best part about using LearnDash for this kind of training (apart from the fact that it’s completely customizable) is that not just your training costs, but even your development costs will be significantly smaller. If you have the budget or are looking for professional assistance, you can always reach out to our team of LearnDash Development Experts for help on that front.
The ball’s in your court now. All you have to do next is develop a rock-solid soft-skills training plan. Once you have your strategy figured out, the way forward is to bring you LMS up to speed.