For decades, businesses have struggled with the lack of soft skills in employees at all levels of the corporate hierarchy. This scenario applies to fresh hires, employees on the growth track, as well as senior management.

The lack of effective soft skills training in college and professional courses has nudged some businesses to invest in closing this gap themselves. Statistics indicate a growth in business spending on the soft skills training market, which is expected to grow from $25.8 billion in 2022 to $63.6 billion by 2030. 

However, soft skills, unlike domain skills, are more challenging to build. They need to be nurtured in a live environment, with practice and hands-on experience. This is where online learning, or eLearning, offers several advantages over traditional classroom lectures. 

In this blog, we deconstruct contemporary soft skill-building methods in a technology-led, sustainable training environment. 

Table of Contents:

What is Soft Skills Training?

Soft skills training refers to structured programs designed to empower workforces in the cultivation of professional attitudes, social skills, and characteristics, which drive effective business outcomes. 

A recent survey identified the top 10 emerging soft skills in demand at the workplace. In the top 25% wage bracket, strategic thinking emerged as the top soft skill in 65% of job advertisements for higher-paid roles. The other nine skills include negotiation, persuasion, presentation skills, critical thinking, mentoring, innovation, emotional intelligence, financial management, and resilience. 

Each soft skill can be further sliced into multiple skills. For example, emotional intelligence comprises aspects such as Self-awareness, Empathy, motivation, and Social skills, while critical thinking comprises Analysis, Evaluation, Deductive reasoning, and Synthesis. 

Also Read: Top 5 Tips on Reducing Turnover Rates with Complete Staffing Solutions!

How is eLearning Revolutionising Soft Skills Training 

Today, eLearning has evolved significantly with the growing adoption of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Gamification, and Robotic Automation.

Here’s a snapshot of how contemporary eLearning is adding more value to soft skills training. 

1. Enables Virtual Learning

One of the biggest advantages of eLearning is that businesses can do away with traditional infrastructure requirements such as conference room set-ups, facilitators, and logistics management. Workers can learn online from their mobile phones. Thus, they can log in anytime from wherever they are located.

This arrangement works well for traditional workforce set-ups, hybrid workforces, and remote workforces. Businesses can offer remote training programs across geographies and onboard new hires on their learning platforms from Day 1. This aspect reduces costs and efforts invested in soft skills training. 

2. Higher Engagement Levels 

Online training has the potential to make learning an interactive, accessible, and inclusive experience.

Instructors can create interactive course material that leverages the power of videos, audio representations, podcasts, eBooks, infographics, slides, live video sessions, and 3D models. Gamification, social learning, and collaborative projects can further enhance interactivity. 

3. Build Data-driven Learning Experiences 

A superior AI-powered Learning Management System (LMS) comes with in-built AI-based predictive analytics, which can forecast trends, and offer insights to instructors designing the content. 

Businesses can also access the learning patterns of team members, which modules are working well, and how future programs can be designed to bridge learning gaps. The progress of team members can be tracked every day, and training content can be designed accordingly. 

4. Personalized Training Paths

Working professionals have diverse roles and capabilities. Hence, standardized training programs are not effective in bridging all the gaps.

The use of eLearning has paved the way for personalized training paths, an opportunity where a team member’s soft skills training can be customized as per their specific needs. Personalization can drive higher engagement and boost learning effectiveness. 

5. 24/7 On-demand Training Access

Today, professionals seek flexibility in their learning journeys. In this regard, 24/7 access to a rich digital library of dedicated employee training resources allows professionals to learn as per their schedules and needs.

For instance, if a team member has to prepare for a challenging sales pitch, they can access videos or eBooks with relevant sales and negotiation content. This type of access makes the learning journey more relevant and accessible to real-time needs.  

6. Live Training Opportunities 

Hands-on experience is an important aspect of soft skills training. In traditional learning methods, for instance, facilitators may use role plays to simulate various workplace scenarios where soft skills are needed. 

However, this process is cumbersome to organize and costly to execute. The adoption of AR and VR in eLearning is addressing this challenge. A VR-based soft skills training cohort, comprising a select group of new managers based in 12 US locations, indicated that:

  • learners were 4X times faster to train than in a classroom
  • 275% more likely to apply skills learned after the training
  • 3.75X times more emotionally connected to content. 

Live simulations using AR/ VR technologies enable professionals to participate in potential work scenarios to enhance their skills. The setting of these environments can be changed to simulate a wide range of scenarios. Thus, professionals can keep practicing and enhancing their skills. 

Key Benefits of Soft Skills Online Training 

Online training delivers on three key business goals:

1. Scale Soft Skills Training Quickly 

Soft skills training can keep pace with the growth trajectory of the business. For instance, if a business is opening up a new division, expanding to a new geography, or bringing on contract workers, new content can be designed and deployed quickly and seamlessly with a state-of-the-art LMS. 

2. Cost-Effectiveness 

Businesses can save on costs by not hiring soft skills trainers, renting physical spaces for training sessions, and paying for travel and other expenses.

By leveraging a high-quality LMS, they can easily create, publish, and distribute learning resources. Live video guest lectures can be hosted online, and guests can log in from any location. 

3. Accessible Training

eLearning presents an opportunity to create accessible content that is inclusive and relevant to a wider audience. Content can be created in multiple languages. Accessibility features such as video captions, read-aloud, and adjustable fonts cater to workers with disabilities and learning challenges. 

Also Read: The Importance of Translation and Localization in Workforce Learning

The Takeaway 

Building soft skills is as important in workplace learning as domain and business skills. However, world-class soft skills cannot be built in a matter of a few sessions in a physical classroom. Soft skills training must be an ongoing, engaging process that offers workers opportunities for continuous practice.

Early investments in superior online training can help businesses identify key gaps and needs and build highly effective, data-driven training programs. This is an agile learning environment that businesses can cost-effectively build. 

If your business is looking to revamp its soft skills training strategy, consider partnering with Hurix Digital for its expertise in building superior tech-enabled frameworks for all your training needs. Our state-of-the-art Learning Management System is available both as a licensed version (one-time buy) and via a subscription model. 

Reach out to us to start a conversation and leverage our superior soft skills virtual training models for your business.