Business Leaders and Soft Skills Training?
Can I really maximize my succession plans and develop my staff through soft skills training? Answer: Yes – and there are shortcuts!
Lets define Soft Skills first: Soft skills is a sociological term which refers to the cluster of personality traits, social graces, facility with language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that mark people to varying degrees. Soft skills complement hard skills, which are the technical requirements of a job.
Soft skills are important to the success of any organization, particulary those who deal with customers face to face. Those organizations are much more successful if their staff have some soft skills training under their belt. This is the reason that soft skills training programs are sought after by business leaders.
Okay so that’s all well and fine, but how do I get my hands on business leadership training or soft skills training? Well, some of the answers lie with you as a business leader. Some options are developing your own training program from scratch, outsourcing the training to a training firm, going the online training route which is popular today but quite ineffective compared to instructor led training, or you can combine several of these.
A best practice suggestion for soft skills training: Purchase a customizable or editable training materials program and then reformat the content to fit your organization or teams need. You can purchase off the shelf courseware very easy from the internet and begin to immediate build a custom soft skills or business leadership training program using it.
How does this benefit you “the business leader”? It will save you months and even years of development time. The average development guide (in general) for an experienced instructional or training designer is 8 hours of development time for 1 hour of course instruction. That does not include preparation time to put the materials together, accompanied materials such as instructor guide, student guide, handouts, ice-breakers, pre-assignments, test development, etc.. – Oh and that’s just to develop the materials to be covered. Another benefit is the ease of implementation. You can roll out a business leadership training or soft skills program very easily when you already have the materials, outlines and timelines in hand.
Ensure it’s a trusted source and that they will give you a free sample (at the very least) of their training content. You will want to know that you can take what you get and run with it immediately so that you may start to develop your staff or organization for those critical person to person skills they need for your success. Some organizations take too long to develop and by the time it’s ready to implement the timing is not right, or the issues have changed. Reducing your development time (especially if you don’t have a professional training designer or trainer on staff) is crucial to the success of your business unit or company. Even most corporate trainers will tell you that using off the shelf courseware is a fantastic alternative to “from scratch training development”.
Successful business leaders understand the importance of soft skills training and employee development, especially in the leadership arena. They also know that their time is valuable and that budgets sometimes don’t allow for everyone to attend that $1500 seminar on how to increase moral and productivity. Investing in off the shelf soft skills training courseware is a no brainer for effective business leaders, trainers, human resource representatives and anyone who is involved with organizational growth and development.