Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 52

G L O B A L
O U T LO O K

CREATING AN AMAZING LEARNING EXPERIENCE:
TRAINING AND GAINING SOFT SKILLS
BY SUSAN SHEPPARD

From the time the term "soft skills"
was coined by the U.S. Army in 1972
as "important job-related skills that
involved little to no interaction with
machines," to today's workplace, soft
skills have typically taken a back seat to
hard skills in the workplace.
Fast forward 60 years and we find
that the information technology (IT)
community, along with training and
business experts, revived the term to
distinguish between the technical and
interpersonal skills needed on the job.
Today, the term soft skills is associated
with a person's ability to connect
to others on a personal level. These
skills include reading body language
and understanding and honoring
differences in personality types.
In the past, soft skills were considered an
inherent quality rather than something
that could be taught. Today, training for
soft skills is just as important as training
for hard skills.
WHY SOFT SKILLS MATTER
In today's technology and data-driven
world, children are taught hard skills
almost from birth; how often have
you've seen a toddler mesmerized by
an iPad? Unfortunately, focusing solely
on technology - which is intended
to bring us closer together - often
pushes us further apart. In today's techenabled world, texting, emailing and
browsing social media often replace
face-to-face communications.

| 52

Soft skills are harder to come by
when people rely on technology for
communication at such an early age.
But, developing soft skills is worth the
investment, as "someone with strong
soft skills will earn up to 15% more over
a lifetime," according to research report
"Backing Soft Skills." So, while both
types of skills are necessary, soft skills
can more greatly affect an employee's
capabilities related to job performance.

SOFT SKILLS CAN MORE
GREATLY AFFECT AN
EMPLOYEE'S CAPABILITIES
RELATED TO JOB
PERFORMANCE.

Employers will often train new
employees with the soft skills they want
to see on the job, rather than expecting
that a candidate automatically has
the behaviors needed for optimal job
performance. That's where professional
trainers can help: social skills,
communication skills, time management
and critical thinking skills are four
types of soft skills training commonly
requested by employers.
Organizations often seek employees
who can effectively communicate,
problem solve, work on a team, excel at
time management and show flexibility

in the workplace. These skills are in
demand across industries, especially
in sales and business development
positions. These types of positions
typically require a great deal of personal
interaction with clients and, often,
having strong communications skills can
make or break a deal.
Time management and productivity
are critical skills that still live in the
curriculum for technology solutions
training today. The evolution from
paper-based planners to cloud-based
training solutions still relies on skills
that emphasize the methodology and
psychology behind time management.
Global organizations are investing in
both soft skills research and training
for employees. In 2015, McDonald's
U.K. initiated a campaign to encourage
the investment in soft skills within
its company and among other
organizations in their nation. According
to the campaign research, by this year
"over half a million U.K. workers will
be significantly held back by a lack of
soft skills - an issue forecast to affect
all sectors."
TRAINING AND GAINING SOFT SKILLS
The bad news is that soft skills are not
necessarily inherent. The good news is
that soft skills can be successfully trained.
One example of this is the following
case study of a pharma company,
which illustrates how using soft skills
and interactive resources during



Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019

Understanding the Learner
Table of Contents
Helping People Flourish Through Great Leadership
Smart Learning Design: How Brain Science Can Impact Learning Design
Meet Today's Learner
Indoctrinate, Embrace and Measure!
The Importance of Diversity of Thought
Training Myths That Won't Go Away
What Does Personality Have to Do With It Anyway?
Back to Psychology Basics: How to Keep Your Learners Engaged
Becoming an Effective Learner in the Age of Digital Evolution
4 Keys to Making Content More Consumable for the Just-in-Time Learner
The Four Dimensions of Character Fitness and How They Grow Leadership Agility
The Human Factor
Accountability in Teams: Changing Perceptions and Moving Toward Implementation
Deloitte's Journey to Gamifying Onboarding for New Analysts
Creating an Amazing Learning Experience: Training and Gaining Soft Skills
Create Effective Adaptive Learning For Your Learners
6 Keys to Understanding Your Learners' Environment
Creating a Continuous Learning Culture
Emerald Group Acquisitions Create a Portfolio of Learning Businesses
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover1
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover2
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Understanding the Learner
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 6
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Helping People Flourish Through Great Leadership
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Smart Learning Design: How Brain Science Can Impact Learning Design
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Meet Today's Learner
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Indoctrinate, Embrace and Measure!
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - The Importance of Diversity of Thought
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 17
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 18
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Training Myths That Won't Go Away
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 22
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - What Does Personality Have to Do With It Anyway?
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 26
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Back to Psychology Basics: How to Keep Your Learners Engaged
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Becoming an Effective Learner in the Age of Digital Evolution
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 4 Keys to Making Content More Consumable for the Just-in-Time Learner
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 38
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - The Four Dimensions of Character Fitness and How They Grow Leadership Agility
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - The Human Factor
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 44
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Accountability in Teams: Changing Perceptions and Moving Toward Implementation
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Deloitte's Journey to Gamifying Onboarding for New Analysts
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Creating an Amazing Learning Experience: Training and Gaining Soft Skills
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 53
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 55
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Create Effective Adaptive Learning For Your Learners
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 58
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 6 Keys to Understanding Your Learners' Environment
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 60
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Creating a Continuous Learning Culture
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Emerald Group Acquisitions Create a Portfolio of Learning Businesses
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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