Learning trends

Soft Skills: Critical to the Success of Your Organization

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Soft Skills

Article 3 of 5
This article is the 3rd component of the qualitative study produced for CrossKnowledge* among a representative sample of its customers across 4 markets with different cultures and maturity levels in terms of distance training practices.
Study carried out by SpringVoice, a marketing research and strategy consultancy specializing in questions of positioning, understanding customers and purpose.

The modern workplace is always changing, and behavioral changes must keep pace. Effectiveness and performance directly affect the ability to collaborate as a team, practice effective time management, and improve interpersonal skills such as active listening. By helping today’s workers respond and adapt to new challenges, soft skills enhance and complement the technical knowledge gained from hard skills.

Soft skills are often associated with individual personalities and interpersonal skills

When acquired, soft skills help employees to:

The benefits of soft skills go beyond the individual

For managers, soft skills are crucial to help keep their teams motivated and achieve their objectives, fueled by more effective leadership and cohesion. The higher they move up the corporate ladder, the more people seem to want to improve their soft skills. They recognize their value as a key to professional achievement and success.

These positive perceptions show an acute awareness of the value of soft skills, and how they can transform an employee’s attitude towards their role at the company and within their team.

Behavioral change is more difficult to learn and takes more time

However, despite an enormous benefit, acquiring or improving soft skills is not necessarily an easy thing to do. The human and subjective element of these skills, based around long-term behavioral change, makes them more complex to learn, and even more difficult to measure.

I think by definition it’s hard to quantify the importance of soft skills. However, I just know that the most successful people are not the most intelligent or even the most hardworking – but the most effective at managing relationships

M, 30, Manager, UK.

There are a number of reasons for this:

To use a common analogy, learning soft skills is a marathon rather than a sprint. It requires practice, patience and endurance to arrive at a measurable result when acquiring these skills.

The right training methods can make all the difference

Because there are no shortcuts when it comes to soft skills, learners seek specific ways to help them develop and improve.

They need methods that allow them to:

The development of behavioral skills calls for genuine agility… and diversified formats

Training should encompass various formal and informal channels that are both active and passive. The methods must be interactive, encourage discussion and exchange of ideas, and benefit the entire workforce, while remaining individual and personalized at the learner’s level.

Digital learning, thanks to the flexibility that it can offer, seems to tick all the boxes when it comes to behavioral change through soft skills acquisition. It is the only method that can deliver real learning outcomes over the long term for the organization and the learner.

If you enjoyed this, continue on with the 4th article in our original research series!