5 Soft Skills Every Training Program Should Include

As a human resources (HR) professional, you’ve likely created processes to quantify candidates’ skills required for a specific position. You’ve sorted through applications, interviewed the top candidates, and extended the job offer. Once the candidate is onboarded, though, it’s up to you to reinforce the soft skills that will help him or her acclimate to the organizational culture and make them a valuable team member.

Unlike hard skills—specific abilities like typing, understanding of a foreign language, or software program proficiency—soft skills are not as easy to define. These proficiencies are more natural, stemming from personal attributes and directly impacting the way one relates to others. While some people are more naturally inclined to certain soft skills, these areas can be developed. That’s why HR training programs are the perfect opportunity to hone the soft skills needed to thrive in the organization and equip new hires (or even refresh long-term employees) for success.

Here are five soft skills every training program should include:

1. Communication

Communication skills lay the foundation for teamwork, regardless of industry. On any rung of the professional hierarchy, each employee must be able to clearly articulate motivation behind decisions and successfully persuade coworkers to adopt the same decision. Team decisions can be reached much more quickly when each member communicates clearly and effectively, from pitching proposals to writing a clear and concise email.

2. Teamwork

Whether striving to meet the organizational mission or racing against the clock to reach a team deadline, employees need to have basic teamwork skills. These abilities range from conflict resolution to relationship building and management. Empowering employees to be the best team member they can be will increase efficiency and create a culture of collaboration.

3. Time Management

Time management encompasses organizational skills, punctuality, and motivation. Believe it or not, these skills are often what separate the good employees from the great ones. Training employees on the invaluable skill of timeliness at the time of hire will save you something important in the long run: more time.

4. Problem Solving

Did you know that being able to identify a problem can be almost as important as solving it? Employees who feel a sense of ownership over their position, department, and organization will be more likely to pinpoint problems. Additionally, these employees are more motivated to find a solution. And how will they do this? By exercising communication, teamwork, and time management skills, of course.

5. Leadership

Don’t save the leadership training just for your management team. Every employee should have the opportunity to stretch their leadership muscles, whether it’s leading a team project or being promoted to a formal leadership position. Teach all of your employees how to set goals, prioritize tasks, and make decisions under pressure.

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While this list isn’t comprehensive by any means, we believe training in these five areas will mobilize your employees to work together to meet organizational goals. What soft skills would you add to this list?

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