While many assume leadership and cooperation are innate qualities, research shows that they can be developed through practice and skilled coaching. Unlike hard skills, there is no easy measure of successful soft skills. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be mastered through diligent practice, intentional repetition, and the confidence that only comes from trying and failing (and then trying again).
The Growing Need for Soft Skills in the Workplace
In today’s evolving workplace, strong interpersonal skills are of utmost importance. In an age of automation, those qualities that make us our most human are the exact characteristics that employers look to find and foster in their teams. Studies have found that 97 percent of employers declared that soft skills are just as or more important than hard skills.
The need for enhanced diversity and inclusion in our workplaces also emphasizes the significance of proficient interpersonal abilities. Leadership qualities, such as empathy and a desire to actively listen and learn, lead to more inclusive, equitable workplaces where all employees feel respected and valued. Training in these areas, including recognizing implicit bias and unconscious bias, can have the highest return for risk management, but are the trickiest to execute with sensitivity and effectiveness.
A Better Solution for Developing Soft Skills
Virtual reality has long been used across industries to train for job-related technical skills (such as in flight simulations, manufacturing scenarios, and medical advances). But more recently these highly realistic and relatable simulations have been employed to teach critical social emotional skills.
Why are simulations the ideal way to practice and master soft skills? The advantages of this type of training over traditional workplace training include numerous benefits for both employers and their teams:
High-stakes situations in a low-risk environment.
Learners are able to practice challenging real-world conversations with a lifelike avatar without the fear of awkwardness, biased behavior, or potential repercussions that come from an in-person encounter. People are more likely to fully buy into a scenario when role-playing with an avatar as opposed to another person.
Authentic situations and scenarios.
Simulations are especially impactful because they are designed to effectively mirror the learner’s work setting through relevant context. As a result, performance is enhanced not only during the simulation, but also in the workplace.
Simulation-based training offers an immersive experience that allows learners to be completely present and deeply absorb the training they receive. Advancements in virtual reality means training can be conducted anywhere on a user’s laptop, making learning more flexible with both time and location.
A New Era of Workplace Learning
Today’s unique workplace is continuously in flux, sparking the need for ongoing learning. Managers and their teams alike find themselves in uncharted territory that is best traversed when everyone in an organization feels equal, recognized, and accepted. The best way to do this is to regularly assess, evaluate, listen, and, yes, learn. In the end, the true measure of soft skills is the most important component to personal and professional growth — your ability to relate to, connect with, and inspire those around you.
As you cultivate your teams’ soft skills through ongoing training, make sure that you are getting a return on your investment. By providing simulation-based training, you allow your employees to have more autonomy in their learning, practice important skills, and give and receive feedback on a regular basis.
Contact us today to see how we can help revitalize your training with simulation-based learning.