Training in Management and Behavior

Training in Management and Behavior

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Soft Skills Training Program

Introduction

In the recent day, it is normal to observe that people not only consider the professional and technical expertise of the professional but also their demeanor in the manner in which they handle their clientele and the overall aura they exude. Hence, it is custom to observe that customers are drawn to employees that have a positive attitude as opposed to those than those that have an unapproachable demeanor (Chou, 2013). Additionally, it is important to note that employers who are cautious about their work ethics have a positive influence on their fellow colleagues and are likely to excel in various fields of expertise (Heckman & Kautz, 2012). In the aforementioned scenarios, the important skills that such employees possess are known as the soft skills which are fundamental for organizational management. These skills are highly considered during the recruitment and training process because they are essential in delegating, problem solving, team building as well as social interaction within the organizational setup.

Background Information

For managers, the soft skills are also required despite the dire need for these individual to show technical adaptability (Chou, 2013). In their fields, they are required to also show mastery of soft skills in their attitudes, behaviors, traits and habits which is important as they are the role models in the working environment. Some of the important soft skills that managers should have include candor, dependability, exemplary communication skills, exceptional work ethic, team work, goal setting, proper time management and mental agility. Based on this explanation, it is evident that both technical and soft skills are essential in the work industry as they enable an individual to scale the heights of corporate success and attain immense growth in their various careers (Heckman & Kautz, 2012). From this perspective, it is imperative for organization to consider strategizing policies and programs that allow for thorough and intensive training for their employees with the main objective being mastering soft skills (Karten, 2009). This will ensure that the organization becomes successful in its endeavors and also provide a platform for their employees to attain fundamental skills that will enhance their career profiles.

Protocol for Soft Skills Training Program

Readiness and motivation for change. For soft training to become a successful

program in the organization, the participating employees should be self motivated (Karten, 2009). This is primarily because it is quite difficult to create self awareness in each individual within the workforce. For this reason, the basic building block is ensuring that they are willing to engage themselves in the training and commit to the process hence seeing it to completion (Peters-Kühlinger & John, 2008). The primary method through which this self awareness can be created is by availing effective and resourceful materials and sources that will create the readiness in them to change and improve on their skills and career development.

            Providing relevant reading materials. The soft skill training program does not necessarily involve book reading, however, it is important for the employees to remain updated on methods through which they can work on themselves and gain these skills. This is availed by the second step which involves educating the employees through books. Some of the books that have been used in this step includes What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith and Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Through providing such educative materials, the employees are able to master the basic principles that are necessary in gaining soft skills.

Conducting evaluation. Through the employment of self assessment tools such as the MBTI or a more widely organizational tool such as 360 feedbacks, the employees are able to realize their strengths as well as weaknesses. It is imperative to acknowledge the results provided by the evaluation tool as they give imperative feedback useful in development of professional character as well as career development by enhancing performance and competency levels (Klaus, Rohman & Hamaker, 2007). Additionally, one can mention that through this evaluation, the employees are able to note techniques through which can assist them individually in matching the organizational goals and becoming more socially interactive with their fellow colleagues (Klaus, Rohman & Hamaker, 2007). Consequently, they are also able to understand their natural tendencies which they can either learn to control or to amplify to achieve their specified goals of self improvement.

Self reflecting.  Following the period of self evaluation coupled with the organizational analysis of its employees, the employees are able to understand their tendencies, faults and strengths. This is one of the fundamental steps that create motivation and a great need for self improvement for the betterment of the individual as well as the organization (Karten, 2009). However, it is also important to note that there is need for the trainees to self reflect. This step provides them with a chance to truly internalize the information they have realized about themselves. It is also a humbling experience because they are able to appreciate that there is need for growth (Klaus, Rohman & Hamaker, 2007). During this process of internalization, they become aware of the need to direct effort towards self growth and to improve their natural tendencies that might be weighing down their performance from an individual and organizational level (Karten, 2009). Through self reflection, the employees are able to master their attributes and flaws and hence learn how to showcase their good qualities and improve on the flaws which will significantly also assist them in interacting with their colleagues.

Setting effective goals. There is great need for the trainees to identify their direction and path in life which is basically outlined with the kind of future they desire to have. Through creating a clear vision of this future, they are equipped with the knowledge on the best goals that will enable them to achieve this. Being able to set effective goals is an important skill which they learn at this point. The supervisor should provide them with an option to develop three to five clearly stated goals that are useful in achieving the defined future (Karten, 2009). They can also use the feedback received from other colleagues to build on these goals as well as from analyzing their evaluation reports. This step is important because there is accountability in the event that the trainee fails to meet the expectations outlined by the goals set.

            Continuous practice. At this point, the trainer ensures that the employee trainees have enough activities to provide a platform for them to practice the skill set gained from the program (Karten, 2009). This is done over a long duration of time. It is important to understand that in this stage, there is a likelihood of failure, however, career growth overcomes this negative aspect as they trainees become better and improve on their attributes and strengths (Heckman & Kautz, 2012). To ensure that this training program is successful, there is need for a follow up which determines the progress made within this specified durations. The employees are able to evaluate their goals in the company of their colleagues and evaluate whether there is significant progress made in mastering soft skills which can be observed from an overall change in behavioral and management tendencies.

Advantages of Soft Skill Training

Improved communication. In the organizational setting, great importance is place on technical training which requires upgrading on a regular basis (Chou, 2013). This is primarily important because these skills allows for daily tasks to be accomplished hence facilitating the progressive growth of the organization. However, it is imperative to ensure that the employees are not only technically proficient but also posses the necessary soft skills that will improve the overall performance of the organization as well as boost the growth rate of the business entity (Chou, 2013). This is achieved through the development of aspects and skills whose lack thereof cripples the progression of the company financially and socially. The first major advantage of soft skills is that they improve communication. This is because these skills also enable an employee to have better control of their communication and enhance it to better suit their sociability (Heckman & Kautz, 2012). With better communication systems, organizations are able to put important information across such as company goals in an objective manner. With the understanding that each employee projects the image of the company, better communication skills means that this presentation is done proactively which is essential in value addition to the organization.

Increased job performance. Programs geared towards training employees are usually designed to ensure that they improve on various skill sets which are beneficial to the company. Soft skills training is a dynamic form of training that ensure that the employees improve holistically as it consider their behaviors, attributes as well as self management. Through conducting this training, the employees gain important skills that are important in improving their job performance as is later observed. Some of the performance improving effects of training includes improved emotional quotient, time management, better communication skills, and development of a strong work ethic (Cheema, 2009). A more dynamic effect is observed in college graduates in the working industry who often lack the practical knowledge of working in a organizational environment. However, it is important to note that following the training program, they are stronger employees in terms of their work ethic and principles as well as in their interaction with other senior and much experienced workers.

Improved employee dependability. One of the main advantages outlined as stemming from soft skill training is a balanced emotional quotient. This is especially important because in any business, there is bound to be drastic changes which can be caused by emergencies or sudden turmoil. To this effect, having a strong emotional quotient means that they are able to deal with stressful situation and focus on coping with the predicament. From this perspective, one might stay that it increases an employee’s dependability even in emotional destabilizing situations such as a financial crisis.

            Improved Workplace Environment. Through learning soft skills, there is overall behavioral changes amongst the trained employees (Cheema, 2009). One of the notable changes includes improved interpersonal skills which transforms the working environment into a more conducive surrounding where employees work effectively and productively. Through improving interpersonal skills, teams are more solid and productive which ensures that tasks are managed and accomplished on due time and with absolute competency (Peters-Kühlinger & John, 2008). Additionally, it is important to note that through this interaction which is aided by interpersonal skills, the employees are able to become supportive of each other in terms of accomplishing objectives and fulfilling role responsibilities. On a long term perspective, such skills are quite useful because the organization also grows from such improvement and gains significant benefits from the same.

            Improvement on Problem Solving Skills. Within any organization, it is imperative to have staff that are capable of handling situation and are effective in problem solving. Lack of thereof is quite destabilizing as without being able to solve common problems, the staff fail to show their effectiveness towards achieving the company goals. To this effect, soft skill training ensures that the staff’s ability to solve problems is significantly improved (Cheema, 2009). The consequential positive impact of this improvement is the reduction of stress within the managerial levels.

Disadvantages of Soft Skill Training

            Soft skills are downplayed. In working environment, as previously elaborated, technical skills such as HTML coding are more valued as compared to proficiency in interpersonal relations or communication abilities. This translates to the reality that soft training is highly downplayed within the working industry which presents itself as a disadvantage for people who are more excellent in people’s skills as compared to technical skills (Peters-Kühlinger & John, 2008). There is no argument that validates that technical skills are not important during the recruitment and hiring process, however, it is important for there to be a balance between these skills and soft skills which aid in communication and interpersonal interactions. Hence, basing on this information, it is important for organization to place more consideration in ensuring that employees have balanced skills set which covers technical and soft skills.

            Difficulty in finding the balance. One of the major challenges that trainers often face is that enabling the employees to find balance between their soft and technical skills and realization that both are imperative in the organizational setting. From this angle , it is important to consider the involvement of professionals who are equipped with the necessary information pertinent in assisting the trainers to establish this form of balance within the employs (Cheema, 2009). This can be done through the development of string work groups whereby the managers being trained are able to interact with each other and develop strong and well balanced abilities within their capacity. Such efforts is instrumental in allowing the managers to realize their full potentials in management as well as become capable leaders.

            Developing respect for soft skills. It is often that one will observe that soft skills are regarded with less respect as compared to technical skills in terms of being viewed as strength. This aspect is negative as it is easily dismissed during recruitment and hiring processes. It is important that managers involved in the aforementioned practice to realize that soft skills should also be considered as strengths when selecting potential employees. Such importance is specifically essential in decision making processes like determining pay raises as well as candidates suitable for promotion (Peters-Kühlinger & John, 2008). Another factor to consider is that through implementation of policies that require hard and soft skills in workforce selection, an organization is able to create highly efficient teams that are able to create quality products and provide excellent services to the clientele (Peters-Kühlinger & John, 2008). For managers to grasp the importance of soft and hard skills, there is need to place important measures that ensure all employees receive intensive training of the same and evaluation is conducted on the performance and competency levels.

Soft Skills Guidelines –Formal Training Policy

In training employees on soft skills, there are several guidelines that the trainer must adhere to

  1. Ensure that behavioral tendencies re catered to through some programs such as anger management and problem solving classes. The effectiveness of these training is enhanced through providing feedback to their participant on their individual progress.
  2. Ensuring that at the end of the program, the personnel is able to develop workplace skills and improve on them in order to have better interaction with their fellow employees.
  3. Ensuring that the employees set goals that are relevant to the area of growth this will enable them to have better skills at handling conflict, recognizing their personal behaviors and beliefs which, are key in realization of the success.
  4. Assure that trainees understand the importance of self belief and obeying the authority as well as cultivating a positive attitude towards criticism which is basic in avoiding problems within the workforce (Peters-Kühlinger & John, 2008).
  5. The training program should be able to provide a platform whereby the employees are able to illustrate they comprehend the employer’s expectations within the work setting which is imperative in prompting a dynamic mental shift on how they perceive their job positions.
  6. Through Soft skill training, the employees should be able to appreciate the diversity of cultures within the work setting. This is elaborated in the manner in which they interact with those of different ethnic, social and cultural as well as racial background.

 

References

Cheema, D. (2009). Personality development. Chandigarh: Abhishek Publications.

Chou, W. (2013). Fast-tracking your career. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Heckman, J., & Kautz, T. (2012). Hard evidence on soft skills. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Karten, N. (2009). Changing how you manage and communicate change. Ely, U.K.: IT Governance.

Klaus, P., Rohman, J., & Hamaker, M. (2007). The hard truth about soft skills. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Peters-Kühlinger, G., & John, F. (2008). Soft skills. Planegg: Haufe.

Singh, S. (2011). Soft skills. New Delhi: APH Pub. Corp.

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