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12 Best Soft Skills Training Courses for Employees in 2024

12 Best Soft Skills Training Courses for Employees in 2024

What do you think contributes the most to the success of an organization?

While you can name so many elements, it’s important to understand that soft skills training for employees is an essential component that contributes to the overall organizational success.

But which soft skills do employees need the most to deliver better results?

Let’s check out the list of 12 best soft skills that make employees better performers in 2024.

List of Soft Skills Training Programs

1. Communication

Communication is the ability to express oneself clearly and confidently verbally and in writing. It also involves listening actively and empathetically and giving and receiving feedback constructively.

Communication is vital for any employee, as it helps them to share information, ideas, and opinions effectively, build rapport and trust, and resolve conflicts and misunderstandings.

To improve your employees’ communication skills, let them practice speaking and writing in different situations and contexts, seek feedback from others, and use appropriate body language and tone of voice.

Types of Communication:

  • Verbal communication: Using spoken or written words to convey a message
  • Nonverbal communication: Using gestures, facial expressions, body language, and other cues to convey a message
  • Visual communication: Using images, graphs, charts, and other visual aids to convey a message

Examples of Communication:

  • Using appropriate tone, language, and body language for different situations and audiences
  • Asking open-ended questions and listening actively
  • Giving and receiving feedback constructively
  • Summarizing and paraphrasing key points
  • Using visual aids and storytelling techniques to enhance presentations

2. Teamwork

Teamwork is the ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, both within and across teams. It involves respecting and valuing diversity, contributing to group goals and tasks, and supporting and motivating others.

Teamwork is crucial for any employee, as it helps them achieve more than they could alone, leverage the strengths and skills of others, and foster a positive and productive work environment.

To enhance teamwork skills, learners can participate actively and constructively in team meetings and projects, communicate openly and honestly with team members, and celebrate and appreciate their achievements and efforts.

Watch this Case Study: Good Teamwork and Bad Teamwork – Teamwork Motivational Video

Types of Teams:

  • Functional Teams: Consist of members from the same department or function
  • Cross-functional Teams: Consist of members from different departments or functions
  • Self-Managed Teams: Operate autonomously and do not have a designated leader
  • Virtual Teams: Work remotely and communicate through technology
  • Project Teams: Formed for a specific purpose and have a defined duration

Examples of Teamwork:

  • Sharing information and resources with team members
  • Contributing ideas and suggestions in a positive and respectful manner
  • Supporting and encouraging team members
  • Resolving conflicts and disagreements constructively
  • Taking responsibility for one’s own actions and outcomes

3. Leadership

Leroy Eimes

Leadership is the ability to inspire, influence, and guide others towards a common vision and purpose.

It involves setting and communicating clear and realistic goals, delegating and empowering others, and providing feedback and recognition. Leadership skills help employees take initiative and responsibility, drive change and innovation, and motivate and engage others.

To develop leadership skills in employees, provide them opportunities to lead and mentor others, demonstrate integrity and accountability, and learn from successful leaders and role models.

Types of Leadership

  • Transformational Leadership: Consists of a leader who inspires and motivates followers to achieve a shared vision and goals
  • Autocratic Leadership: Has a leader makes decisions without consulting followers and expects obedience and compliance
  • Participative Leadership: This involves followers in the decision-making process and values their input and feedback
  • Transactional Leadership: It is a kind of leadership that rewards followers for meeting expectations and corrects them for failing to do so
  • Delegative Leadership: This leadership delegates tasks and responsibilities to followers and gives them autonomy and authority
  • Adaptive Leadership: Adaptive leaders thrive in complex and changing environments. They are able to navigate uncertainty and lead their teams through challenges.

Examples of Leadership Abilities:

  • Setting clear and realistic objectives and expectations
  • Communicating the vision and the strategy to the team
  • Empowering and mentoring team members
  • Recognizing and rewarding achievements and efforts
  • Handling challenges and crises with confidence and resilience

4. Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is the ability to identify, analyze, and resolve issues and challenges in a logical and creative way. It involves defining and understanding the problem, generating and evaluating possible solutions, and implementing and monitoring the best solution.

Problem-solving skills help employees overcome obstacles and difficulties, improve processes and outcomes, and learn from mistakes and failures. They can use various tools and techniques to sharpen their problem-solving skills, such as brainstorming, mind mapping, and root cause analysis, and seek feedback and input from others.

Types of Problem-Solving Skills

  • Analytical Thinking: It involves breaking down a problem into smaller parts and examining them systematically
  • Creative Thinking: It involves generating novel and original ideas and solutions for a problem
  • Critical Thinking: It involves evaluating information and arguments logically and rationally
  • Divergent Thinking: It involves exploring multiple possible solutions for a problem
  • Convergent Thinking: It involves finding the best or most optimal solution for a problem

Examples of Problem-Solving:

  • Defining the problem and its root causes
  • Generating and evaluating alternative solutions
  • Implementing the best solution and monitoring its results
  • Learning from mistakes and feedback
  • Using tools and techniques such as brainstorming, mind mapping, and SWOT analysis

5. Adaptability

Adaptability is the ability to adjust and respond to changing situations and demands. It is about being flexible and open-minded, embracing new opportunities and challenges, and learning new skills and knowledge.

Adaptability empowers employees to cope with uncertainty and ambiguity, keep up with the latest trends and developments, and grow and improve continuously.

To boost adaptability skills, you can check that they get variety and diversity in their work, experiment with different approaches and methods, and reflect on their experiences and feedback.

Types of Adaptability Skills:

  • Cognitive Flexibility: The ability to switch between different modes of thinking and perspectives
  • Social Flexibility: The ability to interact with different types of people and adjust to different social situations
  • Behavioral Flexibility: The ability to change one’s actions and behaviors according to changing circumstances and demands
  • Emotional Flexibility: The ability to cope with and regulate one’s emotions in response to change and stress

Examples of Adaptability in the Workplace:

  • Embracing change and innovation
  • Being flexible and open-minded
  • Seeking and applying feedback
  • Taking initiatives and being proactive
  • Managing stress and emotions

6. Conflict Management

Conflict management is the ability to handle and resolve conflicts and disagreements in a constructive and respectful way. It involves identifying and addressing the root causes and interests of the parties involved, communicating and listening effectively, and finding win-win solutions.

This training equips participants with the skills to prevent and reduce negative emotions and outcomes, maintain and improve relationships, and foster collaboration and cooperation. To improve conflict management skills, they can use various strategies and skills, such as negotiation, mediation, and assertiveness, and avoid blaming and criticizing others.

Watch This: Conflict Management Case Study

Types of Conflict Management Skills

  • Accommodating: It’s a collaborative approach to conflict management where one party in a conflict yields their own needs and desires to accommodate and satisfy the needs of the other party.
  • Avoiding: It involves ignoring or withdrawing from the conflict and avoiding confrontation.
  • Compromising: It involves finding a middle ground and settling for a mutually acceptable solution.
  • Collaborating: A style of managing conflict that involves working together with the other party to find a win-win solution that satisfies both parties’ interests
  • Competing: It includes pursuing one’s own interests and goals at the expense of the other party.

Examples of Conflict Management:

  • Identifying the sources and the impacts of conflicts
  • Listening and empathizing with different perspectives
  • Negotiating and compromising to reach a win-win outcome
  • Apologizing and forgiving when appropriate
  • Seeking help and mediation when needed

7. Creativity

Albert Einstein

Creativity is the ability to generate and implement original and innovative ideas and solutions. It involves thinking outside the box, exploring different possibilities and alternatives, and experimenting and testing new concepts and methods.

Creativity enables employees to add value and uniqueness to their work, overcome challenges and limitations, and drive change and innovation.

To enhance their creativity skills, employees can use various techniques and tools, such as brainstorming, mind mapping, and SCAMPER, and seek inspiration and stimulation from others and the environment.

Types of Creativity Skills

  • Integration: It involves showing that two things that appear different are the same or related
  • Splitting: A type of creative thinking that involves seeing how things that look the same are more usefully divided into parts
  • Figure-ground Reversal: It involves realizing that what is crucial is not in the foreground but in the background
  • Distal Thinking: A type of creative thinking that involves imagining things that are very different from the here and now

Examples of Creativity:

  • Exploring and experimenting with different possibilities
  • Challenging assumptions and conventions
  • Combining and integrating different concepts and perspectives
  • Seeking inspiration and stimulation from various sources
  • Expressing oneself in artistic and imaginative ways

8. Organization

Organization is the ability to plan and manage your time, tasks, and resources efficiently and effectively. It involves setting and prioritizing your goals and objectives, creating and following a schedule and a budget, and tracking and measuring your progress and results.

This soft skill assists employees in completing their work on time and within expectations, optimizing their performance and productivity and reducing stress and frustration.

To boost organization skills, employees can use various tools and systems, such as calendars, planners, and checklists, and review and revise their plans and actions regularly.

Types of Organizational Skills:

  • Setting goals: With this skill, employees can define their personal and professional objectives and create a plan to achieve them.
  • Delegation: This skill involves assigning tasks to others based on their abilities and availability.
  • Working under pressure: This skill involves handling stress and challenges calmly and effectively.
  • Self-motivation: This skill involves taking initiative and ownership of one’s own work. It helps employees overcome obstacles, improve performance, and pursue goals.

Examples of Organizational Skills:

  • Setting SMART goals and action plans
  • Breaking down complex tasks into manageable steps
  • Using tools and systems such as calendars, agendas, and checklists
  • Eliminating distractions and focusing on the most important tasks
  • Reviewing and improving one’s work processes and habits

9. Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback is the ability to give and receive feedback that is specific, timely, and actionable. It involves highlighting the strengths and improvement areas of others, suggesting and implementing ways to enhance performance and quality, and acknowledging and appreciating the efforts and achievements of others.

With this skill, employees can motivate and engage others and foster a culture of learning and development. To sharpen constructive feedback skills, they can use various models and frameworks, such as STAR and GROW, and avoid personal attacks and judgments.

Watch this Case Study by TED: The secret to giving great feedback | The Way We Work, a TED series

Types of Constructive Feedback:

  • Descriptive Feedback: A type of constructive feedback that describes what was observed and what can be improved
  • Specific Feedback: Constructive feedback that focuses on a particular behavior or outcome and provides concrete suggestions
  • Balanced Feedback: Constructive feedback that acknowledges both the strengths and weaknesses of the performance or behavior
  • Timely Feedback: Feedback that is given as soon as possible after the performance or behavior

Examples of Constructive Feedback:

  • Giving feedback that is based on facts and observations, not opinions and judgments
  • Giving feedback that is balanced, highlighting both strengths and areas for improvement
  • Giving feedback that is aligned with the goals and expectations of the receiver
  • Receiving feedback with an open mind and a positive attitude
  • Receiving feedback that is relevant, useful, and respectful

10. Time Management

Time management is a crucial soft skill that employees should possess to become efficient and productive in the workplace. It involves prioritizing tasks, setting realistic goals, and allocating time wisely.

Employees who excel in time management are able to meet deadlines, complete projects on time, and minimize stress. They are skilled at identifying urgent and important tasks and effectively managing their time to accomplish them.

Also, employees with good time management skills are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. They understand the importance of taking breaks, managing their energy levels, and avoiding burnout. They can effectively plan their day, set realistic expectations, and organize, their workload to ensure they can complete their tasks without feeling overwhelmed.

Types of time management skills:

  • Pareto Analysis: This technique uses the 80/20 rule to prioritize tasks that are most effective at solving problems.
  • Pomodoro Technique: This technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, usually 25 minutes, followed by short breaks.
  • Eisenhower Matrix: This technique categorizes tasks into four quadrants based on their urgency and importance, and helps decide what to do, delegate, schedule, or eliminate.

Examples of Time Management:

  • Estimating and allocating time for each task
  • Scheduling and following a daily, weekly, and monthly routine
  • Setting and respecting deadlines and milestones
  • Avoiding procrastination and multitasking
  • Taking breaks and managing energy levels

11. Listening

Stephen R. Covey

Listening is an essential soft skill for employees as it plays a key role in effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. It involves actively paying attention to others, understanding their perspectives, and responding appropriately.

Employees who are skilled listeners are able to comprehend information accurately, prevent misunderstandings, and build stronger relationships in the workplace.

Active listening requires employees to be present in conversations, maintain eye contact, and avoid distractions. It involves giving full attention to the speaker, asking clarifying questions, and paraphrasing to ensure accurate interpretation.

Skilled listeners also show empathy, understanding, and respect towards others’ ideas and opinions, fostering trust and open communication.

Types of Listening Skills:

  • Informational Listening: This is used to learn something new or understand a concept. It requires concentration, critical thinking, and retention of information.
  • Discriminative Listening: This helps in detecting changes in tone, pitch, volume, and other sounds. It helps identify the speaker, the emotion, and the intention behind the message.
  • Empathetic Listening: This type of listening is used to understand the feelings and emotions of the speaker. It involves showing empathy, compassion, and support, and avoiding judgment or criticism.

Examples of Active Listening:

  • Maintaining eye contact and positive body language
  • Avoiding interruptions and distractions
  • Asking clarifying and follow-up questions
  • Reflecting and summarizing what was said
  • Acknowledging and validating the feelings and emotions of the speaker

12. Public Speaking

Public speaking is a valuable soft skill that employees should possess to communicate and present ideas to an audience effectively. It involves delivering information, expressing thoughts clearly, and engaging and connecting with listeners.

Developing public speaking skills enables employees to confidently address colleagues, clients, or larger audiences, enhancing their professional image and contributing to the success of their organization.

Types of Public Speaking Skills

  • Informative speaking: The goal is to convey information clearly and accurately to the audience.
  • Persuasive speaking: The goal is to convince the audience of a certain viewpoint or action.
  • Demonstrative speaking: The goal is to teach the audience how to do something or how something works.
  • Ceremonial speaking: The goal is to honor, celebrate, or commemorate a person, event, or occasion.

Examples of Public Speaking:

  • Preparing and rehearsing the content and the delivery of the speech
  • Choosing the appropriate language, tone, and style for the audience and the purpose
  • Using vocal variety, gestures, and facial expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence
  • Using humor, anecdotes, and quotes to capture and maintain the attention of the audience
  • Handling questions and comments from the audience effectively

Watch: The public speaking lesson you never had | DK. | TEDxNelson

Ready for Impactful Soft Skills Training?

While your employees may already have some of these soft skills, you can train them on the rest. You can get free soft skills training for employees through some online learning management systems that can help your employees learn different aspects of soft skills in a step-by-step manner.

For instance, you can go for ProProfs Training Maker, which has a number of prebuilt soft skills training programs for employees at different levels.

Whether looking for soft skills training for managers or customer officers, you can find the best courses without breaking a sweat. You can also create a course from scratch, get detailed reports about those who take training courses, and award certificates on completion of these courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is soft skills training?

Soft skills training refers to developing and enhancing non-technical skills, also known as soft skills, that are necessary for effective interpersonal interaction and professional success. Soft skills encompass a range of personal attributes and behaviors that enable individuals to communicate effectively, collaborate with others, adapt to change, solve problems, and exhibit leadership qualities.

What’s the difference between soft skills vs. hard skills?

Soft skills, also known as interpersonal skills or people skills, are personal qualities and attributes that enable individuals to interact effectively with others. They are less tangible and harder to measure than hard skills. Hard skills, on the other hand, refer to the technical knowledge, specific abilities, and expertise required to perform a particular job or task. These skills are often measurable and can be acquired through education, training, or experience.

What are the benefits of soft skills training?

Soft skills training offers numerous benefits for personal and professional growth. It improves communication, teamwork, and productivity. It also develops leadership qualities, adaptability, and resilience. It equips individuals with the skills to handle challenges, navigate change, and provide excellent customer service. Read More: How to Develop Soft Skills in the Workplace

What are the best practices of soft skills training?

Best practices for soft skills training include conducting a skills assessment to identify training needs, incorporating interactive and experiential learning methods, providing ongoing support and reinforcement, creating a safe and inclusive learning environment, using real-life examples and scenarios, and regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the program. These practices ensure that the training is targeted, engaging, applicable, and continuously improved upon.

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About the author

Michael Laithangbam is the senior writer & editor at ProProfs with 12 years of experience in enterprise software and eLearning. Michael's expertise encompasses online training, web-based learning, quizzes & assessments, LMS, and more. Michael’s work has been published in G2, Software Advice, Capterra, and eLearning Industry. You can connect with him via LinkedIn.