Elearning! Feb-Mar

FEB-MAR 2015

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Tips Tips Sof Skills Elearning! February / March 2015 41 You've probably heard the old expression that goes something like this: "You can't improve what you can't measure." Whether that old management school saying is true or not, it's pretty clear that we can't determine how much we've improved if we can't measure the area we are trying to improve. And for many organizations, leaders and learning professionals, sof skills training falls into the "you-can't- measure-it" category. Te difculty with measuring the impact of sof skills training probably stems from agreeing upon a defnition of the term "sof skills." Te challenge with this apparently simple task is that there are so many conficting defnitions. One thing is certain: Nobody can provide a clear, easy to grasp defnition of "sof skills." Instead, it's more of a concept that most of us recognize when we see it, but we cannot always succinctly articulate what it is. Most traditional training programs focus on hard skills. Programmers learn a new language. Accountants exhibit better balance sheet skills. Analysts deliver more accurate fnancial models. Engineers deliver better de- signs. Architects design more efective and efcient structures. Processes improve in speed, output and safety. Hard skills training is safe, and we can measure impact directly from easy-to-see outputs. Hard skills are important; but today, the single skill or competency that drives career success isn't a hard skill at all — it's emotional intelligence. In the article, "Emotional Intelligence - EQ," author Travis Bradberry reports that 90 percent of top performers across all industries in every job category scored high in emotional intelligence. It is the single most important factor in driving success for our highest- performing employees at every level — including leaders and managers. However, unlike hard skills, emotional intelligence isn't easy to defne clearly, nor do we generally see organizations linking improved performance in this area to improved organizational performance. Intuitively, we know that improved sof skills matter. It makes sense. If our employees communicate more efectively, aren't we more likely to see improved sales and customer retention? Will our customers be more satisfed? If our managers learn to listen more efectively and delegate more efciently, doesn't it follow logically that their teams will be more engaged and perform at higher levels? So why do we not connect the dots from improved performance in sof skills areas (caused by sof skills training) to improved business results? In order to build a system to measure the impact of your sof skills training, you have to start with a clear understanding of the strategic goals of your organization. Tose form the strategic shape, and they mold the foundation for you to build your training eforts. But it's not just the goals. Once you've set the goals, you have to understand the performance gaps between your organization's current level of performance and the desired level of performance needed to achieve a specifc goal. And it's improved performance in these performance gaps that we measure to show the impact of sof skills training. —Tis article provided by BizLibrary: www.bizlibrary.com. Soft Skills Training: Measuring the Impact Matters

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