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Elevating development strategy: The inclusion of soft skills training

Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

Elevating development strategy: The inclusion of soft skills training


The spotlight has shifted from technical proficiency to a holistic approach encompassing diverse skills and other abilities in the ever-evolving business landscape. As companies navigate the dynamic challenges of the modern workplace, the significance of soft skills development has become increasingly evident.

Beyond traditional hard skills, mastery of interpersonal, communication, and emotional intelligence distinguishes exceptional professionals. In this era of constant innovation and collaboration, incorporating soft skills training into your development programs is a strategic and fundamental necessity.


What is soft skills training?

Soft skills training is an organized educational program that improves and builds various valuable interpersonal skills for personal and professional purposes. It focuses on developing communication, teamwork and problem-solving abilities.


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These trainings involve coaching, online courses, or workshops that help employees work together efficiently, resolve issues, communicate better and become more productive. Soft skill training empowers employees to excel in their careers, build meaningful relationships, and learn new behaviors and ways of thinking.


Hard skills vs. soft skills

Hard skills and soft skills have diverse uses and characteristics. Some of the key features that set hard skills and soft skills apart include:

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  • Hard skills are observable and measurable technical skills that are taught and assessed. In contrast, soft skills are personal attributes that relate to how employees work and engage with others.
  • Hard skills are enhanced through classroom instruction, online learning, hands-on practice, independent study or practical application on the job. On the other hand, soft skills are developed through personal experiences, interactions, training and self-awareness.
  • Hard skills are objective and quantifiable. They can be assessed using tests, certifications, or practical tasks. On the contrary, soft skills are subjective and rely on behavior and perception, making them harder to measure and assess definitively.
  • Hard skills require ongoing learning and updates and may become less relevant as technology and industries evolve. In contrast, soft skills are timeless and remain valuable despite technological advancements.
  • Hard skills include marketing, project management, computer software knowledge, copywriting and more, whereas soft skills include communication, leadership, time management, teamwork, listening, negotiation, etc.


Benefits of soft skills training

In the digital age, the development of soft skills is pivotal in driving success. Some of the crucial benefits of soft skills training include:


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Improved teamwork and rapport:

Soft skills training for employees enables active listening and understanding, helping employees communicate effectively. Team members convey ideas clearly, understand each other’s personalities and work together to achieve common goals.


Strong and empathetic leadership:

Soft skills like emotional intelligence and empathy empower leaders to connect with their employees. Leaders with emotional intelligence and excellent interpersonal skills are more likely to get the best out of their employees by understanding their needs and building strong bonds.


Better staff retention:

Investing in employee soft skills training demonstrates that the company cares about the development of its employees. Developing critical soft skills creates a pleasant working environment. This can significantly increase employee retention and reduce turnover rates and recruitment costs.


Better customer service and client satisfaction:

Soft skills training teaches employees to communicate effectively and tackle problems confidently. Soft skills training for employees in the workplace develops listening and empathy skills, which are vital when dealing with customers or clients, especially if faced with a potentially complex problem.


Enhanced problem-solving:

Employees can benefit from enhanced problem-solving skills with the help of soft skills training. It can aid them in approaching problems in new ways, communicating challenges more effectively, and implementing alternative solutions.


Innovative problem solving:

Soft skill training such as problem-solving and creativity improves performance. Team members can generate new ideas, brainstorm solutions, and look for products and services that add value to customers. This helps the organization stay ahead of the competition while meeting customers’ expectations.


How to incorporate a soft skill training course

Some of the ways to incorporate soft skill training in an organization include:


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Create a training schedule:

A training schedule determines specific dates and times for training sessions, including the duration of each session. Both in-person and online training options can be planned to accommodate various learning preferences and work schedules that do not interfere with the day-to-day company operations.

Make the training engaging:

The soft skill training can be interactive and engaging, providing opportunities for the practical application of skills. Employees can apply the newly acquired skills in their daily tasks with support and resources to improve these skills continually.

Encourage peer learning:

Peer learning can help build and grow stronger teams and improve the business’s performance and success. Maximizing learning activities allows employees to learn from each other. Team-building exercises or games that require soft skills can be incorporated to develop these skills in a fun and engaging way.

Measure results:

Monitoring employees’ performance can help the employer understand if the soft skills the employees are trained in are applied effectively. Critical indicators of employee performance can be used to assess the impact of soft skills training on the company’s overall performance and employee satisfaction.

Establish a feedback mechanism:

Surveys or one-on-one discussions are examples of feedback mechanisms. They help gather employees’ opinions on the training program and improve the training. In addition, acknowledging and rewarding employees who demonstrate significant improvement in their soft skills incentivizes participation and reinforces the importance of these skills.


How Mercer | Mettl can help

Mercer | Mettl provides a wide range of assessments that assist in incorporating soft skills into development programs. Mercer | Mettl’s test library includes various psychometric tests, aptitude tests, communication tests, etc., that help integrate soft skills.

Communication skills assessment helps assess all communication skills, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing. It assesses soft skills and behavioral and non-verbal traits necessary for effective communication.

Mercer | Mettl’s SpeechX is an intelligent voice assessment tool that evaluates candidates on the nuances of speech. It provides an in-depth evaluation of English-speaking skills using an artificial intelligence (AI) powered English proficiency assessment tool. The test helps employers hire candidates with excellent listening, comprehension, fluency, and grammar skills.



Incorporating soft skills training into development programs is a strategic imperative for organizations navigating the complexities of the modern professional landscape. Investing in emotional intelligence, communication, adaptability, and teamwork increases employee satisfaction, collaboration, and overall organizational success. Soft skills serve as the glue that binds technical expertise with effective workplace interactions, fostering a culture of innovation, resilience, and continuous growth.



How do organizations train employees for soft skills?

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Originally published December 18 2023, Updated December 18 2023

Written by

Archita Bharadwaj has worked as a Content writer at Mercer | Mettl since April 2023. With her research background, she writes varied forms of content, including blogs, ebooks, and case studies, among other forms.

About This Topic

Skills assessment tests are used in the recruitment process to determine if a candidate possesses the necessary skills (analytical, technical, interpersonal, etc.) to thrive in a job role. Skills assessment tests are an essential component of recruitment today.

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