Just like a good soup, you have to mix in the perfect blend of technical and soft, even when training technical skills. No matter how much we at techstructional love and prefer technical training, we realize that soft skills can live without technical skills but technical skills cannot live without soft skills.
In almost every case technical training is an essential tool to equip employees with the knowledge and skills to succeed in their job. Everyone but the top echelons of leadership need technical skills. I mean, have you ever watched Undercover Boss? Those CEOs don’t know how to do anything most of the time!
Even though technical training is essential, it’s kind of like a fish out of water without soft skills in the mix. In isolation, it’s simply not enough to ensure success. It’s essential to complement technical skills with essential soft skills to make sure those technical skills work in the real world.
Soft skills such as communication, adaptability, problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking are all equally important for professionals. When we create custom software training, we never overlook ways to integrate important soft skills that matter to the success of using a system.
If we pay attention to how to incorporate soft skills into technical training, employees can get the competitive edge they need to succeed in their jobs. Blending in soft skills that help power the technical skills empowers employees to be better prepared for the challenges and opportunities they may face when they’re using company technology.
This post explores how soft skills can be incorporated into technical training. It also provides tips on how to measure the effectiveness of the implementation and examples of how to successfully integrate soft skills training into technical training.
Are you ready to learn more about how to maximize the potential of technical training through the inclusion of soft skills? Read on to explore the importance of soft skills in technical training and discover how to mix them in seamlessly like your grandma’s famous soup.
Why You Need Soft Skills in Technical Training
Even the most isolated jobs in the world have to interact with others. If people are involved then you have to have some soft skills. That’s a good thing, though!
Here are some reasons you need soft skills in technical training.
- They can help people become more efficient and productive in their work.
- They provide the necessary tools to be competitive in any field.
- Employees who are strong in soft skills have a competitive advantage.
- One of the things that separates a newbie from an expert is soft skills.
Soft skills can be acquired through experience, formal training, or a combination of both. They will help you become more proficient in your field and be better equipped to face any obstacles that may come your way.
Technical training is typically only part of the battle of getting the work done and doing it effectively and efficiently. The rest relies on soft skills that make it easier to execute. Having the necessary soft skills ensures that you’re more successful in your technical training and in your career.
How Soft Skills Complement Technical Training
Without the right soft skills to complement technical training, success back on the job will be limited. Training with no context isn’t nearly as effective as with context. Soft skills like problem-solving, collaboration, communication, leadership, and decision-making, can be mixed in with technical training to make it more effective.
The ability to effectively communicate in any work environment is a key soft skill for technical professionals. Problem-solving skills also enable professionals to analyze scenarios, identify areas of improvement, and come up with effective solutions. Collaboration and leadership skills help professionals interact and work with others, while decision-making skills are necessary to make critical decisions while taking into account all the factors at play.
Technical training delivers the processes while soft skills deliver how to use those processes in the context of the work.
Soft skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and time management complement technical skills because:
- Communication skills enable employees to convey exactly what they need and how they need it to accomplish technical aspects of their job.
- Leadership skills make it easier for employees to direct a project down the right path and work towards achieving common goals.
- Teamwork skills enable employees to collaborate effectively on projects and share expertise.
- Time management skills help employees prioritize tasks and work more efficiently in a system.
By incorporating soft skills training into technical training, employees can better understand how to apply technical knowledge in the workplace and work more effectively with colleagues and clients/customers.
Examples of Soft Skills for Technical Training
A customer service agent may need to learn how to use a CRM (customer relationship management) system in their training to manage customer interactions effectively. However, to be successful in their role, they must also have strong soft skills such as communication, empathy, and problem-solving.
Why not help them learn the system while having them practice soft skills in a realistic scenario that has them using the system?
How about a salesperson who has to use that same CRM?
Have you ever seen how salespeople enter data into a CRM? It’s typically a mess and no care is put into it. They’re about the sale, not the data entry.
Unfortunately, the data they enter doesn’t live in a silo for them only. It needs to be accurate and organized so others can also work with it. Technical training can show salespeople how to use the CRM by entering data properly.
Only the technical aspect isn’t nearly as effective. Building in a scenario helps build empathy and show how their lack of doing a good job can impact that customer service agent later down the road.
Salespeople want the sale but it’s also important for them to serve the customer too. A combination of soft and technical skills will make the training more effective.
How To Identify and Incorporate Soft Skills Into Technical Training
Soft skills are often overlooked in technical training yet they play a vital role in career success. Identifying and incorporating these skills into technical training can help employees be better prepared to do their jobs better.
When you’re analyzing the necessity for training you should have a good idea of the requirements for what employees need to do. Hopefully, you’re going through a thorough analysis using something like the ADDIE process (because it’s the best!)
Once you know what technical aspects the job requires, start scouring through it and tying those technical skills to how they will be applied in their job. That will help you tie in soft skills that are relevant as well as tie in how the work they do ties into others’ work.
Communication skills can almost always be incorporated into technical training through role-playing and scenarios. Problem-solving skills could be taught through simulations and case studies.
Incorporating soft skills into technical training is important for employees to be successful in their careers. A good analysis can uncover how you can tie them into technical training.
The Benefits of Integrating Soft Skills Into Technical Training
Integrating soft skills into technical training can help employees develop a well-rounded set of professional abilities. By adding soft skills to technical training, employees gain a more comprehensive understanding of their roles, as well as the skills and knowledge to work collaboratively with their colleagues.
Nobody works in a silo and soft skills really help bring that home in training. Technical skills alone don’t always connect well with how they affect other people in the organization.
By integrating soft skills into technical training programs, employees learn how to effectively tie the technical skills learned with other skills, manage projects better, and solve workplace issues beyond just the technical aspects.
It’s even possible to help employees build leadership skills to help them be more successful in their careers. Implementing soft skills into technical training helps employees be prepared for today’s extremely complex workplace demands.
Challenges of Blending Soft Skills with Technical Training
The #1 challenge with blending soft skills into technical training is making sure you’re approaching the soft skills authentically. There’s nothing that makes people tune out more than a scenario that’s not realistic. The soft skills part of training must be realistic and effective at communicating something of value.
Another additional challenge is finding the right balance. You don’t want any training to be overly technical but you also don’t want the soft skills portion to overpower the technical aspect. It’s a balancing act to get it right to communicate the right message and help cement the right skills.
If you try to do too much then you’re likely going to end up with people not learning anything. You always have to keep in mind that less is more and nothing will be important if you try to put too much information into training.
With the right blend of soft skills and technical training, companies can create a culture of success and foster creativity and innovation within their workforce.
Soft skills are an essential part of successful technical training. It provides a more holistic approach to learning and seeing the big picture of how it ties into the job. Mixing soft skills into technical training makes it more effective, engaging, and relevant to employees.
There’s nothing better than making it easier for employees to understand how the technical skills they’re learning tie into their work and career. It’s even better when they see the relevance of the training skills and why it’s important to learn them and do them right.
You also can’t go wrong with incorporating soft skills into technical training to make it a more enjoyable learning experience that’s realistic and effective.
If you’re running into challenges thinking of ways to combine soft skills into your technical training, we got you! Just schedule a free consultation and we’ll work with you to improve training. In every custom software training we build, one of our goals is to tie it into your employee’s job and your organization to make it more relevant.