Soft skills are the basic skills that a business needs to function. It’s focused on communication skills, people skills, social skills, and character building. When looking at a business from the outside in, these are the basic skills that both managers and employees need to keep the business ticking. It’s this side of the business that the public sees, and therefore there should probably be more of a focus on it than there is at the minute. It’s rare to find a company that genuinely invests time into building the soft skills on their employees. Instead, after receiving their training, they’re left to fend on their own. But considering the employees are the face of your business, and the ones your customers are going to interact with the most, your emphasis should be on ensuring every contact counts, and every contact with a customer is positively built around the soft skills they’ll learn.
If you haven’t thought about getting in an external soft skills provider before, there are a few things you should be aware of. Some of which we’re going to highlight below.
Their Connection To Business
Soft skills are used in all walks of life. It’s not just business where providers are required. Some go into schools and work with children, some attend training days for teachers, and some work with the armed forces. So not every soft skills provider is going to be an expert in providing skills that will be relevant to the business. So, always make sure that they have a full connection to the business, and preferably even the niche that you’re in. When you start to do your research, you will notice that many providers preach specialising in different areas. However, it’s always important to do your research and find out their background. Have they worked in business before, have they got any business-related qualifications, and have they had much involvement around customers. A lot of the skills they will be providing will be based around customer relationships, and improving productivity. But if they have had no hands on experience with this, the skills they’re offering won’t come from first hand tried and tested methods, only research. We think it’s always good for soft skills providers to have implemented and tested the methods themselves.
The Clear Values They Have
Everything the providers set out should be in black and white, making it easy for you to understand the precise values that they hold, and how they’re going to benefit the environment you’re working in. The values you should be looking for, are those focused on making your company more attractive to the customers you’re working with, as well as new employees that might jump on board. Without knowing the clear value that the provider aims to offer, you can assume that they’re not going to be able to meet your requirements. It should also match up with your own value proposition. When obtaining the role you have done, whether it be an office manager or CEO, you will have set out your own proposal to better the company. If you can find a soft skills provider, who harmonises with you, the benefits of hiring them is going to be stronger.
Evidence Of A Good Track Record
With every new external relationship you attempt to build, analysing their track record is essential. This is no different from a soft skills provider. You’re bringing them into your company not just to make your employees and working environment substantially better, but to actually make a difference to the reputation that the business holds. So you don’t want a soft skills provider to come in and educate, without seeing an impact on productivity, and customer relationships. You can easily find out if they have a good track record by checking out previous reviews of those who have hired them. When looking at that, you also need to see what it was like for those companies to work with the soft skills provider. Were they engaging and fun to work with, or was the training rushed and sub-par? You will no doubt be able to find some honest reviews on sites such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews.
A Focus On Productivity Gain
One of the biggest problems in an office is with productivity. It’s so hard for any manager, of any role, to try and control that. Control often leads to a negative and forceful office environment, leading productivity only to drop further. However, one of the most prominent professional skills in an office environment that’s essential to the overall function of a business is productivity. So when looking at the package that they offer, explore their focus on productivity, and the techniques they’re going to try and implement to improve it. But a training provider should not just implement the techniques and then leave you to it. Preferably, you should be looking for a provider that will follow up on the work that they’ve done, to make sure that your business is making productivity gains. A follow-up consultation offer allows you to see the level of commitment that the soft skills provider, provides.
Not Just Selling Based On Price
Like with anything in life, price is the main focus point. However, when looking for a soft skills provider, you should avoid ones that are selling their service based on price. The price shouldn’t matter, it should be about the quality of the service that they’re providing. So, try and avoid the ones that are boasting the cheapest service, unless of course they also come with an excellent track record. Often, the more you’re prepared to spend with training, the more you’re going to be able to get out of it.
We hope that now you have a clearer understanding of what to look for when choosing soft skills training providers, and how they will benefit the environment that you’re working in. Soft skills are becoming more of a necessity in the office, and ongoing training will reinforce the theory behind it.