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Developing Your Organization’s Soft Skills

In a recent OpenSesame webinar, Claude Werder, VP and Principal Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, discussed how the effectiveness of soft skill training is changing as new technologies, content types and delivery methods develop. Here are the strategies that Werder shared to understand your organization’s soft skill needs and how to prioritize content and delivery options to maximize employee soft skill development and productivity.

Prioritizing soft skills training

More than 35% of the average learning budget is tied directly or indirectly to soft skills and leadership development, with the majority being spent on content and content development. This raises some critical strategic questions on spending priorities. Now that you are spending more on content, what type of content do you need. Should it be spent on on updating internal resources, using off-the-shelf learning courses, bringing in a subject expert or creating stimulating experiences through role play and on-the-job experience?

Changing learning landscape

Werner reports that organizations that use a combination of learning methods are having a better response with learners, such as just classroom learning. Werner revealed that delivery of soft skill training in a formal, classroom environment has decreased from 65% to 47% in 2014, and expected to drop to just 40% by next year as other learning methods continue to be rated more highly by employees. While everything should not be necessarily outsourced to a third party vendor, learning programs should begin combining off-the-shelf content with traditional learning methods to respond to changing learner needs. Soft skill development is one of the top content categories where organizations are seeing better learner response and increased learner engagement and participation.

Mobile learning and employee driven learning

35% of L&D programs are currently not offering any mobile friendly courses for training. When it comes to soft skills, not having mobile access to support learners who are searching for content to fit their own work needs, this can be a missed opportunity for your organization. Offering easy to access learning content will support your learners while maximizing their soft skill development.


Nurturing employees soft skills is changing to be a more prominent priority as organizations rely more on these skills in today’s business environment. Traditional methods of in-house training and internally produced content is not necessarily the most effective way to deliver soft skills training anymore. Employees being able to access their own training quickly and on devices that readily available to them is producing a faster turnaround time and expediting training initiatives for employers.

To learn more about how you can develop your organization’s soft skills, watch the webinar recording here.