Article: The rise of behavioral skills: How to plan your training program

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The rise of behavioral skills: How to plan your training program

Companies at the forefront of navigating constant change need to use this time to build skills that matter.
The rise of behavioral skills: How to plan your training program

It’s a question that many professionals often ask: What’s the secret recipe for success at work? Conventional wisdom says you need a good degree and experience to put you on the road to success. 

But you need more than that. You also need key behavioral skills such as the ability to negotiate wisely, solve problems effectively, and listen actively to be successful.  

Today, as remote working becomes the new normal because of the coronavirus pandemic, these skills have become even more critical. 

As a result, businesses are reviewing their strategic roadmaps for the upcoming year and one of the key strategies to help them pivot their operations smoothly is re-skilling their existing talent. 

Many employees will continue to work from home where it is difficult to collaborate, build relationships, and drive team engagement in the same way as it was before in a physical office.

Companies at the forefront of navigating constant change will have to use this time to build behavioral skills that are the bedrock of a modern professional. 

They will need training programs to help employees learn and hone these skills to boost their careers and become leaders.

Here’s what you need to do to inspire and help employees learn these skills: 

  • Focus on building awareness: The first step is to build awareness among employees and make them realize the need for training. The goal of the exercise is to help them feel invested in the process and to dedicate themselves to a continuous learning process.

  • Set individual goals and align learning: Employees need to work with their managers to identify individual learning goals that are aligned to the needs of the job and their own career aspirations. For example, if you have a communication skills program, you will need to tailor it differently according to the demands of an employee’s role. The needs of a new sales manager might be quite different from those of a senior executive.

  • Access to the right learning tools: The next step should be to provide employees appropriate learning tools based on their skill levels. Online courses can help employees learn and practice these skills at their own pace. These, along with online assessments, virtual masterclasses, and coaching sessions can help reinforce learning and integrate it into the workplace.

  • Build a feedback loop: Feedback on behavioral skills is critical to employee growth. Managers, peers, and L&D specialists need to work with employees regularly to observe and course-correct if need be. Feedback check-ins with mentors, peer feedback, and self-assessments are different ways of enabling employees with the right skills to succeed at the job. 

  • Post-course evaluation and support: Behavioral skills are learned over a period of time. You need a support system to help employees stay focused on their skills and aspirations of career growth. A post-course evaluation could point to areas where there’s still room for growth and those where the employee has shown considerable improvement. 

Each behavioral skill needs to become a habit and having a focused approach to foundational behavioral skills will greatly help employees. While companies will need to leverage technology to scale up their learning programs, they also need to work towards personalizing their curriculum to support the individual needs of the employee.

As part of an on-going exercise to benchmark data on the state of behavioral skills in India, People Matters in partnership with Harappa Education has recently launched a first-of-its-kind research study to understand the challenges and opportunities that L&D teams face in enabling their talent on behavioral skills. To participate in this research, click here:

Harappa Education is an online learning institution with a distinctive curriculum framework of 5 Habits and 25 Skills that are crucial for individual success, team productivity, and organizational effectiveness.

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Topics: Talent Management, Learning & Development, #Career

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