Why soft skills training is worth the investment
According to an MIT Sloan School of Management study, one 12-month workforce program dedicated to soft skills training delivered a 250% return on investment within eight months.
This study demonstrates that effective collaboration, communication, and critical thinking are essential for any business where teams must innovate and work together.
MIT’s study illustrates the impact of soft skills training in a factory setting where productivity is enhanced by streamlining coordination between managers and workers on the factory floor. In an office setting, soft skills can streamline how your managers and employees develop ideas, implement strategies, and test results.
The takeaway? Soft skills training matters for a team. But which skills your employees develop—and how—are equally important.
Which Soft Skills Yield the Highest ROI?
The skills taught in MIT’s Management Study align with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)’s Career Readiness Competencies. The nearly 70-year-old association is still the leading voice on career readiness for the college-educated workforce, which is why NACE is the basis of Ampersand’s training.
In a recently published NACE study, employers and graduates agree about what core competencies are most important, but are at odds regarding proficiency. From the employer’s perspective, recent college graduates tend to overestimate their fluency in critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills.
At Ampersand, we help businesses bridge the proficiency gap by training new professionals in all eight of NACE’s core competencies while showing them how they can be best applied at work. Here are the eight soft skills we include in our Accelerate new hire training.
Verbal and Written Communication
To maximize productivity, your company needs workers with transferable communication skills. Employees should be able to express their ideas clearly and write effective memos, emails, and reports. They should also be effective listeners.
When training new hires, Ampersand’s curriculum shows them how to give and receive feedback and clarify expectations. If your team doesn’t have a solid foundation for communication and collaboration, there will be a higher chance of misunderstandings or arguments that disrupt productivity.
In our Structures & Job Functions courses, we show new professionals how to work with other departments so that you can create a culture where teams share ideas and work in harmony with one another.
Working together is a critical component of being successful in the workplace. When your new hires build and maintain relationships founded on mutual trust, they can bring the best out of themselves and their teammates.
Ampersand’s coaches use team-building activities to clarify what each employee can bring to the table. Our Working With Your Manager & Team course shows new professionals how to give and receive feedback, clarify expectations, resolve conflict, and build momentum as they contribute to projects.
From handling client demands to streamlining operations, your team will face a number of challenges throughout a given workday. To overcome these challenges, employees must be able to apply their critical thinking skills to everyday workplace performance.
At Ampersand, we build confidence in your new employees by exposing them to different methods of problem-solving. As they say, “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” but there are many ways to solve a problem, and sometimes the best way isn’t the most apparent.
In our Beyond the Workplace and Goal Setting & Mindset courses, we encourage your team to look at problems from different angles before making a decision, setting the groundwork for new hires to be more independent and take calculated risks that pay off.
Equity & Inclusion
Ever heard the phrase “variety is the spice of life?” In business, variety is the key ingredient for promoting innovation. More perspectives lead to greater insights. Diversity and inclusion can unlock new opportunities and ideas as your team seeks novel solutions for business growth.
In our Employee Rights & Support course, we train new professionals how to make room, listen, and embrace ideas from other team members who might think differently based on their experiences.
Your employees are a reflection of your business. Their habits and actions not only affect their productivity but also how they come across to clients. Simple things like knowing how to write a clear, positive email, how to dress well, or how to prepare for a meeting are foundational to their success in the workplace.
When training new hires, Ampersand reminds them that small details add up to create a company culture. By showing them the nicest way to sign off on an email or end a phone call with clients, we are training them to have a large impact on your company’s reputation.
Our Professional Basics and Personal Branding & Networking courses incorporate habits and lessons that show your team how to refine their demeanor and provide stellar customer service.
There's a good chance that your new hires are already quite adept at using technology. But your team should understand how to use technology in a secure, ethical, and efficient way, on top of adapting to new technology and updates so that they can continue to work more efficiently without disrupting the workflow of your business.
In our Professional Basics course, we train new hires to be mindful of how they use technology within and outside of the office in order to protect company information and prevent security breaches.
Career & Self Development
“Where do you see yourself in X number of years?” is a question that many of us take for granted in the workplace. But new professionals are often amazed at what they can accomplish once they create a roadmap and mark major milestones.
At Ampersand, we teach your new employees that when they set short-term and long-term goals, it elevates your company as a whole. We also reinforce that good goal-setting means being realistic about what they can achieve in their set timeframe.
In our Career Exploration and Goal Setting & Mindset courses, we teach employees to be specific, measure their objectives, understand the actions they must take to reach them, and adjust as needed.
Leadership and employee retention are intertwined. Management often affects whether or not employees flourish in their roles or choose to quit. Being an effective leader and developing future leaders are crucial long-term investments for your company.
At Ampersand, we teach that there are several different types of leaders, but one shared trait across all leaders is that they tune into the strengths of others so that they can effectively guide their teams and delegate workloads. Developing all of the soft skills mentioned above is vital to cultivating diligent, effective leaders.
In our Review & Wrap-Up courses, we teach that when your team communicates efficiently, thinks critically, and embraces diversity as they develop themselves, they will be well on their way to developing others within your organization.
Teach Your New Hires Soft Skills that Pay Off
For soft skills training to yield high returns, it needs to mean something to your trainees. When employees can align their own personal and professional growth with the growth of your business, they feel empowered to stick around and do great things.
We set up our soft skills training program to be engaging, well-structured, and easy to track so that following through and securing a high ROI becomes that much more attainable.