Soft skills are intangible and difficult to quantify, unlike hard skills, which can be demonstrated and measured. Hard skills are the necessary abilities that are needed to simply get the job done.
Soft skills are the personal a tributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Soft skills include social ability, communication, attitude, teamwork, and character traits that support the hard skills that are required by the job description. Hard skills are developed through formal education and training programs, including college, internships, short-term training classes, and certification programs.
*Related – The Term Soft Skills is an Oxymoron
If we know that soft skills are more difficult to learn because of the abstract component, why are we not spending more time training our employees in this area?
Setting the Bar
Jaime Pun is a graduate of the CXEA and the CEO of Tai Pak Asian Wok Kitchen, a chain of restaurants in Mexico. He has implemented a soft skills training program within his organization and has seen significant improvements in his Net Promoter Score (NPS) and revenue.
The program that Jaime has created for his team members includes a manual, an online platform for reinforcement and a final exam to certify each employee’s knowledge level.
The first page of the manual is a checklist that each manager is required to complete daily to ensure the participant is following the program properly.
The online platform consists of various multimedia files that feature 2 Tai Pak characters: “Pepe and Juan”. Pepe is a World-Class waiter, while Juan is a traditional one. Jaime found that having the 2 characters made it easier for the team members to understand what to do and why they are doing it. The characters allow the team to visualize the situations that occur most often.
Finally, a final exam certifies that the waiter is capable of implementing the most important Non-Negotiable Standards and Never & Always for a waiter. It also certifies that he/she knows how to perform the hard skills required of a waiter, such as setting a table, taking an order or cleaning a table.
“It is also helping our culture greatly because they are permanently looking for opportunities to execute their daily learnings which in turn creates a better experience to our guests,” says Pun. “With this clarity, it is now easier for a manager to understand who needs help and how to help, making their job easier and more enjoyable.”
Jaime’s program is proof that soft skills can be trained, and when effectively reinforced, they can have a generous impact on revenue and internal culture. Do you have soft skills training in your organization?