Video is an effective tool that employers can use to help employees develop soft skills.
While it’s tough to tell exactly what the future of work will look like, one thing we know for sure is the workforce is seeing a drastic change in the skills that employees will need to succeed—the prioritization of soft skills development. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, talent developers, executives, and people managers agree that training for soft skills is the top priority for talent development teams. Video is an effective tool that employers can use to engage employees in soft skill development.
What are soft skills and why are they becoming so important?
Soft skills include things like the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, solve complex problems, organize, and work collaboratively. While the need for technical proficiency will always exist, in the future of work, professionals agree that the combination of soft skills with technical skills will be necessary for the success of employees and their organizations.
In short, we’ll soon only be as good as the soft skills we possess. A person may have all the technical expertise in the world, but if they can’t communicate well, think critically, or collaborate well with others on their team, they are unlikely to succeed.
How can soft skills affect employment outcomes?
Soft skills are universally important. Getting along well with others, being able to express, understand, and interpret ideas, and identify issues and problem-solve are skills critical to achieving effective outcomes in the workplace and they’re qualities that are highly desired by all employers.
However, these competencies are nearly impossible to assess and improve, and the impact of training is typically difficult to measure using traditional methods, which results in soft skills gaps. Employers also often lack the time and resources to work one-on-one with employees on soft skills development; coaching is difficult to deliver at scale.
Bringing real-world context to soft skills training with video
Thanks to the proliferation of video platforms like YouTube and the push by social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to make video a more crucial component of the user experience, video is a now a highly familiar, comfortable and accessible technology for modern learners. For example, according to Google, 70% of millennial YouTube users watched YouTube in 2017 to learn how to do something new or learn more about something they’re interested in.
With video, learning modules can be shorter, retention is likely to be higher, and learning can be more contextual by putting the learner in the mindset of the activity. And leveraging a modern learning platform with built-in video capabilities, it can also be delivered at scale.
The applications of video for soft skills learning in the modern workplace are many. Here are a few scenarios to consider when using video for learning in your workplace:
Demonstration and role play: Video can be used by an employee to review and practice a new process, procedure or soft skill, or to role play in the context of a specific scenario.
Self-reflection: Have an employee use video to individually assess and capture their reflection on learning
Feedback and learning assessment: Social Assessment—a modern framework for feedback that can help employers to better measure the impact that workplace training can have on employees’ soft skills development—uses video to obtain and capture feedback from peers, coaches, mentors, and managers.
Test knowledge: In addition to allowing employees to access video-based course material, new video learning platforms can also enable video-based Q&As, where employees use their use video to demonstrate their retention of knowledge learned, often within a specific timeframe.
Virtual meetings: Leverage video for group meetings, such as quarterly team meetings or company town halls.
Interview for soft skills: Use video Q&A to demonstrate a candidate’s communication capabilities, to understand their knowledge level and to record their reactions to questions before they respond.
Group learning: Video can be used to refine a team’s collaboration skills and teach people in teams how to work together to create a sense of community amongst employees. Staff might use video as a team to digest new training as a group, solve a problem or brainstorm a solution. Group members are able to see each other, and each other’s work.
Here’s how video can be used for Social Assessment in the workplace.
In short, video is a highly efficient, interactive and accessible method for employees and employers. By using video to support the learning lifecycle, employees are able to access learning in context, practice their learning in more meaningful ways, and easily solicit and access pointed feedback from coaches, managers, mentors, and peers. Employers, in turn, can use video to train more employees in a smarter fashion with a higher return, offering an efficient means of preparing them for the future of work.