Written by: "Heera Edwin"

Soft Skills Training – A Necessary Luxury – Today & Tomorrow?

Soft Skills

Soft skills development is a luxury – nice to undergo – even better when it pays off at the workplace. Every year, millions of dollars are spent on soft skills training by enthusiastic organizations. Today, soft skills training stand tall with the hard skills of IT, maintenance, technical, and product training. In the Middle East, heavy investments are being made toward soft skills training. There is a return on Investment no doubt, and it is heartening to see organizations of all shapes and sizes enthuse over it. But – is soft skills training a necessity?

There was a time when soft skills training was a luxury – made affordable to only the most elite organizations; today, it is a necessary luxury. Along with the required hard skills, it’s an individual’s soft skills such as interpersonal skills, body language, communication skills, time management, organizational skills, listening skills and team player skills that will create the necessary impact needed to take a business forward. Today, soft skills are the hard skills necessary to make a business successful.

When should an organization introduce soft skills training?

When there is a specific need: It is not uncommon to find organizations waiting until they find themselves in a situation– like a meeting with a very important client – wherein they must put up their best front to “impress” or “strike a deal” – before they hurriedly seek a solution that will enhance certain people skills that will ‘make it happen’. Identifying specific training needs beforehand gives organizations and employees ample time to hone such skills.

When employees will benefit from such training: Customer-facing employees who must possess excellent communication skills, team leaders who must be able to manage time well, a janitor who requires good interpersonal skills – the list is endless. Everyone can benefit from soft skills training. While hard skills training may change when moving from one job to another, soft skills can be carried and used along the way.

When it will clearly impacts a business in a specific way: Unlike hard skills, soft skills are intangible and non-technical. Needless to say then that measuring their impact on business is quite difficult. But when aligned with core business needs, you can be sure that they have a clear impact on a business – even if it is as basic as one that is designed to motivate employees. Seeing that soft skills will have a positive impact on a business – any business in today’s day and age will benefit from soft skills training.

Will soft skill training be a “thing of the past” in the future?

No. In fact, soft skills training will become more of a necessity as we move into the future. We are right in the middle of an era that is a defined by change and we see change happening all around us – all the time. Complexity, competition and change (technological changes and changes in the way we function), will warrant new trainings that can help individuals keep up with these new competencies.

What kind of soft skill training will be required in the future?

Changes in the way we do business will soon require us to leave behind soft skill trainings such as leadership, organizational skills and time management; these will be replaced by new soft skills such as adaptability, critical thinking, optimism, pro-activity and resilience that will be required to survive in this new type of workplace that we foresee.

While technological advances and machinery will make hard skills unnecessary or even obsolete in the future, the need for specialized soft skills will grow over time. These skills are and will continue to be the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills that will maximize human performance at the workplace – the intangible skills that will give individuals that finesse that will make the difference to an entire business.

This article was first appeared on www.clo-me.com

Soft skills development is a luxury - nice to undergo – even better when it pays off at the workplace. Every year, milli...

Read More »

Why Choose a Customized Training Course?

customized training courses


No two organizations are alike. No two organizations’ needs are the same. Even when it comes to training employees, an organization’s requirements are unique. Unique training requirements can only be met by courses that are carefully designed and created to provide learners with knowledge that perfectly addresses their requirements.

Creating high impact and engaging customized training courses that seamlessly align an organization’s learning and performance goals with its business objectives is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s business world.

Off-the-shelf courses vs. customized training courses

Custom Content development is the design and development of courses based on training objectives and learning needs of an individual or organization. The courses are designed only after an in-depth understanding of the organization’s learning needs, its business goals, and its employees’ learning requirements.

While Off-the-shelf or catalog courses are created to meet industry-specific needs, they cannot provide a 100% solution that addresses organization-specific needs. A training solution that aligns an organization’s learning and performance goals with its business objectives can only be achieved through professional SMEs and content development experts.

Here’s why a customized training course works better:

A 100% Training Solution: The content created suits your organization as well as your employees’ training needs – a hundred percent. The custom content development team undertakes the job after a detailed needs, audience and task analysis, and assessment of your existing training system. Once the learning objective is determined, the course is designed by the experts. A professional custom content development team should be able to recommend the most appropriate content strategies to you. These strategies would cater to the corporate training market and are adapted differently for different product groups.

Easy Upgrading of Material: Knowledge changes at the speed of light. Often times, by the time a course is created, approved of, and rolled out to the employees – it is time to rewrite the course. Customized training courses can be changed, upgraded and updated as and when your organization’s needs and demands change, as well as when the knowledge that is passed on through these courses gets outdated, so that your employees have constant access to knowledge that is always up-to-date.

No licensing costs: One nagging problem that organizations face with off-the-shelf courses is the ‘hidden costs’ factor. Not only are these courses general, out-dated and lack a personal touch, they are also expensive because of the added licensing costs. With customized training courses, you can be sure that you get much more than you pay for. There are no licensing costs or any other hidden costs.

At 24×7 Learning, we take your training needs very seriously. After all, successful training empowers your employees with up-to-date knowledge that will enable them to maximizing their productivity in your organization.

  No two organizations are alike. No two organizations’ needs are the same. Even when it comes to training employee...

Read More »

5 Disruptive Technologies to Tackle L&D Challenges in 2016


It’s the 2nd week of January, 2016. The year is crisp and shiny new. It’s a great time to start off a new endeavour that didn’t go quite as planned in the past from a personal or business standpoint. Change is happening at lightning speed. It seems like only yesterday when learning on the go was a figment of one’s imagination – like something straight out of a sci-fi movie; but today a lot of that imagination, is reality. The 21st century is an exciting place to be in the workplace. Employers are open to change; employees are younger, more enthusiastic, demanding and know what they want; and exciting developments are giving learning a new dimension.

With more organizations taking the leap away from the traditional, to more modern and sophisticated training methodologies, 2016 promises to be an action-packed year for the industry. From wearable devices to condensed snippets of learning, more employers will assume a new stance in their learning policy.

With more baby boomers exiting the workforce this year, and with over half of the workforce comprising of millennials, 2016 will also find employers facing challenges that the L&D industry has been trying to tackle at a steadily increasing pace. Two of the big challenges that employers will have to overcome in 2016 are (a) retaining the Millennial employee and (b) tackling the problem of skill shortage.

Organizations must now use modern methodologies to fight these modern problems. Smart organizations already use new disruptive learning technologies extensively to combat these problems. Small and Mid-sized organizations must be quick to catch up on these trends to keep pace with their larger counterparts. Disruptive learning technologies take the new-age learner’s learning methodologies into consideration, making learning more meaningful and therefore more ‘successful’ in every sense of the word – making learners willing participants in the learning process and productive at the workplace – both of which influence to a substantial level, an employee’s desire to stay on with an organization.

5 disruptive learning technologies that will be used extensively this year are:

#1 Mobile learning – A new disconnected workforce begs for a type of learning that allows a learner to remain physically disconnected from a classroom but makes sure he is well connected to his learning environment and to other learners – no matter where he is. Mobile learning makes this possible. Mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, notepads, etc. are now available at an affordable price to the common man and will make mobile learning easy, affordable and successful.

#2 Wearable Devices – Wearable devices include clothing and accessories that incorporate computer and advanced electronic technologies within their workings. Wearable devices fall into various categories including surveillance, security and payment gateways, eTextiles, personal assistance and gaming.

In learning, the two types of wearable devices that will create waves are:

(1) Personal Assistance Devices (2) Virtual & Gaming Devices

Personal assistance devices are devices that help and engage humans with computer interaction. Virtual and gaming devices are devices that encourage immersive learning through play in a very rich and sophisticated virtual world. Both these types of wearable devices will provide learners with a deeper learning experience through deeper semantic sense, better performance support that requires very little or no human intervention.

#3 Gamifications in Learning – We now know that gamification enhances motivation to learn, can be used to personalize a learning experience, and helps give learners a feedback on learning. Because we – as a race – love games, games successfully grab our attention, improve knowledge retention, make the learning experience real for us, and improve the overall learning experience and success of a learning program.

 #4 Cloud-based LMSs –  Cloud-based learning management systems are learning platforms that allow an organization to store as much training-related information on cloud – with greater security, and gives learners easy accessibility to their learning programs from anywhere and at any time.

#5 Micro Learning – Knowledge changes at lightning speed, making it unnecessary to mug up realms of information – that is anyway going to become redundant in the near future. Learners have no time to absorb unnecessary information but require the latest information at their fingertips at the time of need. Training will involve condensing lengthy monologues of information into short, brief, informative snippets that are easy to grasp and retain – for longer periods of time.

Yes, 2016 promises to be an action-packed year for the L&D industry and we are excited to witness the big move that organizations will make from traditional learning to learning that makes use of disruptive technologies. If you have made the change or are thinking of making a change in your learning methodologies, we would be interested to know more.

It’s the 2nd week of January, 2016. The year is crisp and shiny new. It’s a great time to start off a new endeavour that...

Read More »

24×7 Learning Wins a Silver Brandon Hall Group Award

Brandon Hall 24x7 Learning

We are delighted to announce that we have won the coveted silver Brandon Hall group award for excellence in the “Best Advance in Learning Management Technology” category. This win was announced on December 4, 2015. The winners are listed at http://www.brandonhall.com/excellenceawards/past-winners.html

LearnTrak – the LMS that won 24×7 Learning this award was judged based on the following criteria: design of the solution; functionality; usability; innovation; and overall measurable benefits.

LearnTrak is a robust, scalable and secure enterprise LMS with comprehensive functionality that allows an organization to create, manage and deliver blended learning programs seamlessly. Its simple uncluttered user interface and one-click access to major functionality makes it easy for learner’s to access training and interact with content making it a great choice for organizations seeking to enhance the knowledge quotient of their employees.

LearnTrak has helped 200+ organizations surpass their learning objectives by streamlining user experience and providing a collaborative environment that learners carry seamlessly across devices suited to their individual learning styles.

LearnTrak has made learning appealing to learners – thereby increasing course completion rates and is a favorite among administrators because it has automated their otherwise manual and time-consuming work, considerably. LearnTrak eases an organization’s administrative overhead by automating repetitive tasks through configurable workflows, alerts, notifications and reminders. Its support for a multi-level nested hierarchy allows for replication of the organization’s business unit, functional and group structure.

The best in class in-built social, mobile and cloud capabilities make it a truly integrated platform that fosters both formal and informal learning styles. Its flexible web services architecture lends it interoperability, which allows interaction and data exchange with 3rd party HRMS systems

24×7 Learning’s offerings include:

LearnTrak LMS: An award-winning platform that uses breakthrough technology to deliver seamless and uniform training for intuitive, effective and collaborative learning. The platform supports multiple languages, blended learning, and mobile learning among other learner-friendly features.

Customized Course Development:  24×7 Learning creates a range of high impact and engaging custom online learning courses as well as interactive courses that are most suitable for organizations’ talent enhancement needs to help them achieve business goals. For more information, visit:  www.24x7learning.com

About Brandon Hall Group

Brandon Hall Group is a HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management. With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering world-class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is focused on developing research that drives performance in emerging and large organizations, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results. (www.brandonhall.com)

We are delighted to announce that we have won the coveted silver Brandon Hall group award for excellence in the “Best Ad...

Read More »