Measure the soft skills of your employees in 3 steps

As team manager, you will often have an idea of the strong soft skills and areas for development of your employees. But how objective is this? And how can you map this at team level, division level or organization level? Away with estimates, find the sore spot! Determine the soft skills of your employees with a scan and order this information by implementing a soft skills dashboard. You’ll get there in no time by following these 3 steps.

vier fases david kolb1. Scan to plan

If the entire team makes a scan where they are asked to show specific skills, you’ll receive a lot of data that allows you to analyze the soft skills within or between teams. If you use online video role plays, the employee doesn’t have to free up a day and they will be able to do it wherever they want. Collect the information in an orderly dashboard and you can see the level for each division or team within the organization. The scan yields a score from which you can deduce the strengths and areas for development for your team. Not just for every competence, but also for every subcompetence, which takes you even closer to the core of the skills that can be developed. Take the following example: your employees score high on ‘collaborating’ and the scan shows that the subcompetences ‘showing empathy’ and ‘giving feedback’ are your employees’ strong suits, but the larger part of your employees appears not to be very good in ‘giving feedback pro-actively’. Then, you can adjust your training strategy based on these insights. In this way, you are developing the communication skills of the entire organization with focus and reason, exactly in the areas where it is needed.

2. Your result, your progress

To ensure privacy, individual trainees should be the only ones to access their personal insights. These insights trigger the motivation to develop yourself and can be discussed (on the employee’s own initiative) in conversations on functioning, development or career opportunities with the manager or HR professional. Aggregated reports offer insight for the manager, but as an individual participant, you can get even more insight in your personal situation. For example, after making a scan you receive the following feedback: “It shows that presenting is one of your strengths! Your feedback techniques show room for improvement, however. Should you want to bring them to a higher level, try out this training program” after which the employee can start a training program right away. This also helps in linking the right people to projects or jobs, an important strategic advantage!

3. Stay on it!

Keep assessing (and training continuously!) to make sure that your data stays up-to-date. Achieving a (collective) result will motivate your employees to participate and to excel in the skills that are relevant to their jobs. A dashboard creates insight into the communication skills and competences, but it will get really interesting if you keep assessing and track the progress. By assessing every once in a while, your data will grow. The sales dashboard won’t show just a snapshot of your team’s scores, but also real progress. For example, when some skills are deteriorating, you can see it right away and act on it immediately. In this way you can see what you are training for and, in addition, it motivates your employees!

Want to know more about scanning the communication strengths in your organization? Read the case study of the company Coolblue.

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