A well-equipped library of soft skills training modules can greatly boost employees’ job performance. With soft skills being one of the strongest predictors of job success, businesses can’t ever go wrong with investing in soft skills training. However, due to their wide applicability and context-dependent variations, traditional e-learning approaches don’t do soft skills justice. Thus, soft skills training requires extra care in how it is structured and enables learning. This article will give you a quick guide on building Soft Skills eLearning Module for your workforce.

Table of Contents

Here is A Guide to Building Soft Skills eLearning Module

Step 1: Identify Soft Skills Gaps

Before you begin building soft skills training modules, you need to identify which ones your employees need. Training needs analysis is the most effective way to achieve this.

Through TNA, you can gain an understanding of what each level of the business prioritizes. For instance, senior management might be more concerned with soft skills that directly affect business goals, whereas managers and employees might be more concerned with growth and performance-related soft skills.

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TNA collects this information using qualitative and quantitative tools such as interviews, focus groups, surveys, observations, etc. At the end of this process, you have a list of all the skills gaps that exist in your current training programs. Additionally, TNA helps L&D departments identify which training approaches work for learners and which ones don’t.

Step 2: Set Measurable Training Objectives

Once you know your organization’s training needs, you need to chalk down training objectives.

Training objectives, or learning objectives, are clear and specific statements that describe the behaviors or knowledge areas learners should be able to demonstrate and/or utilize by the end of a training program.

Learning objectives are extremely crucial to the success of any training program because:

  • They let learners know what to expect from the program.
  • They create instructional alignment in courses, making it so that the training and assessment techniques used produce effective learning outcomes.

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  • Top-notch Quality – get the most effective courses designed by us.
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When writing training objectives for your soft skills training programs, make sure that they are measurable. Measurable learning objectives are important for both, the learners and the business.

  • With measurable learning objectives, learners will have a clear picture of the knowledge or skills they should be working towards and use their time and energy accordingly.
  • Assessing learning outcomes is more efficient with a measurable learning objective since they clearly define the conditions for successful and unsuccessful learning.

Step 3: Curate Training Materials

After identifying training needs and setting up objectives, you can start building your training program or outsource its development to an e-learning vendor.

The training materials should align with your training program’s intended purpose. Here is where building soft skills training modules becomes tricky. These are the main reasons why:

  • Soft skills and how they are used differ from situation to situation. Thus, soft skills are very context-dependent. In a training program, each and every context cannot be explored due to time and budget constraints. Additionally, the given contexts will never be exhaustive because of how varied the day-to-day human experience is.
  • Secondly, soft skills are learned over the course of life through our experiences. Thus, many learners might have psychological barriers against following the advice they find in soft skills training modules if their personal approach has always worked for them if they firmly stand by it, are hesitant about it, etc.

Thus, soft skills training needs to be impactful and involve learners in the learning process. Soft skills training is most effective when it elicits reflection that naturally builds empathy or helps learners arrive at the expected conclusion by themselves.

The e-learning tools most effective at creating such a learning environment are:

Videos – L&D experts unanimously agree that videos are one of the best virtual tools to teach interpersonal soft skills. With video skits and demos, learners can see and hear how tone, body language, eye contact, etc., work in specific contexts and the kinds of effect variations in these aspects can cause.
Branching scenarios – such activities allow learners to experience how their choices in a given situation affect its outcomes, thereby allowing them to infer dos and don’ts or effective and ineffective strategies. Branching is also very hands-on, making learning stick.
Stick to one concept at a time – Soft skills are somewhat abstract. Thus, tackling more than one at a time can end up confusing learners. For example, in a course about written communication, mixing putting emails and business letters in the same section will confuse learners as to their purpose and usage. Thus, micro and nano learning are excellent approaches to consider. By breaking down one soft skill group into short 5-10 minute courses, you give your learners an opportunity to slowly integrate each skill into their skill-set.
Narratives, scenarios, and stories – Another great way to elicit reflection and empathy is through narratives and scenarios. Thus, scenario-based roleplays, narrative-based gamification and real and fictional stories are excellent at demonstrating soft skills to learners.
Synchronous virtual learning – Nothing beats learning soft skills through real-time interaction. Thus, when feasible, you can develop instructor-led programs that learners can attend in real-time. Instructors can facilitate discussions, use real-time examples, and share their own knowledge. Such programs also have a little more flexibility in terms of topics discussed, thus allowing for nuance, which is important for soft skills training.

Step 4: Facilitate Practice and Reflection

Apart from rich and comprehensive training materials, effective soft skills training modules also provide opportunities for practice and self-reflection.

  • Just a simple prompt asking learners for their thoughts can facilitate reflection.
  • In other cases, journals are an excellent tool.
  • Recalling similar experiences can also bring about desired changes in learners.
  • While branched exercises and scenarios are great for learning, they can also double as practice tools where learners get feedback for their choices.
  • Lastly, nothing beats practicing on the job. Thus, businesses can increase collaboration opportunities, projects, and client interactions so employees get to practice soft skills in real-time.

Step 5: Assessment

Assessments will offer the final verdict on your soft skills training programs and guide you in developing future programs or tweaking existing ones.

  • The practice exercises mentioned above can double as assessments where learners are marked or graded.
  • Activities like filling in the blanks, card sorting, matching, labeling, etc., can also provide effective information on the learning outcomes.
  • Changes in business outcomes and performance can also signal whether a program met its purpose.


An Essential Guide to Building Soft Skills eLearning Module - Infograhic

An Essential Guide to Building Soft Skills eLearning Module – Infographic


Soft skills training is more important than ever today. Successful businesses not only have technically competent employees, but soft skills also end up becoming stronger predictors of job success. For companies looking to upskill their workforce with soft skills training, they should start with identifying skills gaps and then building hands-on courses that have plenty of practice opportunities and reflection prompts for effective learning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are soft skills training modules?

Soft skills training modules are courses that teach soft skills. They have specific and measurable learning objectives they seek to achieve, use relevant training tools and techniques to achieve these outcomes, and structured assessments that reflect whether a training module was effective or not.

What can I expect from soft skills training?

Soft skills training is a mix of theoretical knowledge, examples, self-reflection, and hands-on practice. Thus, you can expect soft skills training to involve learners in the learning process from the get-go.

What is the best way to integrate soft skills?

Some of the best ways to teach soft skills are:

  • Videos
  • Branching scenarios
  • Single-concept microlearning and nano learning
  • Narratives, scenarios, and stories
  • Synchronous virtual learning
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