How to assess the effectiveness of soft skills training

June 6, 2024 By Kit Germeroth

Well-rounded employees who display strong soft skills, including communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, help to enhance workplace interactions, improve productivity, and create a positive workplace culture. However, unlike technical knowledge, assessing soft skills and the effectiveness of related training can be challenging because they’re subjective. 

This article explores the importance of soft skills, strategies for teaching them, and methods for evaluating the effectiveness of your soft skills training. We will cover quantifiable assessment techniques that managers can apply to ensure comprehensive skill development and continuous improvement.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills, also known as people skills or interpersonal skills, are a set of characteristics or abilities that enable individuals to effectively interact with others and work in teams. Soft skills are a combination of communication, interpersonal, and social skills. 

Unlike hard skills which are technical skills that are specific to a job role, soft skills are universal and essential across various professions and industries. They are also difficult to quantify and measure, but are usually identified based on how an individual works and interacts with others. 

Employers value soft skills just as highly as ‘hard’ or knowledge-based skills because they contribute to a harmonious and productive work environment. While technical skills are important for specific job functions, soft skills are essential for effective collaboration, leadership, and overall workplace success.

What are examples of soft skills?

While some soft skills are widely known and often talked about — like communication, leadership, and teamwork — others are worth taking a deeper look at. 

Time management

This involves effectively managing one’s time to balance multiple tasks and meet deadlines. Good time management skills help employees prioritize their work, reduce stress, and maintain productivity.


A very important soft skill is being flexible and open to change. No matter the industry, workplaces are often dynamic and fast-paced. The ability to adapt to new situations, technologies, and processes is crucial for ongoing success and growth. 


People with strong problem-solving skills can identify issues, analyze possible solutions, and implement the best course of action when a problem arises. Strong problem-solving skills enable employees to handle challenges efficiently and contribute to continuous improvement. 

Conflict management

It’s incredibly important to be able to handle disagreements and find amicable solutions — an unpleasant yet unavoidable part of the workplace. Effective conflict resolution maintains harmony and ensures that disputes do not stand in the way of productivity or morale. 

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned judgment. It involves evaluating sources, facts, data, and arguments, and identifying logical connections between ideas. Employees who excel at critical thinking can contribute to finding smarter decisions and innovative solutions that look at every aspect of a problem. 

Why are soft skills important?

Soft skills enhance how employees interact with each other and approach their work. They complement hard skills and technical expertise, facilitating better communication, teamwork, and overall efficiency. 

Though experience and knowledge are, of course, important in a professional setting, the importance of soft skills cannot be overstated. 

How to teach soft skills

As a leader or employer, it’s beneficial to nurture employees by teaching them about soft skills and how to wield them. Some key strategies for this include:

Encourage a learning mindset

  • Promote the importance of continuous personal and professional development.
  • Create a culture where feedback is welcomed and viewed as an opportunity for growth.
  • Encourage employees to set personal development goals and track their progress.

Offer personalized training with an LMS (Learning Management System)

  • Provide tailored training programs with an LMS that caters to individual learning needs and styles with interactive modules, videos, and quizzes to engage learners.
  • Track progress and provide assessments to measure improvement and identify areas needing further development.

Provide on-the-go practice and experience

  • Incorporate real-life scenarios and role-playing exercises in training sessions to practice soft skills in a safe environment.
  • Use mobile apps and online platforms that offer quick, on-the-go exercises and tips for practicing soft skills daily.
  • Encourage employees to apply learned skills in their daily tasks and interactions, providing opportunities for immediate application and reinforcement.

How to assess learners’ soft skills

Once you have initiated soft skill learning courses in the workplace, it’s important to track your employees’ progress. 

To do this efficiently, though, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of the objectives of each training course. Clearly defined objectives serve as a guideline for assessment, ensuring that the implemented training aligns with the desired outcomes. For example, the objectives of a training course may include improved communication, enhanced teamwork, better problem-solving abilities, or increased adaptability. 

Once the objectives are established, you can then use various methods to evaluate the success of your training programs. Let’s look at ways to assess a learner’s soft skills.

Test their knowledge

One of the most straightforward ways to measure the effectiveness of soft skill training is through tests, quizzes, and assessments provided at the end of each course on the LMS. This will give you a quantifiable snapshot of exactly what each employee has learned and retained from the course, and how well it aligns with the objectives you’ve set. 

This doesn’t just have to be a boring True/False test. Scenario-based questions can evaluate the ability to apply soft skills in practical situations, while open-ended responses allow you to gain insight into the reasoning behind an employee’s thought process. 

These tests should happen often. Regular assessments allow for tracking progress over time, highlighting areas of improvement and those needing further development.


Self-assessment feedback forms are a valuable tool for measuring an individual’s perception of their own soft skills and development over time.

Rather than simply providing you with feedback, self-assessments encourage employees to reflect on their learning experiences and identify personal growth. Employees can evaluate how well the training has helped them achieve the set objectives.

Anonymous feedback forms are also a valuable method for assessment. These can reveal areas where employees feel less confident, indicating where additional training might be needed.

Appraisals and peer reviews

Integrating soft skill evaluation into performance appraisals and peer reviews provides a comprehensive view of how these skills are being used — and benefited from — in the workplace.

This can come from both peers and leaders. Managers can assess improvements in soft skills through regular performance reviews, while peer reviews offer a different perspective, providing insights into how an employee’s soft skills impact team dynamics and collaboration.

Combining self-assessments, peer reviews, and managerial appraisals offers a holistic view of an employee’s development and areas for improvement.

Build your employees’ soft skills

Consider using an LMS like Moodle Workplace to create and evaluate soft skill training courses. 

Moodle allows you to create customized training modules, interactive assessments, and detailed progress tracking, making it easy to build soft skills in the workplace, no matter the industry.