Non-technical skills are generally referred to those soft- skills that are generic in nature like interpersonal, communication, team work, time management, problem solving or creative skills. Organizations are increasingly giving importance to non-technical skills of their employees at the workplace for optimizing human performance for organizational well-being and growth. Hence, non-technical training programs have found a prominent place in the HR training programs of organizations in recent years.
Non-technical training involves training in aspects which are intangible be it leadership development skills, team-building, problem-solving or management techniques. The training program is facilitative in nature and focuses on outcomes that are definable using behavioral objectives. It is more learner-centric and needs the trainee to imbibe the skills being shared. Developing non-technical programs has its share of challenges which can be listed as follows:
- The scope of topics in Non-technical training programs is quite vast and narrowing it to the given context and making it relevant to the participant is a daunting task.
- It is difficult to convince and gain acceptance by a participant for the need for the non-technical training program be it time management, leadership skills, team building etc and participants cannot appreciate its long term benefits.
- The program has to be designed in such a manner that it is interactive with role plays, activities, simulated conversations or graphics so as to ensure that the participants’ interest levels are not lowered.
Since non-technical training involves behavior skills that need to be worked on over a period of time and depends on the individual, it cannot be measured in tangible way. As a result, it gets difficult to quantify the extent to which the skills have been imparted thereby judge the success of a program.
To ensure the success of the non-technical training program, a trainer or designer has to ensure that the course is tailor-made keeping in mind the needs of the participants. Though the subject is generic in nature in order to ensure active participation, the program has to be designed in such a way that the participants find it beneficial in the context of their specific work-place environment.