Mastering Soft Skills: The Hidden Role of Simulation-Based Learning

Mastering Soft Skills: The Hidden Role of Simulation-Based Learning

13 Jul 2023

This informal CPD article, ‘Mastering Soft Skills: The Hidden Role of Simulation-Based Learning ‘, was provided by keySkillset, a muscle memory building educational platform to master Excel, PowerPoint, Python Coding, Financial Modelling skills and more.

Is boredom creeping in during those lengthy lectures and role-playing exercises? Well, it's time to break free from the monotony and dive into a world of exciting and immersive learning experience. It's time now to say goodbye to passive learning and hello to active engagement!

Using simulations for soft skill development in 2023 and beyond is clearly a highly valuable strategy for organizations looking to gain a competitive advantage and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Soft skills, such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving, are increasingly recognized as crucial for success in the modern business landscape.

Research has also shown the significant impact of employee development on a company's bottom line. For example:

  • 77% of employee turnover could've been prevented by employers
  • 93% of employees are more likely to stay at a job longer if their employer invests in career development
  • Companies that spend at least $1,500 per employee annually report a 24% increase in profit 

This clearly shows that companies need to pay more attention to developing employees’ skills, both technical and soft skills. However, traditional training and assessment methods have often fallen short in effectively developing and measuring the soft skills.

Addressing the challenge of building soft skills

To address this challenge, organizations need a validated and proven method for soft skill development. Simulations offer an immersive, engaging, and relevant learning experience that can effectively develop soft skills.

  •  Also, according to an earlier statista report, about 54% of the employees worldwide believed that online simulation games are the most effective strategy of learning

And to support this fact, here shall we see some reasons why simulation learning is beneficial:

  • Real-world application: With simulation learning, you have an opportunity to apply soft skills or to get hands-on practice of these skills.
  • Engagement: Simulation learning is highly engaging, capturing your attention and motivating you to actively participate in the learning process. This leads to better retention and application of learned skills.
  • Self-awareness: Simulation learning can help you develop self-awareness by providing feedback and assessment of your soft skill performance. You can compare your assessment reports, identifying areas for improvement.
  • Actionable feedback: Simulation learning can offer you direct and actionable feedback, thus guiding your progress and helping you enhance your soft skills over time. This feedback is essential for continuous improvement and skill development. 

Points to consider while using simulation learning 

Using simulations for soft skill training is an effective approach to address the challenges associated with developing and measuring soft skills. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Interactive and engaging: Simulations provide employees with a hands-on, interactive learning experience that engages them in real-world scenarios. This immersive approach enhances learning and retention of soft skills.
  • Situational training: Simulations offer employees the opportunity to practice and apply soft skills in realistic situations. By experiencing different scenarios, employees can develop their problem-solving, communication, and decision-making skills.
  • Safe learning environment: Simulations create a risk-free environment for employees to make mistakes and learn from them. They can experiment with different approaches and receive immediate feedback, allowing them to refine their skills without negative consequences.
  • Efficient and time-saving: Simulations can be delivered online, allowing employees to access training anytime, anywhere. This flexibility saves time and reduces the need for in-person training sessions.
  • Actionable feedback: Simulations provide instant and objective feedback to employees, highlighting areas for improvement and guiding their development. This feedback is valuable for self-assessment and continuous improvement.
  • Customizable and scalable: Simulations can be customized to align with specific company needs and desired outcomes. They can be tailored to address industry-specific challenges or specific soft skills required for a particular role

Simulation training is a key component that must be incorporated into every L&D program. Simulation training involves putting learners into real-world scenarios to execute specific tasks, allowing them to apply the knowledge gained from lectures into practice. This knowledge application component is essential, as studies have shown that without active application, learners forget about 75% of knowledge learned after six days. Simulation training provides a safe practice environment where concepts meet realistic scenarios, enabling learners to make vital connections and improve their job performance.

Interact in a virtual environment

Different Types of Simulation Learning 

There are different types of simulation training available:

  1. Live Simulation: Real-world scenarios with actual or simulated equipment. It's like a fire drill or using a CPR dummy. Learning value depends on equipment sophistication.
  2. System Simulation: Simulated people using simulated equipment in a virtual environment, such as video games or system modeling. This focuses on understanding system relationships and strategy development.
  3. Virtual Simulation: Real people using simulated equipment in a computer-generated setting, like role play or cockpit simulation. Learning value depends on the quality of actors or virtual systems.
  4. Immersive Simulation: Real people interact with simulated characters in a virtual environment to develop specific skills, such as project management or leadership. Learning value varies based on simulation complexity. 

Simulation training effectively addresses common L&D challenges, including:

  • Reacting quickly to industry or company changes.
  • Providing development opportunities in a remote work model.
  • Upskilling and reskilling employees.
  • Improving critical soft skills for enhanced customer experience.
  • Enhancing learner engagement and satisfaction.
  • Fitting effective development into the workday.
  • Creating a culture of continuous learning. 

Simulation training helps overcome these challenges by providing practical, immersive, and relevant learning experiences that align with the evolving needs of employees and the organization.


In conclusion, the L&D department is of utmost importance in driving a company's success and growth. Simulation training is a powerful tool that enables L&D teams to provide engaging, practical, and tailored learning experiences to develop employees effectively. By incorporating simulation training, organizations can maximize the potential of their talent, enhance soft skills, and foster a culture of continuous learning.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from keySkillset, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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