Soft skills help achieve results on and off the job

Skyline Luge managers Gary Tiah (at far left) and Abdul Muizz (right) interacted better with guests after completing the Certificate in Attractions course.
Skyline Luge managers Gary Tiah (at far left) and Abdul Muizz (right) interacted better with guests after completing the Certificate in Attractions course.ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Taking up a course in the service industry may make you think twice about flaring up at the waiter over cold soup or a long wait.

Mr Abdul Muizz, 27, a manager with Skyline Luge Sentosa, said he gained a wider perspective of customer service after receiving his Certificate in Attractions from private hospitality training centre William Angliss Institute under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications framework two years ago.

The course, which now falls under the SkillsFuture Credit scheme, teaches participants interpersonal skills, attraction safety and how to conduct tours.

Students must accumulate between 103 and 200 hours to be certified. They pay between $355.20 and $3,552, depending on the level of government subsidies, which are given to citizens and older workers.

"I learnt how to be more patient and consider both the customers' and providers' points of view," Mr Abdul said, noting that his relationship with his family also improved after the course. "You don't have to be in the service industry to learn these soft skills."

He also started speaking to others in a more respectful tone, he added. "You're no longer so easily frustrated the next time you go out and the service at dinner is slow," he said.

Mr Abdul, who holds an N-level certificate, previously worked odd jobs before landing his current job.

Besides soft skills, he also picked up knowledge of passenger safety and has a clearer idea of operations.

Similarly, his colleague, Mr Gary Tiah, 26, found that his interpersonal skills improved after the course.

Mr Tiah, who holds a diploma in marketing, said: "I started asking people how their day was and making conversation. It improves their experience and mine too. I also learnt more about cultural differences across various nationalities."

Both men were promoted to managers within 18 months of completing the course.

Mr Ryan Williams, general manager of Skyline Luge Sentosa, said: "They became more knowledgeable about their work and worked better with guests."

Mr Abdul said: "I took the course, expecting it to help in my job... But it did more than that."

Aw Cheng Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2016, with the headline 'Soft skills help achieve results on and off the job'. Print Edition | Subscribe