Learning & Development

The 7 most important soft skills to cultivate in your workforce

Only 31% of employers provide important soft skills training to their employees, yet 85% of career success comes from having well-developed soft skills. Talk about a big difference.

92% of talent professionals believe soft skills are just as important—or even more important—than hard skills when it comes to hiring.

So it’s really no surprise that 80% found they’re increasingly key to company success.

Here are some important soft skills to cultivate in your workforce to ensure your business—and your employees—can reach their full potential:

Growth mindset

A growth mindset is all about being open to learning and treating failure as a learning exercise, not a reason to give up.

There are many businesses and people out there who still have a fixed mindset and don’t see opportunities for growth.

But the brain is neuroplastic: it can learn new things, and embrace new things, at any age. You very much can teach an old dog new tricks.

When businesses cultivate growth mindsets, employees aren’t afraid to fail because they know they can learn from their mistakes. As a result, they take more risks—and you can experience bigger rewards.


Listening is a lot harder than we often think it is. But ultimately, it’s one of the most important soft skills you can cultivate.

The next time you’re in the office or even on public transport, listen to someone else’s conversation.

How often do they interrupt each other?

How often do they actually reply to what the other person has said, rather than saying what they want to say?

Do they change the conversation to be about something they want to talk about instead?

We often underestimate listening, assuming it’s the same thing as having a conversation with someone. But they’re two very different things.

Listening means not interrupting the other person. Not just talking about what you want to talk about. Accepting what the other person says, ideally without judgement.

Then, once they’ve finished saying what they need to say, responding to that without making it about you.

Giving and receiving feedback

We’re not taught communication skills in school, and sometimes we’re not taught them at college. So if we’re not taught strong communication skills at work, where can we learn them?

Giving and receiving feedback can be hard. Even people who are trained to give feedback often focus only on the bad things, which can create an atmosphere of negativity.

When giving feedback, make sure you compliment things as much as you criticize them. That way, the person on the receiving end knows what they’re doing right—and wrong.

Hearing feedback isn’t always easy, but it’s one of the really important soft skills needed to grow as a person—and as an employee. We need to know how to receive comments graciously without getting angry or taking that feedback personally.


Leadership skills aren’t just about being able to lead a team. That’s a part of it, but it’s also about being able to set an example.

There will be leaders within a team who’ll guide the rest of the members through their actions, through their encouragement, and through their attitude, rather than direct instructions.

Many successful leaders in sports, business, and everything in between attribute their success not only to their own skills but also to the role models within the team. These role models helped everyone embody the right attitude by setting an example for them to follow.

Modeling productive behaviors is among the important soft skills that don’t require advance training. Anyone can start doing it at any time.

Time management

Whatever barriers you may face, there are ways to ensure that your time management skills are top-notch.

For instance, my mom used to set her clock 10 minutes early so that she left on time for work every day.

You could use calendar reminders, notifications on your phone, or time management apps. You could ask your colleagues to remind you about something important. 

Time management isn’t always easy, but there are ways to make it easier, especially if you embrace technology.


Part of being a great employee is being a great team player. Whatever your business, your employees need to get along and have healthy debates without getting upset or angry with their colleagues. Even if they have conflicting personality traits or communication styles.

This requires everyone to have a strong work ethic, putting business success over their own pride. Effective communication helps here, because they can discuss ideas in depth without letting their feelings get in the way. 

We’re never going to get along with everyone we work with, but teamwork skills ensure employees know and understand how to be a good team member and come to a mutual agreement or compromise. Being able to find common ground is one of the important soft skills you shouldn’t overlook.

Problem-solving skills

Problem solving is hard. To do it efficiently requires creativity and objectivity.

This is why a diverse, modern workplace is so important: the more diverse your workforce is, and the more comfortable people are speaking out, the more likely the team is to come up with a solution to a problem. And the faster they’re likely to do it.


Any soft skill is a transferable skill that can improve employees’ work lives and their personal lives. Providing important soft skills training can boost employee well-being, improve their work day, and elevate how they interact with their colleagues.

Regardless of someone’s long-term career path, important soft skills will improve their emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and communication skills. All things that will help them succeed as people and employees.

Looking to do more to foster these important soft skills in your workforce? Look no further than Workrowd.

With our all-in-one platform, you can easily connect team members to opportunities to build important soft skills through employee groups, programs, and events. Plus, our automated analytics ensure you always know how each initiative is helping you reach your goals.

Sound interesting? Drop by our homepage to learn more, or send us a note at

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