The Role of Soft Skills in the Modern Workplace

When Covid-19 broadsided the world in 2020, it marked the onset of a new normal in life and at work. It was a challenging time, to say the least, but one of the positive trends that emerged was realization of the importance of soft skills when it comes to workplace interactions and related successful outcomes.

  • Soft skills are those capabilities people possess beyond their technical, more measurable strengths. They’re the behaviors, personality traits and tendencies people rely on to engage naturally with others. The bad news is: not everyone is born with them. But the good news is: they can be honed and developed.

Covid-19 dramatically accelerated the need for new workplace skills and processes, with social and emotional strengths topping the priority list. So, as you staff for success, here are some traits to look for in candidates and develop in your existing workforce:


This includes everything from oral, written and non-verbal communication to empathy and active listening.

  • Recent research shows that the cost of poor communication, leading to errors and lost productivity, exceeds $37 billion a year. On a positive note, it was also found that companies whose leaders and employees had well-developed communication skills produced a 47 percent higher return to their shareholders over five years.

Problem Solving

You need team members who approach problems calmly and rationally, and use creative thinking to find solutions. Problem-solving skills include observation, negotiation, analysis, brainstorming, and effective decision-making.


Even employees who don’t regularly manage other people will likely be asked to take the lead on a task or project at some point. Here’s where strong leadership skills, including conflict resolution, delegation, empathy and project management, become invaluable.

Work Ethic

A strong work ethic shows that a person believes in the importance of their role and your business. Specific related skills include self-motivation, dependability, professionalism and discipline. You see it in people who consistently arrive at work on time, complete assignments within deadline, and are organized and efficient.


Team members with a positive attitude not only help make your workplace more fun and productive, but they also help counterbalance stress.


Being self-aware means a person takes a bird’s eye view of themselves and tries to understand how others perceive their words and actions. It also is the starting point for developing other soft skills.

Time Management

This skill has become even more essential as a growing number of workplaces adopt remote and flexible scheduling. But it’s essential for everyone.

  • There are myriad time management tools, such as tracking apps, that can be used depending on a person’s style and preference. Successful time management means understanding what works for you, then prioritizing and planning to cover all your responsibilities.

To find candidates with just the right blend of hard and soft skills, and to develop your current team for the same balance, consider partnering with PrideStaff Modesto. Contact us today to learn more.