Top 10 People Skills for Workplace Success

Top 10 People Skills for Workplace Success

People skills can help you land a new job, get promoted, and even earn more money. Also called soft skills, these abilities help you get along with teammates, innovate and share ideas, and follow through on your commitments. No wonder that 92% of human resources professionals say that people skills are just as important, if not more important, in job candidates than hard skills.  

But unlike technical expertise, people skills can be challenging to teach, learn, and demonstrate to hiring managers. This is in part because these talents are tricky to measure. You can test expertise in coding, bookkeeping, or language translation skills. It’s much more difficult to say whether someone is adept at teamwork, communication, or adaptability. 

To show hiring managers, supervisors, and clients that you have what it takes to succeed, it helps to understand how soft skills work. Here’s what you need to know. 

What Are People Skills? 

People skills are the qualities and talents that enable you to get along with others at work. These soft skills include abilities that help you listen to others, convey your ideas, collaborate with your team, and work productively toward a goal. 

Soft skills complement and enhance the hard skills that form the core of your technical skill set. For example, if you’re a carpenter, your ability to use the tools and equipment of your trade are hard skills, while your knack for listening to client requests and translating them into a final product are soft or people skills. Both are essential to your success on the job. 

Tip: You can learn people skills on the job or by taking online classes through sites like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning. Look for options to audit online courses for free. 

Top 10 People Skills for Workplace Success

These are among the most important non-technical skills. Focus on improving these abilities and demonstrating them at work. 


Change is part of life. Even if you are one of those rare folks who keeps the same job for decades, your work will evolve with industry trends, the economy, and emerging technologies. Being able to roll with the changes makes you a better employee but more importantly, it will help you be happier at work. 


According to ZipRecruiter, over 6 million job listings included communication skills as a requirement in May 2022, making these abilities the top soft skill desired by hiring managers. This makes sense: You can have the best ideas in the world, but if you can’t express them to others in a way that they can hear, you won’t be able to achieve your goals.

Customer Service

The second most sought-after skill according to ZipRecruiter is customer service, which appeared in 5.5 million job listings. Even if you don’t work in retail or food service, you may need these skills at work. Human resources professionals, health care workers, and freelancers of every kind have customers of some kind. Learning how to manage these relationships is valuable in a variety of fields. 


Even if you’re not an artist by trade, you need creativity to succeed at work. Everyone needs the ability to come up with new solutions to problems. It’s also helpful if you can step outside of the usual way of doing things to look at your work routine from a fresh perspective. 

Emotional Intelligence 

Especially in leadership roles, emotional intelligence is essential. Experts in EQ break it down into four components: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Master these factors and you’ll have greater empathy for and connection with your colleagues. 


Employers have many ways of describing workers who take the initiative. In a job listing, they might ask for a “self-starter.” In a performance review, they might praise you for being “proactive.” But it all amounts to the same thing: valuing workers who see what needs to be done and do it without being directed by others. 


Managers and leaders are not necessarily the same thing, although the best managers have well-developed leadership skills. Further, not every leader holds a management role. Some inspire, influence, and guide their co-workers without being an official authority. 

Problem Solving 

Over a million job listings referenced problem-solving skills, per ZipRecruiter. This is unsurprising, considering that almost every job presents issues that need to be addressed. 


Job descriptions frequently reference this skill as “multitasking.” However, research shows that true multitasking doesn’t really exist. Most people can only concentrate on one task at a time. What employers are looking for is time management and prioritization—the ability to attack problems in order of importance and not get distracted by less essential work. 


Even if you’re a born introvert engaged mostly in solitary work, you’ll need to be able to collaborate with others at some point in your career. True teamwork means being able to listen, take and offer constructive criticism, and work together toward a common goal. 

How To Use People Skills To Earn More Money

When you think about upskilling to build your career, you probably envision yourself working on your technical skillset. But polishing your soft skills can also help you succeed. Having excellent people skills can help you: 

Earn a Promotion

When employers promote from within, they look for workers with soft skills like leadership, teamwork, and emotional intelligence, as well as top-notch hard skills. Even developing institutional knowledge requires a well-honed soft skill set. You have to be able to understand your company culture, work within the rules, and know when and how to push to get things done. 

Get a Raise

Expert negotiators have this in common: excellent people skills. To get the salary you deserve, you need: 

  • Adaptability to understand that negotiating skills can be developed
  • Initiative to know that you can’t wait until your employer feels like paying you more
  • Emotional intelligence to sense when the time is right to ask for more money


Land a New Job

Scan job listings for keywords related to the soft skills the employer is seeking. Highlight those terms in your resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile.

When you’re preparing for job interviews, think of stories that demonstrate how you used these skills to achieve previous employers’ goals. Then, be ready to talk about how you can do the same for this employer. 

  • No Comments
  • January 31, 2023