The only time soreness is the sign of a "good workout" is if you are interested in dramatically increasing muscle mass. For the client that asks about being sore after the workout, the answer depends on their goals, initial fitness level, and age.
Why in the world would the average person who exercises want to be sore after every workout? You are exercising to get strong, fit, keep weight under control and decrease the risk of disease. Those that feel they need to workout until they are sore oftentimes wind up with an overuse injury, strained muscle or worse. I always hear people mention that they had a great workout because they could not walk for 3 days!
So why do some feel they need to feel sore? A trend in fitness is high intensity military like, navy seal type exercises. Some of these exercises should only be performed(if they have to be) by very experienced exercisers.There are a exercises that really do not sufficiently improve health to be worth the risk of winding up next door at physical therapy. In other words the military type exercises have a poor risk- reward ratio. There is a physical therapy facility next door to some of the high intensity military style gyms.
There are some that thrive on being busy, working long hours. This mindset is brought to the gym. Instead of working to soreness daily, find some physical activity that is enjoyable-
walking dancing, hiking, biking, etc. Exercise to be healthy not injured.