Having a skilled and agile workforce can make a huge difference in any business’s success and growth. Whether you’re recruiting specifically for these skills or seeking to develop them in an existing workforce, it’s important to make sure that your business is supported by people who have these essential abilities.

The ability to grasp data analytics. We are increasingly seeing analytics used to generate growth across all sectors. Staff who can analyze datasets, identify trends and carry out key tests can be vital to ensuring your business is on track and optimizing all its opportunities.

Emotional intelligence. While this has often been undervalued in the past, emotional intelligence is now recognized as a leading indicator of performance – 90% of top performers have high levels of it. High emotional intelligence requires skills in relationship management, self-awareness, self-management and social awareness.

Accounting skills. Even for those who aren’t working directly in the accounting team, having a sound understanding of the way this functions for the business can be incredibly useful. It provides key insight into the potential and performance of an organization, for example, and is an essential part of being able to understand and communicate end-of-year financial results.

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Communication skills. Whether it is motivating people to reach organizational goals, listening with empathy to problems or being able to resolve disputes, people with communication skills are invaluable in any organization.

Effective negotiation skills. This is often identified as one of the major skills to have, both in the current working environment and for employees of the future workforce too. Negotiation styles can differ from person to person, but basic training can help staff to develop confidence and learn how to use improvisation and thinking on their feet to their advantage at the negotiating table.

Management abilities. This category covers a very wide range of different skills, from being able to lead meetings, boost morale and motivate to having the communication skills to talk about organizational change. People with robust management skills are crucial for any business looking to ensure that employees remain engaged and committed to the business long-term.

Being able to lead. The difference between management and leadership skills is that management is usually focused on implementing day-to-day processes and structure, while leadership is all about vision, perspective and change. Those who have effective leadership skills can help to direct the business down the right path, stay calm in challenging circumstances and create an innovative vision for the future.

Decision-making skills. Daily life at work can involve lots of choices and challenges, and strong decision-making skills are essential to ensure that your team doesn’t waste time or lack confidence when it comes to moving forward. This includes being able to use all the supportive tools available, particularly those that make data-driven decision-making easier.

Identifying certain skills as essential for your workforce can help to ensure that you have the people you need to support business growth and to maximize value in the business.

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