The Five Skills Your Business Needs to Cultivate in 2024

Posted by Bernard Schoeman on 27 February 2024.



Bernard Schoeman

CA(SA), Post Graduate Diploma Accounting, BCom

The Tax Shop Head Office

More about Bernard Schoeman

Bernard studied BCom majoring in information systems and accounting at the University of Cape Town and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA) in 1997 after completing of his articles with Deloitte & Touche. Bernard has extensive international and local experience having worked for nearly three years with financial institutions in the UK (London) and having audited numerous companies listed on the JSE in South Africa. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” – (Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company)

In a world where everything seems more expensive today than it was yesterday training and advancement of staff can seem of lesser importance. As an increasing number of studies show, however, this could not be further from the truth. A lack of training at businesses can lead to decreasing quality of service, high employee churn rates, and more recently, an inability to match more technologically savvy competitors in the market.

In 2024, speak to your accountant to budget for the advancement of your employees and the development of skills within your organisation. Businesses who fail to bring these skills on board, whether through training or additional hires, are guaranteeing tough times ahead.

1. AI Prompting

Like Excel in the 2000s this is the one skill every office employee will need to have over the coming years. At the moment, prompt engineers are commanding enormous salaries for their understanding of just which commands are genuinely helpful when dealing with AI. It’s all very well having the latest technology, but if you are unable to unlock its potential then you are wasting the investment and falling behind every day.

2. Creative Communication

Ironically, in an era where AI is capable of producing a facsimile of good writing in a matter of minutes, genuine heartfelt, creative and original communication is going to become even more critical. Ensuring you have employees who are capable of identifying communication opportunities, and actively translating the insights of AI into easily understood, actionable and motivational text will be the difference in a world littered with paint-by-numbers ChatGPT blog posts and internal emails.

3. Cybersecurity

As the world moves increasingly digital and automated it also becomes more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Online threats can cripple companies and put them out of commission for weeks if not months, and lost information can be very hard to retrieve. While it is imperative that your company has experts employed who understand the threats, each and every employee should also be trained in the basics and potential loopholes that criminals will exploit. Failing to train in this area will no doubt lead to far greater costs down the line.

4. People Management

Managing a team requires a completely different set of skills to just ten years ago. With most jobs incorporating at least a percentage of remote work, and freelancers becoming an integral part of projects, managers need to be up to date on a number of new communication and management apps and solutions. Additionally, they need to know how to motivate and communicate effectively online and develop teams from people located around the world.

5. Customer Service

In the modern era of online reviews and social media, customer service has never been more important. Now, one bad experience doesn’t disappear, but instead lives with a company online forever. As a result, it’s critical that staff be trained in how to keep customers happy, how to handle a disgruntled customer and, when the odd bad reviews inevitably come in, how to turn them around to the company’s advantage.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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