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Keeping Up With the Evolving Workplace: Why Knowledge is Key to Remaining Competitive

Posted by: The ADP Team on 21 September 2016 in Multinational & Globalization

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It used to be said that knowledge is power, but as workplaces across the world evolve, access to knowledge is now power. Find out the three trends driving this change; what your peers across the world are faring – and how you can help your team better manage this shift.

  • The knowledge exodus. Members of the baby boomer generation are reaching retirement—taking years of experience and accumulated knowledge with them.
  • Work at the speed of change. Another workforce change is the trend toward frequently shifting roles. According to recent ADP research (1), 86% of APAC workers believed traditional workplace departments and hierarchies would not exist in the future – this was far higher than the global average of 54%. Employees now have to take on new projects or tasks quickly, or fill different positions as needed, requiring them to learn new job functions or understand different aspects of their industry.
  • Carrying a larger load. Advances in technology mean that many traditional job functions can now be completed more efficiently and many basic tasks are now automated. This has changed what day-to-day work looks like for many employees and they typically carry more workload than in the past as they perform more critical thinking or knowledge-based tasks. To do this kind of work, employees need to be able to gather information and collaborate easily.

How are my regional peers faring?

The ADP Research Institute® (ADP RI) conducted a qualitative and quantitative study among employers and employees across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, to gauge several key trends contributing to the transformation of the workplace – and here’s a quick look at how your peers across the world are managing knowledge in the workplace.

The Asia-Pacific region is on the forefront of on-demand learning and technological resources that facilitate knowledge in the workplace. Individuals in this region felt they have already been strongly affected by the workplace trend of sharing and spreading knowledge to constantly learn and shift roles, and they are excited to have increased access to resources and tools needed to do their work. Employers in this region indicated that they highly encourage ongoing learning among employees.

Specific to Australia, ADP’s research shows that the notion of using technology to learn new skills wherever and whenever possible is welcomed by 74 % of employees, who believe this is a trend already taking place today.

Europeans had a slightly different take. Although they claimed that through technology they are already experiencing greater learning opportunities and connection with others in the workplace, some were sceptical about the use of social media as a collaborative tool for work, and many employees expressed trepidation toward the need to frequently learn new skills or move between roles. Several countries in the region are dealing with these changing workplace expectations by incorporating technology-focused entrepreneurial education into schools.

In North America employers and employees felt that they have access to tools and resources needed to gain and share information to get their jobs done. Many people are already feeling a positive impact from being able to connect with their global professional network and learn on-demand via technology. Overall, employees felt excited about the potential for constant development in their workplaces.

In Latin America, people said they felt a strong impact from the shift toward using technology and social media to collaborate and share workplace knowledge. Employees and employers surveyed in this region believed technology is helping them create deeper connections and learn new skills rapidly. Additionally, they felt that a movement toward constantly shifting roles in the workplace is already underway and will grow in coming years.

How can I achieve better outcomes?

Give all your employees easy access to relevant knowledge that helps them achieve their best potential – and the ability to share what they know whenever, from wherever. Simple tools to do this include on-demand learning, and communication platforms that allow workers to share information and collaborate quickly and efficiently, from any location. Also ensure employees are allowed the time necessary to learn new skills, whether to participate in onsite training, pursue continuing education, or attend conferences and other industry events. Beyond making the right tools and resources available, however, a company can cultivate a culture of growing and spreading knowledge within the organisation. Employees should be encouraged to expand their skills and to pursue competencies based on their career goals and the company’s needs.

For more information on the changing nature of the global workplace, download the report:

Written by: Connect@ADP Team


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TAGS: competitive advantage knowledge successful business performance The Evolution of Work workplace

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