Offer emerging technology to stay ahead

by 25 Jan 2012

New research has shed light on the expectations of the emerging workforce – and while currently little over half of employees agree they need technology to work effectively, there are strong signs this figure is about to increase significantly.

Comparatively speaking Australian workers consider themselves less reliant on technology compared to other countries around the world. Just 53% of Australians claim they need technology in order to work effectively, and 57% said technology helps them work more productively, according to the latest Evolving Workforce report from Dell and Intel.

Yet these figures are set to change rapidly because younger Australian workers are considerably more engaged in the technological revolution than their older colleagues. Some 70% of the 25-34 demographic said they need technology in order to work effectively and 70% of under-25s believed technology is integral to problem solving.

Other key findings from the report included:

  • Australian employees were among the least likely to be able to choose the technology they use at work – 34% in Australia compared to 59% in China and 57% in Mexico
  • 78% of Australian workers do not want their productivity to be measured by the time they spend in the office. This fell to 68% amongst the youngest workers, perhaps an indication of a more task-driven role for those under 25 and at the beginnings of their careers
  • 53% of Australian men believe that technology is important in helping individual employees ‘to make a bigger contribution to their organisations’, but only 39% of their female counterparts agree
  • Just 30% of workers claim that it’s important their employer gives them a choice of device
  • 53% of workers agreed that ‘you need to keep up with the latest technology to be effective at work’. This increased to 80% in the 25-34 demographic

According to a forecast by research firm IDC, organisations need to ensure their employees are aware of the latest developments so they can get the most out of new equipment.

Vasakee Paul, assistant director of NTUC LearningHub, said the constant evolution of the technology industry means regular training is often a must. “Technology is ever changing and certifications help staff to utilise evolving technologies, fine-tune their trouble shooting skills, and improve job satisfaction.”

Indeed, properly trained employees make fewer mistakes, offer better service, and are able to complete work on time or in a shorter time frame, Jonathan Lee, senior manager Alliance and Consulting Training Partners, said.

It is for this reason that training needs to be assessed either through one-on-one employee interviews, or through questionnaires. Management can also observe employees at work and see what processes could be done more efficiently. Customised training paths can be developed according to the existing skills and knowledge displayed by employees.

Once the real needs are determined, organisations can select the most appropriate mode of lesson delivery. Apart from instructor-led training, IT training providers offer a host of other options for passing that vital information to the staff that need it. These include self-paced e-learning, as well as “live” virtual classrooms.


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