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Key trends to help find success in the global workforce

27 July 2016

To successfully navigate the ever-changing waters of a global workforce, it is essential to be aware of current workforce trends and arm yourself with the necessary skills. Key to this process is improving your communication skills, learning to work in virtual teams and practising cultural awareness.

Global workforce trends

Contingent workforce provider specialist, Entity Solutions, has identified global demographic shifts, mobility programs, casualisation in the workforce, and attraction and retention as major trends to be aware of for those who want to participate in the global employment market.

Global demographic shifts, such as ageing populations in more economically developed societies, have resulted in a considerable gap between the number of baby boomers retiring and generation X workers available to step into their roles. This has had an impact on a range of industries, specifically the health, education and engineering sectors.

Another key trend is that of mobility programs; a 2012 Survey of Global Mobility Policies by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 46% of the employer respondents offered permanent transfer policies in 2012, up from 29% in 2002. This increase clearly demonstrates steady growth in employee mobility and highlights the changing face of the global workforce over the past 10 years.

Casualisation has become a way of life in the contemporary workforce. According to 2014 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there has been a sharp rise in the level of under-30s employed in a casual arrangement. Similarly, in the same year, a survey conducted by Edelman Berland on behalf of the online workplace company Elance-oDesk suggested that up to 30% of Australians are doing some form of freelance work.

Figures like these show that the traditional 40-hour week is no longer standard protocol in many businesses, as organisations offer a range of employment options including permanent part-time, fixed-term contracts, work for independent contractors and casual employment, often through recruitment agencies.

Case study: virtual teams

A virtual team is a group of individuals who work across time, space and organisational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology. Today, communicating effectively across borders and multiple time zones is often essential to a global company’s success. However, without effective management and leadership, virtual teams and their projects are prone to failure.

This is because leading a diverse group of people requires a specific skill set. Strong communication, cultural awareness, technological aptitude and the ability to stay motivated and motivate others in a situation that does not afford the luxury of face-to-face meetings is critical.

How an MBA can help

The key to any team success is solid leadership, and virtual teams are no exception. A Master of Business Administration can help equip you with the relevant skills, priming you and, by extension, your team for success.

Southern Cross University Online offers an MBA that will introduce you to the theories and practices of contemporary leadership and management in a global setting. For those already juggling a busy work/life balance, obtaining a postgraduate degree online could be the perfect way to up-skill and arm yourself for success in the global workforce.

Speak to one of our friendly Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 589 882 to find out more.