Majority of UAE employees keen to learn new skills for better career prospects

Seventy-one per cent want the autonomy to choose their working patterns, survey by Dell finds

Half of all IT leaders surveyed in the UAE said their organisation knows what it takes to digitally transform a workforce. Getty
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About 73 per cent of UAE employees are keen to learn new, sought-after skills and technologies, such as leadership capabilities and machine learning, to elevate their careers amid the rapid digital transformation triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey by Dell Technologies.

Seventy-one per cent of those surveyed in the UAE said their organisations need to provide the necessary tools and infrastructure to work from anywhere, along with the autonomy to choose their preferred working patterns, the survey found.

Business leaders are worried employees might be left behind if they don’t have the right technologies to shift to a highly distributed workforce model, according to Dell, which polled 10,500 senior business and IT decision-makers, and employees involved in digital transformation from more than 40 countries between August and October last year.

“Businesses need to understand people’s behaviour and mindset towards technology and change,” said Walid Yehia, senior director and general manager for the UAE at Dell Technologies.

“They must apply empathy to everything, from technology designs that put the end-user experience first to transformational change programmes that drive excitement and purpose.”

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by businesses globally.

The overall adoption of digital technologies sped up by three to seven years in a span of only months in 2020, according to a separate survey by management consultancy McKinsey. Most companies said they needed digital business models to stay economically viable by 2023.

After the digital acceleration during the pandemic, a majority of companies viewed technology capabilities as a strategic differentiator from competitors, according to the McKinsey survey.

Ninety per cent of organisations in the UAE fast-tracked at least some of their digital transformation programmes — accomplishing in a few months what would normally have taken years, according to Dell Technologies’ Digital Transformation Index 2020. This compared with a global benchmark of 80 per cent.

An overwhelming 92 per cent of business leaders in the UAE regard employees as their greatest asset to drive digital transformation projects, the Dell survey found.

Half of all IT leaders in the UAE said their organisation know what it takes to digitally transform a workforce, but after rapid change in the past two years, many employees are now facing challenges to keep up with the pace of change.

About 57 per cent of UAE business leaders believe their companies underestimate how to engage with employees when planning digital transformation programmes, while 57 per cent also believe resistance to change can cause projects to fail, Dell said.

“Now is the time for organisations to take stock before embarking upon new digital transformation projects, ensuring their workforce is supported and has clarity on the next stage of implementation,” the company added.

About 69 per cent of respondents globally said they do not have the necessary skills for digital transformation, while 51 per cent of those interviewed in the UAE feel overwhelmed by complex technologies, the survey found.

More than half of those polled globally said they don’t always have the motivation or energy to act on digital transformation in the workplace.

If employees are worried that they don’t have what it takes to thrive in a transformed workplace, they are likely to resist the change, Dell said.

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Updated: October 03, 2022, 11:00 AM
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