UW-Milwaukee: New center at UWM devoted to preparing for workplace of the future

Contact: Laura L. Hunt, 414-229-6447, [email protected]

MILWAUKEE — The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has launched studyofwork.com, a premier knowledge resource to prepare employers and employees to successfully navigate the rapid pace of change in today’s workplace. Through the Center for the Study of the Workplace (CSW) at UWM’s School of Continuing Education, this website brings together university researchers with employers and workers to share information online regarding the latest trends and transformations affecting the 21st century workplace.

“The CSW highlights approaches employers can use to meet the multiple challenges arising in the global workplace, such as communicating across generations; managing virtually; developing, retaining and engaging talent; promoting flexibility in schedules; and motivating for excellence in performance,” says Patricia Arredondo, UWM associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of the School of Continuing Education.

The center and its website provide perspectives from experienced professionals, organizational leaders and UWM scholars. Sharing evidence-based knowledge about telecommuting, diverse work teams and rapidly changing technology that affect workplace climate are a few examples.
“The center delivers timely research relating to workplace changes and talent development, and then hones it interactively,” says Nadya Fouad, CSW director and a UWM Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology.

The site includes interactive blogs and polls that take the pulse of today’s workers on specific issues such as talent shortage, the “Hollywood” model in the contemporary workplace and career entrepreneurship. Ideas generated from these exchanges are synthesized and reported on the site, and resources to inform best practices for new conditions arising in the workplace are shared. Users can also access the school’s Career Transition Center and its online assessments.

Fouad and center Associate Director Romila Singh, a UWM associate professor of business, are working with the School of Continuing Education team and representatives of six multinational companies to place research in the context of reality.

“Employers can’t find employees with the skills necessary to actually get the job done,” says CSW Advisory Council member Melanie Holmes, vice president of World of Work Solutions at Manpower Inc. “So in the future, talent is going to be the competitive advantage for the companies that are going to succeed.”

The other CSW Advisory Council partners include:

Kim Beckett, Global Talent Acquisition Programs, Diversey Inc.

Keith Burns, managing partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Marcel Legrand, CEO, RealMatch

Patricia Nazemetz, chief human resources and ethics officer, Xerox Corporation

Jeffrey Poulter, talent management manager, Central Region, UPS

Bernardo Ferdman, organizational psychologist and professor, Alliant International University

Another focus of the center is women’s career development and leadership. “There are many more women attending universities, and that’s not just in the U.S – it’s globally,” says Arredondo. “The future of the workplace is highly dependent on women’s participation and advancement.” The CSW promotes conversation among the global community of change-makers to learn about their best practices for women’s engagement.

An illustration of this is evident in a soon-to-be-released study by Fouad and Singh that shows that workplace climate is more predictive than family issues in whether women with engineering degrees remain in the profession.