Definition specifically related to the work context
Workers who demonstrate an ability to adapt respond positively to changes, planned or not, in the workplace. They are open and know how to deal with uncertainty. They take responsibility for the learnings needed to adapt to these changes. They can modify their plans when urgent problems emerge, even though it may cause a temporary reorganization of their work.
The ability to adapt implies that individuals perceive changes in the workplace, for instance by keeping abreast of new technologies. They respond favorably by modifying their attitude and behaviour. They are open to new or different ways of thinking and working, individually or as part of a team. They are able to work effectively with their supervisor or team, even when implementing a different procedure. These individuals perceive the arrival of new colleagues as a stimulating opportunity to explore fresh ideas and perspectives, as well alternative ways of doing things.
For current employees, the ability to adapt is increasingly important considering multiple changes that occur in their workplace. People who are able to adapt are willing to work in a dynamic and fluctuating setting, anticipate the need for change and take practical steps to be prepared. They can think out of the box and get off the beaten paths to deal with shifting situations.
Traditional white and blue collar jobs are declining. On the one hand, they are replaced by highly specialized positions and on the other hand, by service sector jobs. Both types of jobs require great adaptability in the face of volatile and changing environments. Indeed, these sectors are constantly mutating and workplaces are filled with unexpected circumstances, where individuals are required to quickly adapt their practices. Tasks associated with these workplaces also require increasing skills in terms of alternative thinking.
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