Chances are, you’ve heard the word “agile” around the office lately. Why?
From “agile organisations” to “agile business practices,” agility seems to have taken the business world by storm. But while the phrase may sound like a trend, the practices it encourages are highly effective in the modern business world. And nowhere is this business practice more practical or prominent than when applied to agile HR.
Today, changes take place faster than ever. Customer demands change, new competitors spring from nothing, and technological advancements render your current systems obsolete. In response, successful organisations have learned to adapt.
The language around business agility focuses on adaptation, collaboration, and continual learning. But no matter how agile your software or marketing tactics have become, a business can’t go far without agile HR.
WHAT IS AGILE HR?
Agile HR takes the same concerns that the agile movement addresses and focuses on applying them to your entire organisation. If current employees aren’t given clear feedback on how to be agile and new employees don’t receive agile-based onboarding, your company’s ability to adapt will be limited.
HR can address agility in three main ways: new employee onboarding, performance evaluation, and information management.
NEW EMPLOYEE ONBOARDING
Interviewing and training new employees is vital to maintaining an agile business culture. Your HR department must be familiar with the benefits of agile business practices and become adept at evaluating these qualities in job applicants.
During interviews, HR personnel should ask questions that assess an applicant’s ability to be agile. Qualities to look for include strong teamwork and a willingness to collaborate with others, an interest in self-improvement, and a demonstrated history of effective problem-solving and decision making.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK
While businesses may be quick to adopt an agile approach in many departments, evaluation standards used by HR are often slow to change. HR departments often operate on annual or quarterly cycles. For an agile business, this is too slow. To encourage constant growth and learning, an agile HR department should provide continuous feedback. Employees should receive more frequent, informal evaluations throughout the year, particularly after finishing projects or taking on new responsibilities.
The nature of performance evaluations also needs to remain up-to-date with your organization’s overall mission. When making the transition from traditional to agile business practices, many categories used for assessment become less significant. Rather than honouring employees who single-handedly achieve success, agile HR evaluates team performance and rewards collaborative players.
While new employee onboarding and performance evaluations focus on your company as a whole, information management centres around how the HR department functions. The information that HR teams are expected to manage is on the rise as we collect more data, offer employees customised perks and benefits, and increase development opportunities. But agility in the HR department doesn’t simply mean your team can accomplish more. Instead, they develop the ability to manage data more efficiently. As information and data increase in complexity, so should your HR information management systems.
Today’s HR departments use customised technology stacks to manage their workload efficiently. Rather than recording and accessing information from a variety of spreadsheets, robust software allows your team to manage all employee data from one location.
CREATING A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU
A combination of systems that work together for your HR personnel is called a technology stack. While one program may not have every feature your department needs, a system can cover any gaps and improve agility. When creating your technology stack, look for software and tools that can manage employee information, payroll, benefits, feedback, and facilitate additional training and development.
Storing information in one place is vital for an agile HR team. Input employee data, performance evaluations, payroll, and benefits into a single, easily accessible program. Your software can also double as a portal that allows employees to access information as needed. Instead of going to your department for a pay stub, employees can log in themselves. An effective HR technology stack frees up your HR department to focus on areas of concern instead of fielding basic requests.
Finally, HR can even manage employee training and development opportunities. Agile businesses encourage a company culture of continuous learning. Through HR, you can offer several opportunities for self-improvement in the form of advanced training and certification programs. With an online or software-based portal, employees can log in and complete the requirements at their own pace. Their progress is visible to HR and new opportunities can be granted once a program is completed.
Agile HR departments are vital to your company’s overall agility. By keeping encouraging agile practices and mindset among current and existing employees, HR can keep your company moving forward in unison. For more information on implementing agility at your business, contact our experts today.