Agility or the ability to respond to changes quickly, has become an essential trait for a person or an organisation’s success. This is especially true in the engineering and technology-related sectors, where changes happen at a rapid pace. But other sectors can also benefit from management agility.
Agility drives innovation. New players entering a market do the same job in a different and smarter way than their peers. The ones who adapt to change, respond, and deliver quickly alone will succeed. The ones who stick to the traditional way of doing business are bound to fade away sooner than later.The ones who adapt to change, respond, and deliver quickly alone will succeed. Click To Tweet
Agile thinking should be applied across all departments of an organisation, from frontline operations to support functions. With the average worker being so technically savvy and up-to-date, agility becomes a core component of the HR operations, which is responsible for taking care of employees across their lifecycle – from onboarding till exit.
When HR embraces agile practices, it can pave the way for flexible people management and improve the employee experience to a great extent.
10 Ways HR Agility Can Improve Employee Experience
A popular study has found a 20 percent boost in employee engagement scores by using an agile model. Below are a few areas where the agility of HR will make a sea of difference to an employee’s success and the organisation at large.
1. The First Impression is the Best Impression
HR’s role begins with sourcing the right candidate from the job market or the campus and ensuring a smooth onboarding. A hassle-free onboarding experience with less paperwork leaves a lasting impression on the employee.
HR can get initial feedback from new hires through onboarding surveys, pulse surveys, 30-day feedback sessions, etc. This way, they can take any corrective action if needed. By doing so, HR can ease the transition process for new employees during their initial weeks and months in the organisation.
2. Speed in Resource Allocation
Gone are the days where employees accepted whatever job opportunity came their way. Thanks to the internet, there are umpteen opportunities available for employees at all levels.
Agility in resource allocation is a key characteristic of an agile HR. It becomes essential for HR to frequently revisit the resource allocations based on the employees’ skill sets and aspirations. This will enable the employees to be placed in the correct project, depending on their skillset and contributions.
3. Embracing Shared Service Models
Rather than having fixed teams, HR can focus on creating shared services teams based on the skill sets. This has multifold benefits. Firstly, the team members get the opportunity to work with multiple clients in a similar domain, thereby applying the learnings from one client to another.
Besides, the organisation can build dynamic teams that can handle projects of different complexity, thereby increasing deployable human resources for a particular skillset. The shared services model works well even for support functions like network engineering and admin teams as it develops a pool of resources that can handle work from multiple clients.
4. Frequent Recognition
Employee happiness quotient matters a lot in retaining the best talent. Rather than waiting for quarterly town halls or executive-level meetings to reward the best performers, HR can embrace the spot awards model. This can include giving instant reward points, cash prizes, surprise bonuses, appreciating performing employees through emails and message boards, etc. Having happier employees naturally translates to better output!
Having happier employees naturally translates to better output!
5. Have Flexible Work Timings
HR policies that allow flexible work timings based on both project needs and employee preferences are the need of the hour. Mandating the same work timings across the organisation, irrespective of client sensitivities and project demands can lead to employee dissatisfaction.
Flexible shift timings work very well in technological and engineering-related domains. Certain employees are more creative at certain times of the day. Giving employees flexibility in terms of their shift timings can actually boost their productivity and job satisfaction.
Perhaps, the only downside of flexible shifts is the difficulty in managing them. HR needs to be alert and agile while evaluating such employees’ performances. For instance, HR can employ time tracking tools like Scoro, ActiveCollab, and ProofHub to know more about the employees’ work hours and productiveness whilst adhering to a flexible time schedule.
6. Measure Employee Mindset and Respond
It is essential for organisations to frequently revisit and update their HR policies to reflect the changing needs of the workforce. This can be done by frequently inviting feedback from employees on various aspects of their work through surveys, focus groups, etc.
The HR team can use these inputs to continuously monitor employee satisfaction and retain performers. In addition to the surveys, there has to be an instant grievance reporting mechanism. This channel should be directly accessible to all employees without having to go through their normal reporting hierarchy.
7. Importance of Regular Communication
HR should send frequent communications on organisational updates through emails, videos, podcasts, etc. This communication does not necessarily need to be one way. For instance, HR can allow employees to like, dislike or comment on issues and send their feedback privately to the concerned officials.
When an employee feels the freedom to communicate both up and down the organisation’s communication chain, it acts as a boost to their morale and satisfaction.
Having a real-time communication mechanism to clarify their thoughts can also help in suppressing the grapevine. This will also instil a sense of belonging and help employees align with the organisational goals.
8. Keep Employee Satisfaction Front and Centre
Even though any business’s main objective is to make a profit and scale rapidly, a strong employee focus is essential. HR can play a pivotal role in creating employee-centric policies like funding training programmes for employees, flexible leave plans, career growth policies, travel opportunities for deserving employees, etc.
9. To Work is to Have Fun!
Well, everybody who works hard deserves to have fun. HR, being the anchor of employee engagement, can create interesting outlets for employees to exhibit their artistic and funnier sides. This will improve team bonding to a greater extent and help employees improve their soft skills.
10. Last but Not the Least
There is a saying: one remembers only the latest experience. HR plays a critical role in making sure that outgoing employees have a smooth exit. Have a clear policy on hassle-free full and final settlements.
Today, it is common for employees to rejoin their old company provided they get better opportunities. Therefore, it is imperative for HR to maintain contact with the alumni community. One easy way to do this is to maintain alumni connect websites or an email box so as to give the alumni access to information that may interest them.
Finally, with greater agility, HR can play a key role in revolutionising people practices to build a steady pipeline of talent for the future needs of the organisation, which is the only way to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.
What are some of the best practices that you follow to respond to the ever-changing employee demands? Share with us in the comments.