Applying Agile to HR

Applying Agile to HR

Agile Human Resources is a term in vogue during these days. While a lot of HR managers are trying to implement this in their organisations, not a lot of them understand the real essence and roots of the concept behind Agile Human Resources.

Incorporating Agile into the Human Resources function of the organisation makes it more responsive and adaptive to the ever-changing business demands. This leads to the organisation being responsive to the needs of their customers thereby achieving a holistic effect. Agile, as the word suggests, means being able to change quickly and easily and HR as the enabler needs to be responsive to variations in the business more than others.

Before delving into benefits and characteristics let us first understand what Agile is:

Agile, if described in one word means Adaptable; adaptable to changes in the business. This concept was taken from the chapters of software development. There are two models of a software development cycle viz. 1) Water Fall Model and 2) Iterative Model.

As the names suggest, the Water Fall model is the one which is a single iteration unidirectional flow model with little or no room for improvement or changes at later stages. However, the iterative model has many iterations of development – also called as prototyping. This helps in taking feedback from the first iteration and applying improvements in the second one and similarly the process goes on making it more adaptive to change as well as easy to implement. The concept of Agile is taken from this iterative model.

When it comes to HR Management, Agile works on four principles:

1) Adaptability

2) Transparency

3) Simplicity

4) Unity

In the era of changing business needs, adaptability is one of the most important aspects. HR policies usually cause confusion amongst employees and hence simplicity is essential. Unity is required so that everyone at the organisation works together instead of silos while creating cross processes in the business. Trust is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to managers and employees, and that can only be achieved via Transparency.

The benefit of the agile model is that feedback or response is incorporated into any new iteration of a project or program thereby leading to advantages in the succeeding increments of the process. It is vital to obtain input from all stakeholders at an early stage of the process, and HR management can ensure that by applying agile.

Benefits of Agile

Ø Leadership Training for all employees and not just managers

Ø A customer centric organisation from all facets of the company

Ø Breaking down the company to nimbler aspects; into small high-performance teams with their customised targets

Ø A stable value of cohesion while delivering the mission of the company

Ø Continuous and continual learning for all levels of employees

Ø Recruitment of experts over general managers

Ø Rewards and recognition on a peer-to-peer basis; not just boss-to-peer and no more bell curve

Ø Fostering versatility in teams

Ø Developing HR policies of transparent information

Ø Good employee engagement leading to employer branding

Ø Encouragement for direct feedback between employees

A culture of learning and support for employees where they have independence and accountability to respond to the customer’s demands is what Agile stands for. HR management is the body that can help create such a culture.

Agility not only makes the organisation adaptable but also leads to recruitment of adaptable employees in the organisation who embrace change. This leads to better training, better performance management and better compensation and benefits. It is safe to say that it leads to an Agile Human Resource Management process.

#Agile #HR #Employees #culture #learning

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