Agile in HR — What and how?
In 1991, the term “agility” entered the practice of international management.
The principle of agility is constant cooperation between the spheres of business and information technology, i.e., the creation of separate flexible software for each client, which will help him increase business success. Agility allows the company to make hundreds of settings and adjustments every day to reduce operating costs and increase revenues.
True agility is about self-reliance, not self-absorption. By working a short distance, can increase profits by reducing the number of employees, reducing services, persuading suppliers to lower prices, postponing repairs, and infrastructure improvements. But this self-destruction is similar to reducing the size of your bank account. It’s not agility, because it’s not self-reliant. It doesn’t create anything and doesn’t update anything, it only exhausts.
Formula for Business Agility:
Agility = (Transparency + Motivation) x Training
Transparency is achieved through the technologies and procedures that a company uses to collect, store, distribute, and reflect information.
Motivation is reached by the rewards and authority of people tasked with making decisions and acting to achieve the company’s goals. Motivation increases the productivity of the personnel increases (as a result, increases profits of the company) and decreases the staff turnover (as a result, it saves the search and training of new personnel).
Training provides people with the skills to use transparency to make the right decisions and take effective action towards achieving their goals.
In order to implement the principles of agility in an organization, HR needs to move away from its traditional role of “supporting service” to corporate work as a business partner. The world is becoming so volatile and unpredictable that organizations must quickly and easily adapt to change to outperform their competitors. To do this, HR must change fundamentally so that their function is a critical driver of organizational agility. In this role, HR can create a new type of organization that is built around very flexible and talented professionals.
Another formula for agility:
Agility = Adaptability + Speed + Execution
The agile organization implements its strategy faster than its less agile competitors, introduces innovations faster and more modern ways, changes its business models quickly when needed, and is really able to make changes.
HR is required to move away from standardizing roles to creating a work culture where adaptability and change are required.
Measure the agile
The Comprehensive Agility Measurement Tool (CAMT) highlights 10 important factors that contribute to the agility of any enterprise, regardless of industry.
- The allowed manufacturing time of one product by the time when the consumer needs it
- Production capacity of the enterprise
- Goods in stock
- Production system with Internet connections
- Continuous improvement
- Operating flexibility
- Fast retrofitting
- Internal customer satisfaction
- Human Resources
You might be wondering about the last factor. Let’s consider the “human resources”. An organization cannot have agility practice without agility personnel. Only people, not machines, can feel the changes and react to them. If the staff is not trained and does not worry about the company’s goals, the company cannot be agile.
Taking into account the breadth and depth of knowledge of the staff, the presence of strategists, system integrators, and experts/scientists in the organization, the CAMT methodology considers four factors to assess the agility of human resources.
CAMT considers 4 factors to judge the agility of human resources in an enterprise. Expertise within the workforce shown below plays a key role in building an agile workforce.
This method allows determining the complex agility factor (CAI) of the enterprise, which will be in the range of from 1 to 5: 1 being least agile and 5 being highly agile. Its value provides the company with a guide for further actions.
1) Number of training / Skill development programs completed:
- Score 1 – 0-30%
- Score 2 – 30-50%
- Score 3 – 50-80%
- Score 4 – over 80%
- Score 5 – 100 %
2) Percentage of attrition for employees with experience less than 2 years:
- Score 1 – more than 20%
- Score 2 – 20-15%
- Score 3 – 10-5%
- Score 4 – 5-0%
3) Percentage of attrition for employees with experience for more than 2 years:
- Score 1 – more than 10%
- Score 2 – 10-8%
- Score 3 – 8-6%
- Score 4 – 6-4%
- Score 5 – 4-2%
4) Percentage of profit increase from the past year:
- Score 1 – 10-20%
- Score 2 – 20-40%
- Score 3 – 40-60%
- Score 4 – 60-80%
- Score 5 – 80-100%
How to adapt the company to Agility?
Adapting business strategy to the conditions of rapid changes requires finding and implementing new models of human resources management, effective for such changes. J. Sullivan connects the success of companies (Apple, McD, Disney, Google, Amazon, Nike, and others), including their incredible market capitalization, with the PISA model, which includes four areas of performance:
Productivity. HR must measure and continuously increase productivity (i.e. income per employee).
Innovation. HR should stimulate innovation because it increases economic value more than five times than productivity.
Speed. The first one gets the most profit and income, thus stimulating employees.
Adaptiveness. In an unstable world, constant adaptation and rapid scalability are essential.
So, what’s the line on this?
Modern HR professionals have many appearances – from recruiting and adapting staff to developing and maintaining corporate policies – and their work requires not only the support of tools and technologies but also completely new ways of looking at performance and indicators.
Although the details of agile can be complex, it focuses on collaboration in small teams and fast delivery of products, focusing on flexibility and responsiveness.
For teams looking to improve their productivity and efficiency agile methodology is generally considered the default way to go. The agile set of principles are employed by small startups as well as some of the biggest companies in the world, like Microsoft, Google, and Apple.
Despite its ever-growing role in business, HR doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right tech tools and modern approaches, HR professionals can tackle even the most global workforces, keeping up with a fast-moving increasingly digital world.
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