As the business world witnesses cutthroat competition, evolving market demands, and dynamic customer interests, the importance of agile workforces are eminent. However, organizations often struggle with developing an agile workforce.
In today’s volatile business environment, it is important for organizations to invest in the right practices to develop an agile workforce. In this article, we will discuss such practices and how they can be implemented.
- Growth Mindset
Believing that employees can change their abilities, intelligence and talents are what forms a growth mindset. By empowering your employees with the growth mindset, you allow them to prioritize learning and growth over seeking validation and avoiding failure.
A growth mindset ensures that challenges are seen as opportunities to learn and grow. Such kind of viewpoint changes the way employees handle hardships that come their way, making them more agile.
Leading your workforce with a purpose-driven agenda towards a growth mindset will help them to focus on innovation, creativity, positivity and effective problem-solving attitudes. It will promote a culture that is fit for developing an agile workforce.
- Empower Employees to Take Challenges
Empowering employees to take challenges by making them believe they can do all tasks efficiently is a great way to develop an agile workforce. Being open to challenges and believing that they can handle anything that comes their way will help employees to develop a strong mindset and become agile in the process.
There are many steps that leaders can take to empower their employees to take challenges:
- Delegate different tasks
- Offer enough flexibility to motivate employees for experimentation
- Rotate roles
- Allow autonomy for performing tasks
- Give leadership opportunities
- Allow independent decision-making
- Promote Experimentation
If you look at the work cultures of highly agile organizations, you will realize that they always allow their employees enough room for experimentation. Experimentation leads to better innovation, which ultimately drives changes and sets up trends in the market. By promoting experimentation in your organization, you can develop an agile workforce efficiently.
If your workforce can innovate, drive change, and is following agile practices, then it is agile. However, it is important to understand that agility achieved from experimentation is only relevant as long as employees across the entire organization are being given the opportunity to experiment and innovate. If the C-suite is solely responsible for it and the rest of the employees are just following in their footsteps, it won’t be as effective in the long run. Hence, leaders must take initiatives to promote experimentation in order to develop an agile workforce, such as:
- Scheduling regular brainstorming sessions
- Discussing the alternative interests of your team members
- Offering personal support and help whenever they are stuck
- Setting up effective channels for seamless communication
- Motivating them to work on new ideas
- Increase Collaboration
Developing an agile workforce requires effective collaboration and communication. Setting up channels to promote collaborations and clear communication is important to promote agility in your workforce.
Establishing a horizontal communication channel not only increases collaboration, but it also helps to reduce delays that happen when organizations are following a hierarchal system of communication. By letting your workforce work flexibly, creating self-managing teams, and being open to new ideas, you can develop an agile workforce with increased collaboration.
5. Be Flexible
Being flexible is a top-tier requirement for building a truly agile workforce. Adopting flexibility includes practices like:
- Allowing employees to work remotely
- Allowing flexible working hours
- Enabling employees to develop flexible schedules around their priorities
- Ensuring that your employees have a satisfactory work-life balance
True agility is achieved only if your employees are able to perform their best whenever they are working. By being flexible, optimal performance becomes easier to achieve as employees are not burdened with strict schedules, long working hours, and a poor work-life balance. It also enables them to be more active, schedule client calls according to relevant time zones, respond smartly to critical situations, and stay with their companies for a long time.
- Have Trust
Having trust in your workforce and showing the same openly is important to encourage an agile culture across your organization. Here are some ways leaders can show that they trust their employees:
- Letting go of micromanagement practices
- Allowing independent decision-making up to a certain extent
- Allowing flexible working hours and schedules
- Allowing remote working
- Promote Agility as a Vital Part of Your Work Culture
Work culture defines the way an organization runs. The more positive work culture an organization has, the more productive its workforce tends to be. Thus, it is important to ensure that your organization’s work culture is positive, encouraging, and agile.
Organizations can promote agility as a vital part of their work culture with the help of several practices:
- Recognizing employees for their productivity and versatility
- Encouraging positive and productive behavior with appropriate reinforcements
- Facilitating new skill-learning by organizing regular workshops and training sessions
- Offering rewards to motivate more learning-oriented behavior
- Promoting diverse skillsets by offering chances to work in different domains
- Offering more opportunities to show creativity
To develop an agile workforce successfully, it is important to make agility an innate part of your work culture. By functioning in an agile manner at the very core, you will be able to develop agile workforces easily and efficiently.
Leaders’ struggle with developing an agile workforce can be easily resolved if they focus on a few essential practices to develop the foundational drivers of agility in their organizations. The practices mentioned in this article can help them to do the same effect and build the kind of agile workforce that they desire.