Reinventing Human Resources. How can HR be Agile?
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
To compete and be relevant in today’s fast-paced and fast-changing world, organizations must implement new ways of working. Organizations are actively investigating new ways of governance and collaboration to outperform their competitors, engage their employees, and increase profitability. Several models exist as an alternative to the top-down, static model that we have used since the Third Industrial Revolution, such as:
Agile is a philosophy, a culture, and a set of management practices. It is all about the value you deliver to your customer and your business. It requires putting the customer at the center of design and co-creating solutions based on customer input. Agile is a new way of working, collaborating, and creating business value that has been used for a long time in IT and is now expanding into non-technical functions.
According to the HR Trend Institute, “Agile HR” refers to:
a way of working and organizing of the HR function that facilitates responsiveness and adaptiveness of activities and structures,
facilitating the flexibility in matching workforce fluctuations to demand, and
the way the HR function supports the organization in becoming more responsive and adaptive.
As stated by Josh Bersin, Human Resources will need to “get out of the conference room”, identify key experiences to improve and re-“design them with customers, experiment and observe how well they work, and quickly improve them every day”.
HR can adopt this mindset and practices and use it to improve the value that they deliver to their internal customers by designing better employee experiences (EX). And co-creating the EX is perhaps the most powerful element of Agile HR. Such an approach is not about changing the HR system into a cloud-solution.
This will translate into co-designing the EX with the employees and managers, who are HR's customers and users of the employee experience.
Co-creation invites users of the process to experiment together with the HR team, and test what works and what does not. HR can use techniques such as design thinking, where they will:
identify different “personas”,
map their experiences (i.e.: manager, employee, new hires, etc, etc ),
identify the “moments that matter” that can be improved,
prototype and get feedback from real users of the services before going live.
All of this can be done in a swift and quick manner through Design Sprints.
The outcome is organizational change through a coordinated effort. Rather than managing people through the change, the users are co-creating in partnership with the HR team. This way of working not only transforms HR’s work but that of any organizational change project, such as process redesign, cultural initiatives, and system implementations.
Using an agile approach to improve the employee experience, for example, will require a culture change. Co-creation will help transition to this agile mindset while advancing on the deliverables and the mindset change. Sucess will be very hard without a focus on mindset.
For a successful transformation, managers will need new skills to adapt to a changing workplace. They must be taught techniques to help employees navigate the employee experience while providing consistent, real-time feedback and coaching on the fly.
Are you an HR leader? Is this one of your goals for this year? …. Not sure where to start?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary discussion on HR transformation and Agile practices. We will be happy to brainstorm with you on how to achieve this important goal and develop a plan that suits your specific needs to support your company growth.