Shaping The Future Of Work For Employees And HR

An agile working style is not a given. HR should support employees and fostering adaptability, collaborative leadership, open communication, diversity, and continuous learning.

March 7, 2024

Agile work is indispensable in today's fast-paced work environment. It involves working in small, closely connected teams that regularly exchange ideas and continuously improve their work. This approach enables faster responses to changes and the creation of products or services that are truly needed.

While agile work brings many benefits to companies, introducing such principles also presents challenges: employees may fear constant change or fail to integrate this method into their daily work routine. Leaders may remain stuck in their rigid hierarchies, thus suppressing agile work. Moreover, collaboration within a team or across several departments can be lacking. Skills such as open communication, self-organisation, or adapting to the rhythm of fast iterations are needed. Therefore, HR must provide support to introduce agile principles in the company.

Establishing Suitable Corporate Values

Values such as dynamism, transparency, trust, responsibility, independence, collaboration, respect, and appreciation for the widest range of opinions and ideas are important building blocks for agile work. Therefore, HR should ensure that these values become part of the company culture.

Communication Style Is Crucial

Gaps in communication or inconsistencies can lead to a lack of trust and confusion among employees. Therefore, open, clear, transparent, and empathetic communication and proactive engagement by leaders are key elements. HR should ensure that managers promote agile work every day. It may also be necessary for leaders to be specially coached, as they are the first to live agile work and should have the corresponding mindset.

Supporting A Collaborative Leadership Style

Such a management style is characterised by joint decision-making, involving team members in the process of problem-solving, and strategy development. Leaders who cultivate this style encourage openness, exchange, and mutual respect. They understand that the best ideas often arise from the synthesis of diverse perspectives. Collaborative leadership promotes innovation as employees feel empowered to be creative and show initiative.

Promoting Diversity And Inclusion

To support agility, a diverse team is also needed to constantly improve the work. Because diverse opinions, perspectives, and experiences inevitably lead to more optimal solutions to meet the dynamic business environment.

Offering Further Education

To promote agility in the company, HR should also provide a range of resources and initiatives. For example, crash courses in Scrum and Kanban convey the basics of agile work methods. Tools like Slack and Trello improve team communication and project management. Idea boxes and weekly feedback rounds create additional space for open idea exchange. Moreover, hackathons and the formation of cross-functional project teams allow working together on innovative projects. And workshops on the agile mindset help to see changes as an opportunity.

HR Demonstrates Agile Work Practices

Agile work in the HR department leads to faster responses to inquiries, better alignment with individual needs, more transparency, and flexibility. This is valued by employees and perceived positively. Therefore, it is extremely important that – in addition to the leaders – the HR department also sets a good example and thus demonstrates the many positive aspects of agile work through its own work style.

Agile work methods offer many opportunities to meet the challenges of today's fast-paced work environment. However, they require a fundamental change in corporate culture, a willingness to constantly adapt and develop, and strong support from leaders and HR. By implementing agile principles, companies can not only increase their competitiveness but also create a motivating and supportive work environment for their employees.

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