Agile Vs Traditional HR practices

Word “Agile” has become a buzzword. Agility as a concept has been talked about from beginning of this century. This was more in relation to software programming. Agility in management is now become a global phenomenon. This is a global movement entirely transforming the “world of work” that includes HR and transforming it into Agile HR.

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Agile HR is the capability of the HR function to respond proactively to changing expectations, workplace disruptions and business requirements. We could sum up Agile HR as Adaptable, Transparent, Simple and United.

  • Adaptable: Adaptability is important in the face of ever-changing business needs and requirement.
  • Transparent: Transparency is important in gathering the trust of managers and employees, as well explaining why things must be done in a certain manner.
  • Simple: Simplicity is when designing HR programs and practices that does not cause any confusions, alienate managers and employees.
  • United: Unity applies with respect to HR working together and ensuring it isn’t working in silos or at cross purposes with the business.

How Agile HR differs from traditional HR ways of working?

Traditional HR was primarily responsible for Hire to Exit HR processes. HR here would deal with talent acquisition, talent management, running performance management cycles, identifying people for development & imparting necessary training, taking care of hygiene issues etc. Helping employees with career development, rewards & recognition. While Agile HR invests in employer brand & cultivates ongoing relationships with talent across multiple channels including social media clearly differentiating from traditional talent acquisition ways. As far as development is concerned employees are given myriad of opportunities to learn and stretch themselves independent of job-related objectives. More holistic but purpose here is to add value. Talent management is facilitated by Agile HR which empowers employees to take charge of their own career & development, employees understand their roles and actively participates in talent acquisition evaluation and development. Employees in Agile organisation understand how their own job performance support the mission and values of the organization. Agile HR facilitates this transformation. Agile HR works & supports bringing in cultural mindset shift. It also helps create structured changes to organization.

Agile HR is about adopting structures, attitudes, processes and tools to become more flexible, nimbler and faster in your decision making and actions. Being Agile HR brings in numerous benefits within Core HR domains:

  • Agile Recruitment : Agile HR builds cross functional hiring teams for each requirement. Managers give real time feedback about candidate. There is a very little chance to hire badly as a result saving significant time, money & stress.
  • Agile Onboarding : The other important benefit of agile HR is wholistic onboarding of new employee. Here onboarding no longer sits only with HR but colleagues (Names as BUDDY) from cross functional onboarding team participate in the process. New hires hence are supported and engaged by cross functional teams and as a result they settle down quickly and become productive.
  • Agile PMS : People use continuous feedback mechanisms to give real time feedback. This continuous data becomes a backbone for regular reviews which replaces inefficient tradition feedback mechanism. Managers co-set goals. Employees get support to grow.
  • Agile R&R : Recognizing a performance and offer rewards becomes real time in agile HR. this helps motivates people and they are more productive. This also encourages that HR keeps track of market rates and adjust the compensation accordingly to stay competitive. This helps in retention.
  • Agile L&D : Agile HR analyses skill gaps and get the right people into right training. Your training spend is more efficient because you allocate training accurately. Employees here learn better, faster. Employees can track their progress & request training sessions to suit their needs.

Other numerous benefits being Agile HR to the organization and business.

  • Real collaboration: Agile teams are tightly united by common purpose. Agile HR builds in a real collaboration.
  • Continuous feedback: Agile HR is about continuous feedback and improvement. Traditional HR processes take huge amount of time to get a real time feedback. Agile HR depends on customer feedback and innovate.
  • Innovation: Agile HR fosters innovation. The structures are so designed in agile organization where teams attending to a customer problem are innovating all the time by applying solutions to the large complex problem by breaking it down and then applying innovative solutions to each part of such problem.
  • Communicate effectively: Agile HR helps an agile mindset on collaboration. There is a clear transparency in each team members role giving insights to each team to help each other do well. They communicate and collaborate effectively.
  • Listen and incorporate feedback : Agile mindset fosters effective listening. Whenever there is a problem and that is noticed the teams are fast to react and also incorporate feedback and move on at a rapid pace.

Agile HR benefits business within HR core domains viz :

  • Agile Recruitment : Agile HR builds cross functional hiring teams for each requirement. Managers give real time feedback about candidate. There is a very little chance to hire badly as a result saving significant time, money & stress.
  • Agile Onboarding : The other important benefit of agile HR is wholistic onboarding of new employee. Here onboarding no longer sits only with HR but colleagues (Names as BUDDY) from cross functional onboarding team participate in the process. New hires hence are supported and engaged by cross functional teams and as a result they settle down quickly and become productive.
  • Agile PMS : People use continuous feedback mechanisms to give real time feedback. This continuous data becomes a backbone for regular reviews which replaces inefficient tradition feedback mechanism. Managers co-set goals. Employees get support to grow.
  • Agile R&R : Recognizing a performance and offer rewards becomes real time in agile HR. this helps motivates people and they are more productive. This also encourages that HR keeps track of market rates and adjust the compensation accordingly to stay competitive. This helps in retention.
  • Agile L&D : Agile HR analyses skill gaps and get the right people into right training. Your training spend is more efficient because you allocate training accurately. Employees here learn better, faster. Employees can track their progress & request training sessions to suit their needs.

HR has the most important role in creating Agility. It therefore must follow the following key principles –

  • Make people aware of cultural changes,
  • Give the teams mandate to hire “The Best”,
  • Make sure the hired ones stays.
  • Important step also is to stop annual performance feedback and institute continuous performance feedback mechanisms.
  • Reward mechanisms need to be relooked and reward publicly.

HR as above can really become Agile HR & contribute the enterprise to become Agile organization.

Posted in Agile, AGILE Tools.