How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite is the way!
At grassroots, this is the quote for agile management. Agility and automation are the latest flaunt utilities in the corporate setup. Funnelled by multiple meetings, seamless communication, software to cut the wastage, gangplank in the hierarchical pyramid, etc. agility is adopted by almost all big companies and upcoming start-ups in the world.
What is Agility?
“Humans are hired for results, not for reasons”.
A method by which humans vote out the possibility of providing reasons, to someone who expects results is called agile way of working. In a consulting setup, agility is a way of managing clients’ expectations by involving a fool-proof method of delivering results. The method must be such that it enhances communication, rules out ambiguity, cuts wastage, vouches for perfection and at the same time maintains the flexibility from the consultants’ end to accommodate clients’ alterations.
Operations in today’s setup must be as seamless as possible. Seamlessness refers to ruling out hurdles, gaps, and delays in operations. Agility in today’s setup comprises seamless operations extended to both internal and external stakeholders. It is in dealing with the internal stakeholders that the role of HR comes into the picture.
With the onset of the Covid pandemic, the world saw companies cutting costs by firing employees. This was a vicious move as it led to a spiral. With mass firings, the employees who were retained realized an increased pressure. There was an increase in the attrition rates in major tech and consulting companies. Suddenly, there was a manpower shortage and an extremely wasted sentiment in the job market about the companies who conducted mass firings. This cycle is recovering today with mass hiring taking place.
HR in this setup:
Human Resources in a corporate setup must manoeuvre through the following roles:
- Upskilling: Internal stakeholders consists of employees at all levels and the leadership of the company. In an agile and automated set-up, organization evolves at a harried pace. Employees at senior levels and non-technical operations may not be accustomed with the kind of technology that is involved in every-day work-life. HR has to maintain a loop with all employees and make a learning curriculum in tandem with the requirements of the organization.
- Check Attrition: Faster the pace of a company, higher is its attrition rate. HR must create a cohesive environment and try maintaining the human-touch of the company. Seamlessness must aim at ease of work and not unnecessary elitism.
- Relevant recruitment: Diversity and inclusion is the crux of today’s organizations. With adhering to the diversity part, HR must remember to tick the technological interest box whilst recruiting personnel. Recruiting someone boomer in tech and agility may not be the best bet.
- Succession planning: succession planning refers to a career chart of employee which corelates companies’ expectations to employees’ interests and tries to strike a balance between the organizational, team, and personal goals. This chart upskills employees and at the same time ensures efficiency in deliverables. Succession planning is said to have contribution in curbing attrition rates. In case of agile working environment, the organization must have vibrant and enthusiastic set of employees. Employees in these evolving organizations often experience burnout and a sense of overwhelm. It is pertinent that employees don’t loose themselves in the process of making a company.
- Layoffs: the worst nightmare of a Human Resources professional is having to let go off an employee. In case of an agile setup, the clients pay a heavy price for deliverables, and it is expected of the company to match their expectations. External stakeholders have to be managed, and sometimes in this process some redundant or under-performing employees have to be fired. In some cases, patterned layoffs happen, wherein employees are let go off due to cost cutting or a change in operations. A Human Resource personnel in this case must strike a balance between staying considerate and avoiding over-promising. Overpromising arises out of placing oneself in the others’ situation. In the heat of the moment the HR may end up making promises that company may not be able to accommodate.
- Learning Management System: having an LMS is something most agile companies follow. A learning management system ensures reduced bias in decision making. Decision making may refer to performance while calibration, allocation of an appropriate team, or peer reviewing. Automated systems enhance fool-proofness of the process.
- Scientific Calibration: Calibration refers to the semi-annual or annual performance review conducted by managers, communicated to the leaders, and comprehensive of all aspects of an employees’ work life. Calibration in an agile and automated organization must be as scientific and wholesome as possible. Cross-functionality is an important parameter of teams in an agile set-up. Cross-functionality must be judged using the peer review, relevant KSU’s and a appropriate scaling system. Example could be judging someone on versatility using her teams’ opinions and judging the trait on parameters like deliverables, process, cohesiveness, learning, etc. rating this on a Likert scale rating of 5.
Agility and automation is the something that is here to sustain for a long time. With finance, marketing, analytics, etc. adapting to the seamlessness, HR has to catch up!