In times of uncertainty, adaptability is essential.
But if you’ve been sticking to traditional ways of working and age-old processes, how can you redefine your workforce without negatively affecting performance levels?
With an economic recession likely on the horizon in 2023, and a pandemic in the rear-view mirror, now’s as good a time as any to undergo an agile transformation.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to jump-start an agile workforce transformation in your organization, so you can remain resilient in the face of ever-changing circumstances.
Redefine your Workforce
The essence of workforce agility is adaptability and resilience. The agile workforce is better equipped for change and has the tools to sidestep obstacles and avert disaster.
While it may require a more focused approach and a thorough consideration of how you currently allocate your resources and talent, cultivating an agile workforce is the best change you can make for navigating turbulent times.
No longer can you afford to rely on old systems and practices to get you through recessions, pandemics, and whatever other forms of drastic change are coming down the pipeline.
What exactly is an agile workforce?
Think of it like a modular unit that you can customize and reconfigure as necessary to meet upcoming challenges and make the most of new opportunities.
Rather than being static, it’s dynamic and capable of swift change to sustain productivity through thick and thin.
Here are some examples of changes you could make to redefine your workforce:
- Be open to various recruitment strategies, such as outsourcing and hiring freelance talent.
- Provide regular upskilling opportunities for existing employees to plug skill gaps that emerge.
- Use capacity planning and resource management tools to redeploy resources as necessary.
Once you’ve looked inwards, you can pitch your vision for an agile workforce outwards to external stakeholders and aim for complete buy-in.
With a new-look workforce, you’ll need new ways of effectively tracking performance. Monitoring computers with software to track internet activity is an easy way to keep tabs on employee productivity in real time.
Screen monitor software like Insightful is useful for corporate monitoring and accessing workforce analytics. Computer monitoring at work enables you to track productivity levels both before and after you make wholesale changes ensuring a smooth transformation.
Change your Priorities
At a time when it can feel as if external events have a vice grip on employee wellbeing, shifting your productivity policies and strategies can have a significant impact on overall performance.
To flourish in an agile work environment, you need complete buy-in from your employees.
A large part of that is tied up in your work culture and values, as this can create a deeper sense of engagement on the employees’ part. Higher engagement levels often lead to more satisfied workers and better performance.
Another way to get the most out of your workforce is to understand the negative impact that events such as the pandemic and the looming recession can have on wellbeing and morale.
An agile workforce is one that bends, not breaks under pressure, so it’s wise to make sure you prioritize employee wellbeing in the good times and the bad.
Sustainable productivity is a valuable practice in an agile work environment as it places the emphasis on employee wellbeing.
Here are a few ways you can implement sustainable productivity and safeguard employee wellbeing:
- Use an app to keep track of work hours to identify trends and use this information to support individuals who may be struggling.
- Consider workload distribution and how you can ensure nobody is getting buried under a mountain of tasks.
- Look to outsource when possible to alleviate pressure on employees handling several responsibilities.
Collect and Evaluate Data
Data is one of your most powerful weapons for driving positive change and managing a flexible, agile workforce.
With the right data-collection and evaluation strategies, you can slowly but surely start to implement changes throughout your workforce and accurately measure their impact.
If you’re concerned that making wholesale changes is likely to lead to a slump in output as employees adjust, then having access to a large amount of data is the best way to alleviate your concerns.
Desktop tracking software can be your saving grace. With cloud based employee monitoring software like Insightful, you can use automatically track employee time, create employee productivity dashboard reports, and determine whether your changes lead to an uptick in performance or not.
What’s more, you can get granular and find out which apps your employees rely on most heavily, and which websites they visit most frequently. With this data, you can make subtle yet effective changes that streamline processes and help you navigate a period of internal change.
Once you have your agile workforce up and running, you can build a culture of resilience for the future with your data-gathering practices.
If, for example, you notice that performance drops substantially when systems go down - perhaps you can establish better offline protocols. If performance levels dip during a recession, perhaps you need to focus more on micromanaging individuals, and understanding how you can alleviate their concerns and support them through a difficult time.
Implement Agile Tools and Systems
The final step to completing your agile workforce transformation will be implementing the right tools and systems that will reliably create momentum and help you save time and resources through automation and other useful features.
Here are three types of agile tools and systems you should consider:
An agile framework, the Scrum methodology invites team members to learn experientially and use their individual autonomy to problem-solve.
With a Scrum Master at the helm spearheading projects with a keen understanding of agile principles, teams undergo daily stand-ups - short meetings to review the day’s activities - and planning exercises to execute effectively.
- Kanban Boards
Kanban boards are made for simplifying task management for teams.
Popularized by apps like Trello, Kanban boards use a system of lists and cards and allow teams to drag and drop tasks to signify progress. Customizing the boards for each team lets you set up effective workflows and streamline progress while enhancing collaboration.
Agile sprints are what they sound like - a short burst of energy in which a team attempts to finish a particular task.
In the agile methodology, projects are often broken down into digestible chunks, so that a team can sprint their way to the finish in several bursts. This makes it easier to get the best out of each team member, as they’re not required to focus for long periods of time.
You can access each of these tools with the right agile project management software, and use your employee monitoring solution to analyze the impact they have on performance.