It’s Time to Make Your HR Agile

business meeting with people looking at a computer with a kanban board behind it

Do you know what do Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have in common?

Besides changing the world through technology and conquering their spot among the biggest, most profitable companies in history, they all work with Agile methodology.

This methodology, created in 2001, was first used for software development, but its principles are adaptable for every kind of activity. For human resources management, Agile is the foundation for more motivated associates – and better client experiences.

Agile For All

Agile methodology is based on one main goal that should guide all the activities in a company: to add more value to the final product. Agile proposes performing this through solutions as rapid, cheap and assertive as possible, with the flexibility to adapt to various contexts.

Agile organizations are divided into small, high-performance teams, rather than one solid structure. Just like the job itself, this is broken into simpler tasks instead of being presented as one big problem. This fragmented division makes it easier to adapt the plans according to the obstacles and needs along the way, and the constant, short feedback meetings make sure everyone is on the same page and delivering value.

With a set of values that prioritizes products, people and flexibility over bureaucracy, long-term plans and processes, the core of Agile is to deliver more value with more frequency.

Image with the four Agile values alternation in colorful background

Grab a pen and take notes: these are the four Agile values.

Why Should You Make Your HR Agile?

As Agile methodology was born in the software development area, people tend to believe it is only useful for technology-related departments. That is far from true: any department in any enterprise can benefit from Agile principles.

Human Resources departments are one of the most vulnerable to bureaucracy, excessive long processes and top-down orders that lower morale and turn people into yet another asset to manage.

The benefits of applying Agile to your HR department are countless: motivated employees, more engaged new hires, best organization climate, and ultimately, a better final product or service. Who wouldn’t want that for their company?

How to Change?

Okay, so you’re all set up to make your HR Agile. Before starting sprints, it’s vital to promote the correct mindset among employees.

An Agile HR is no longer focused on cutting costs and paperwork. It, as well as the rest of the company, aims to deliver the best final product. HR does that by promoting a productive, comfortable environment for its employees – or talents, as the followers of this methodology call them.

When your human resources department has the flexibility to test new ways of running processes and becomes people-centered, the result is innovation and steady gains.

Here are some ways to move your HR department down the Agile road:

Make Your Openings Desirable

A traditional company usually skips over company culture discussions during the hiring process. Even when describing a position for a recruiting process, the focus is on the new hire’s tasks and expected abilities. An Agile HR is continually trying to make the opportunity of working there desirable for both parties. This can be accomplished through well-written job descriptions, social media posts about the work environment and evidence of a pleasant company culture. Satisfied employees are your best allies to bring amazing new talents to the team.

Promote Continuous Learning

Within traditional HR areas, it’s common that courses, speeches and workshops only occur  when there’s a tangible need for them – for instance, the implementation of a new tool or process. Agile HR, on the other hand, promotes continuous learning for all employees as a way of enabling them to make the company grow from within the areas, not through a top-down order that the workers are requested only to adapt to.

Evaluate, Develop, Give Feedback

When the evaluation and development processes are transparent, team members are more motivated. Non-Agile companies tend to make these processes obscure, infrequent or without a standard, so employees wonder whether they are doing a good job or not. Constant, standardized and precise evaluations and development plans with regular feedback meetings, motivate the good workers and facilitate the correction for the ones who are not yet up to par.

Valorize All Employees – All of Them Help Companies Scale

An Agile HR makes every worker feel more than just a disposable piece of a bigger engine: every single member of the company feels responsible for the final product or service offered. From the janitor to the finance team, from the receptionist to the CEO, everyone should work toward the same goal and it is HR’s role to encourage this.

If you want to know more about Agile methodology, here are some blog posts you might find useful:

If you want to know more about Agile methodology, here are some blog posts you might find useful:

Understanding the Values and Principles of Agile

What are the main differences between Scrum, Agile and Kanban?

Kanban for Agile Teams

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Thais Macedo

With experience in journalism and Digital Marketing, Thaís loves writing, traveling and learning new things.