7 Best Attributes of an Agile Workforce (And Why Is It Important?)
Agile workforce is the new way of operating in the PM industry. However, you may end up overlooking these key 7 attributes essential to rapid growth.
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Agile Methodology makes up for a major percentage of the modern project management industry. By extension, we can categorize it as an Agile Workforce because of the companies’ modus operandi. This methodology is incredible when it comes to increasing the business of the company by adopting different strategies of flexibility and easement that helps the employees flourish, and when they do that, they bring more value to the company.
An Agile company or an organization takes flexibility to a whole new level when it comes to trying new things. This openness to trying different ways to test out the best possible strategy which can help their business increases the productivity and efficiency of the Agile Workforce. When it comes to Agile, every business or organization has their approach as to how they would incorporate Agile workflow in their work strategy. But there are a lot of different characteristics that are common in any Agile workforce that is working in the market right now.
Let’s take a comprehensive look at these characteristics of an effective Agile workforce and the benefits that come along with them.
The Best Attributes of an Agile Workforce
Here is a list of the 7 attributes or characteristics of an effective agile workforce.
If you are a successful organization in today’s market then you know about the value of the Agile methodology in a company’s work structure and how they can exploit this methodology to bring immense value to the company. One other thing to keep in mind if you are a big or even a small enterprise is that it is vital to highlight all of the priorities, goals, and visions projected by the stakeholders, and apply all of the agile principles in achieving those goals.
When the business has successfully incorporated all of the agile principles in their work structure, the stakeholders are going to be very pleased because these principles are a sure-fire way to achieve amazing value and positive results for the company.
2. Open to Use New Technology
It’s not 1950 and the world is done with repetitive and tedious work that can easily be done with automating the work process, to free up the labor to handle more important and essential work activities, resulting in more value being brought to the company. These recurring tasks are quite harmful to the workforce as they suck the life and morale out of a worker and replace them with dread and regret. That’s why the company needs to embrace new technology and improve themselves, and lucky for them, agile methodology seeks to do the same. This is the year of the pandemic and everywhere we see, businesses are shifting their work processes either online or making changes to incorporate more technology in their work structure. And it is not even that hard because technology is evolving at a much higher rate than anything we have ever seen before, and you can get your desired tool that matches your exact specification in a heartbeat.
Let’s take a look at some of the new technological tools that your company can embrace.
- First and foremost, we have the most famous piece of technology there is, for quite a while now. Smart Phones. These little gadgets are incredible and so useful that some of them are even replacing computers now. And that is why, according to research, nearly every has a smartphone.
- VPNs or Virtual Private Networks, Video calling and teleconferencing have evolved into such incredible features that the personal and work life of a professional can’t function without them. With their cheap price and amazing quality, these features have completely changed the workplace.
Applications like zoom and slack are prime examples of this as they are the go-to software for any remote team to function in this era of the pandemic.
- Just like video and telecommunication channels getting a boost, the IT, marketing, training, location tracking departments, and monitoring the external and internal communication channels attached to the company, have also changed exponentially.
All of this means that if you are a manager or an HR representative for the company, these tools and techniques will help you a lot as it automates all of the activities that you will perform daily, and free up your time to do other important activities that will bring value to the company.
3. Dedication to a Culture of Learning and Trust
To become a truly Agile Company, your business will need to create a culture of trust and learning among the workforce, if you already don’t have one in place. This is a very essential step that makes or breaks the way of you becoming truly Agile. As you know, the Agile methodology relies on all of the workforce members joining forces and rely on each other through the powers of collaboration and trust between them. This level of trust and collaboration can also be found in the external partners related to the company and also with the customers on whom the business relies on and if you break any of the trust connections that we have discussed above, the result will be anarchy.
If you want an increase in the trust levels and a slope on the learning curve, then follow these amazing tips:
- When you develop a relationship of trust between you and your employees, they will be bold enough to take risks, and their willingness to experiment with new methods to increase productivity and value will skyrocket.
- When you are trusting the employees and not keeping a hawk-eye approach on their every move, you are encouraging them to be honest and completely open about the mistakes they might make.
When they will be honest with you about those mistakes, then and only then can they learn from these mistakes and become more effective professionals.
- You also need to make sure that the upper management or the leadership is supportive and understanding of the needs and requirements of the employees, and also, they should be open to any and every suggestion that the employees make during the project development phase.
This will make sure that the employee feels valued and you might get a brilliant suggestion about the business for free.
- As a manager of a leader, you should trust your employee that they will perform their best when their fingers hit the keys and that the level of productivity doesn’t depend on the number of hours that they put into the work.
You need to create a working environment where the employees can create a proper work-life balance, that helps you to retain employees in the long run. Try using flexible working techniques to make sure that your employee doesn’t disappear and makes any potential candidate disappear too.
According to research, more and more employees are filtering their job searches to make sure that the job they do has the “Flexible Working” clause in it. Only in the UK, the number of these types of employees that want to work from their terms but as a part of the company has nearly reached over 5 million. One thing you should remember if you are a manager or someone in power, if your employees ask you permission to work flexibly, you should grant them that request. Why? Well, working flexibly means that they want to work on their terms, at their appointed time and at their desired place, all that and you get an employee that becomes more productive and is happy. What more do you want?
When we talk about flexibility in Agile, we are talking about a radical change in the workings of the company using Agile practices. This helps to ensure that the company is not rigid enough to not listen to the pleas of their employees and to incorporate any change related to the company. To put it into perspective, the Agile Methodology helps remove any and every obstacle between the employees and their freedom to work from anywhere they want and, in the hours, they set for themselves.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that flexibility via Agile can provide for your business. They are:
- When the employees are not in the physical office building, there will be a drastic decrease in the office expenses and maintenance costs of the workspace.
- When the workers can create the perfect work-life balance that helps them be a more thorough professional, there will be a drastic increase in the productivity and efficiency in their work potential which ultimately results in improved customer satisfaction.
- When the employees are happy, they will feel valued that the company understands them and is willing to make them satisfied. This results in them being more productive, living a happier lifestyle, and feeling more autonomous without any fear of risks.
- Last but not the least, when the employees are at their homes, the company is less likely to produce more carbon footprints. This helps the business be more environmentally friendly, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and appreciation for the company.
When it comes to companies that are following the Agile methodology, there isn’t any limit as to how creative they can be to make sure that the company solves any and every problem that they are facing. In this ever-changing market, you need to make sure that you are equipped with handling the stress and the challenge to meet any and every requirement that the customer has because they will never stop evolving and neither should you.
You need to incorporate a radical thinking strategy in the minds of your employees, which will make sure that the employees are not just thinking about the traditional ways to solve a problem but also, they are brainstorming different ideas that are outside the box.
Agile workers are quite extraordinary while performing their work activities mostly because they are working on their terms, at the place of their choosing, and in the hours that they set for themselves. All of these luxuries make them inclined to project the best possible results for the business and bring in more value to the company.
7. Impeccable Change Management
To make sure that the company thrives while sustaining any and every change or challenge that it faces, you need to make sure that the change management process of the company is incorporated with the Agile Methodology. But just the change management process and a culture of trust aren’t enough to make a company properly agile. You need to have your staff trained in new management skills that they can use to bring more value and prosperity to the company. They also need you to:
- Assess their performance and give them a review that they can follow to improve their work activities and be more productive.
- Increase their pay, benefits, and bonuses on the amount of quality work that they perform for you every day.
Over to You!
The aforementioned agile workforce attributes are just the tip of the iceberg. There is a very real possibility that the agile framework that you are looking to follow could have multiple subcategories and branches. In that case, the attributes’ numbers might increase or decrease as per the situation. Feel free to assess risks and improvise as a project manager.
If you think there’s more to add to these attributes, feel free to let us know through the comments section below. Your feedback tremendously helps our fellow readers to hone their project management skills in the industry.
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