Creating an Agile Workforce for Success

Written by EO Executives on Dec 01, 2016

Since joining the world of commerce over 12 years ago, I cannot recall a time in the industry where agility has been as fundamental as it is today. Agility is at the forefront of many successful business agendas and plays a key role in business performance.

Looking closely at the agile businesses I work with on a regular basis, it is clear to see they all have a few things in common that have led them to become highly adaptable, flexible and influential.

Most importantly all of these businesses have overcome obstacles that have now set them up to encounter the new challenges that face the business world in 2017 and beyond.

What makes an agile business?

At EO we understand the importance of business agility because it shapes the fundamental foundations for achieving business goals, as well as putting change and transformation projects into operation. 

Although it may at first seem contradictory, implementing a well-structured set of foundations and guidelines into your business will allow employees to become flexible but within a preferred business model. There are arguably many ways to achieve this but to help you recognise what it really takes to become a leading agile business, we've outlined some recommendations to get you started:

Be role specific

Having a clear understanding is key to generating success, and so ensuring that employees have a clear mandate is fundamental. When everyone has a clear set of objectives and understands their responsibilities they become more agile in working towards achieving business goals. Why? Because they know what is expected of their role and have something to work towards.

Our top tip to eliminate any confusion is to be transparent on where your employees responsibilities start and finish. This will enable them really concentrate on making their piece of the puzzle a success, whilst avoiding any worry about what could potentially be overlooked.

Become an expert

To be an industry expert you need to know what you stand for, excel on your area of expertise and understand the ins and outs of your organisation. 

The greatest companies I have worked with have declined fantastic opportunities purely because they have not aligned with their business strategies. It is important to understand the danger of straying away from your brand and what you represent as this could discredit core company values, as well as damage resources and business expertise. 

Fail fast

Agile businesses understand what success looks like and the period in which they want to achieve it. Therefore if a process isn't working or doesn't align well with your business, you should consider reviewing what your goals are and why you aren't seeing results. You need to implement a process that meets your objectives, rather than continue with one that will delay results. In short don't invest time and resources into something that doesn’t work.

Empowerment 

Agile companies empower their employees by providing them with responsibilities, involving them in the decision making process and showing appreciation for hard work. They provide support, maintain a positive team spirit and guide employees through turbulent times. As a business, if responsibilities are clearly defined your team will know what to focus on and the results that need to be achieved. This will also give you the confidence to empower your employees so they can achieve business results but in the way they see best fit. 

Review

Regularly reviewing processes, objectives and targets is a fundamental factor for being an agile company. Holding regular reviews allows you to share and evaluate success with your employees and ensure everyone has taken away valuable key leanings. Reviews are also great opportunities to evaluate what is and isn't working and as a result implement new strategies to generate growth and success. 

Why not schedule team meetings at the start of each week? That way your team can stay aligned, ensure objectives are being met and set new goals. 

What do you think makes an agile workforce? We want to hear your views, so please leave a comment or contact me directly at: craig.elvin@executivesonline.co.uk

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