Workforce Agility Design & Insights

Goals

To bolster a presentation about designing workforce agility within an organization by identifying the latest research on the concept and innovative examples from private industry and governments.

Early Findings

Tips

  • Trends that support workforce agility include “work when you need to” models and using SaaS and the cloud to run remote teams. Also, some companies have started to use augmented and virtual reality technologies to test products and/or meet online.
  • Aligning the workforce with digital transformations and business goals, as well as using metrics to “create a gauge to measure user engagement” and tracking worker activities are ways to help a workplace become agile.
  • Some experts suggest that in order to effectively lead an agile workforce that management must have their thoughts focused on employees’ well-being and that their actions need to be employee-centered.
  • HR plays a powerful role in driving workforce agility. This pivotal department is encouraged to establish communication channels, “replace training with doing”, be fearless, and actively coach teams to adapt to an innovative mindset. Establishing an innovative mindset includes establishing trust, collective brainstorming, multi-solution solutions, and applying 3P design thinking differently.
  • Company culture is a big factor in effective workforce agility. An example of this is in how feedback is delivered after an agile worker makes a decision that might differ from what a manager would make. The feedback can trigger fear, anxiety, and a desire to avoid future missteps that keep management within the mix and encourages red-tape in decision-making. This also slows down velocity within organizations. Taking a page from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, management is encouraged to empower employees with “disagree and commit” perspectives.

Stats and Definition

  • “McKinsey’s 2017 global survey, “How to Create an Agile Organization,” shows that out of 2,500 businesses only 4% had completed a company-wide agile transformation.”
  • A potentially useful definition for workforce agility: “‘Workforce agility occurs when business leaders implement a people-focused culture while using technology to enable its employee to rapidly change and adapt to changes in the work environment.’”

Examples

  • ING is a corporation that was cited as being “at the forefront of applying agility enterprise-wide.”
  • Accenture focused on creating an adaptive workforce by reshaping its workforce into five talent pools: (1) operations/support, (2) delivery centers with multiple skills tracks, (3) flexible workforce offering real-time supply/demand, (4) a curated group of freelancers, and (5) external people that they call “the peer crowd.”
In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Proposed next steps:

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