In today’s challenging business climate, attracting and retaining top talent is mission-critical. Companies that adopt agile working practices can empower a more productive, loyal and engaged workforce for long-term business success.
The terms ‘agile’ and ‘flexible working’ are often used interchangeably, however, there are distinct differences. Flexible working traditionally placed the emphasis upon home or remote working, focusing upon the ‘where’ and the ‘when’. Agile working refers to a broader business transformation strategy; bringing people, processes, technology, time and location together to establish the most effective way of achieving a business outcome.
As with all aspects of business transformation, to achieve agile working, the right organisational culture and mindset are as important as the technology itself. Engaging and empowering employees in a relationship of trust and responsibility is key to developing a happy and productive workforce. And a happy and productive workforce, in turn, means better customer experience and loyalty.
Moreover, with millennials comprising nearly half (46%) of the workforce by 2020, the appetite for a technology enabled workplace is rising fast. An agile working culture is now a standard expectation, and no longer a ‘nice to have’ if you want to recruit and retain the best millennial talent.
So where do you start? Here are some key areas to think about…
Consider your culture
Agile working can be a great incentive for improved productivity. Many employees will flourish in an agile environment, however, others may prefer a clearer work/life balance provided by more traditional, structured working hours. Create a culture of choice, shared goals and empowerment. But, crucially, make sure your senior team is on-board and leading from the front.
Talk to your team
Technology is a great enabler. Take the time to understand what your employees need – ask questions, conduct surveys, map out typical workflows and identify areas of inefficiency that may benefit from an agile approach.
Tailor your technology
With so many options available, remember you can’t do everything! Identify the most appropriate solutions to existing problems and explore ways to fine-tune what you already do well.
Set clear goals
Once you’ve agreed your agile working strategy, plan how to roll it out, breaking it down into manageable, incremental chunks. Attempting too much in one hit can derail an entire project, so keep it simple.
Be smart about security
Of course, each extra way to access your business-critical systems is another potential vulnerability. Realise the importance of security early, it’s easier than learning the hard way.
When you offer more flexibility, it can feel like losing control. Ensure that you retain visibility of what your increasingly agile workforce are doing so they get the support they need – and you get the reassurance you need.
Whilst there’s no ‘one size fits all’ for agile working, one thing remains crucial – to succeed, businesses must get buy-in across the board. And that starts at the very top.
For expert advice on agile working and your digital transformation strategy, speak to our team on 03330 11 22 55.