New workforce trends and HR agility

Agility in HR
Agility in HR

The whole world is facing the “Great resignation” phenomenon when more than half of the employees are looking for a new job or are planning to do so in the near future.

Why is this happening?

The pressure for results is transferred to all hierarchical levels and no matter how much you want to be a good employee; you can’t manage to complete all the tasks. This creates stress and the famous “burnout”, which is cited as the main reason for mass resignations, even in conditions of inflation and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. There is also a shift in perception about life, values, and life priorities, fueled by a harsh awareness of the speed and transience of life. Many, who had lost their closest family members, and friends, or had severe symptoms of the disease had experienced an “awakening”. People are re-examining their lives and do not accept that the dominant segment is work. “I don’t live to work, but I work to live”.

What should employers do to adapt?

Everyone knows what the word agile means – fast, nimble, swift, dexterous. That word is gaining value nowadays when changes are happening so fast, that this trait has become not only desirable but necessary for survival. And we all had the real test during the Covid 19 pandemic, which taught us that both the system and the people must be adaptable. It was this global crisis that gave birth to a “new reality” and new trends in the labor market.

All this means that the time has come to change the relationship and the way of working, to make the system sustainable. Employers face a new challenge – how to find and retain a quality workforce? Due to new life priorities, employees have now become more demanding, pickier, and less tolerant. That is why it is not unusual for them to change employers even in periods shorter than a few years. It is a long pastime that one should wait for retirement in one (first) company because now the dominant belief is that “new blood” in the organization brings new experiences, a new perspective, and new energy.

This process of adapting to the new demands of employees will last until it is shown in practice which model is the most acceptable. New employees value themselves, and their time. That is why “remote” work, flexible working hours, private health insurance, and the like appear more and more on the list of desirable benefits. The focus is on results while accepting different work styles i.e. accepting diversity, and if this is not recognized in the form of promotions or rewards for achieved results, the option of changing the company is open. It is important to understand that employees are replaceable, but also employers if they don’t fulfill the initial agreement and promises.

Inevitably, trends in the labor market are changing and the question is how to organize in the future? The solution lies in the new business paradigm that continuously adapts to new requirements. The good news is that there is a model according to this principle, but the bad news is that the success of the implementation depends solely on the team that implements it.

Why does HR need to be agile?

The agile business was born precisely because of the rapid changes and the development of technologies so that they need to deliver “value” in shorter periods appeared. The project, which is defined for two years, becomes the “big picture” that is still being pursued but is broken down into shorter periods in which a “sub-project” that can live independently should be implemented. To make it clearer, we will compare it with an example familiar to everyone: if a music album is being prepared, the artist will not wait to record all 10 songs but will release singles one by one. The point is to create wholes that have value for the user and deliver successively those small values ​​in stages. Thus, on the one hand, the development towards the realization of the big goal is monitored and problematic delays in parts are solved on the fly, and on the other hand, costs are optimally managed (because you are already earning from the delivered parts). Sounds good?

The future of successful organizations is to be Agile, i.e. less hierarchical – more cooperative, less reactive – more proactive, and for that the teams need to be empowered, independent, and ready for continuous personal improvement and learning. Because the greatest value to the company is provided by enthusiastic employees.

Learn more about Agility in HR from excelent HR consultant, Facilitator & Agile Coach Ilija Popjanev at double-certified Agility in HR (ICP-AHR) certification training.