Agile software development was created as a way to meet the rapidly changing and complex demands of customers. Agile HR is gaining momentum as a way to meet the rapidly changing and complex demands of today’s workforce. From sprint-based project cycles, to kanban boards for communication and more, there are many visual reminders of how Agile works.
However, Agile is so much more than a way to decorate an office–Agile teams get results.
Taking action on employee feedback using the Agile method empowers HR teams to do more, faster. However, Agile HR teams need real-time feedback to get things done. We’ll explore why this is, and a few ways you can use Agile principles to take action on employee feedback.
Why Agile HR needs real-time feedback
In our ebook dedicated to Agile HR, An agile approach to employee feedback, Eline van der Maas of Aegon’s global HR team shares her experience working with agile. As the program manager of Aegon’s Future Fit program, van der Maas explains:
“Embedding an agile way of working in HR business processes meant we needed to change some of our practices as well. And one of the first things we did was to change the way we survey employees. We used to do the traditional survey once a year with a consulting firm, and it took a very long time for people to get their feedback. When you want to be agile, you need to have instant feedback. And you must be able to react very quickly to the feedback that you get.”
Internally owned, real-time employee data allows organizations to set their own cadence of taking action on employee feedback. Using Agile principles to act on employee feedback helps you to create tighter feedback loops–collecting, understanding and acting on employee feedback more efficiently. We’ll explore three Agile principles you can use next.
Ways to use agile principles to act on employee feedback
The Agile manifesto outlines twelve principles for Agile development. These same twelve principles can be applied to how agile HR teams take action.
Monique Hughes, Senior Customer Success Coach at Culture Amp says that when working in an Agile environment the space feels creative and alive. Here, she provides advice on how to translate select agile principles from development into HR based on her experience working with Culture Amp customers.
Agile Principle 1
“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”
In the case of agile HR teams, the highest priority is to satisfy employees through continuous delivery of valuable programs. Overall, it’s about iterating on the employee experience, and using employee feedback to make the most informed decisions.
In that context, explains Monique, “After a survey closes, momentum is critical; that’s why we encourage companies to send thank you notes as soon as the survey closes and to share results sooner rather than later.”
Agile Principle 8
“Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.”
HR teams using employee feedback platforms also need to promote sustainable development. As Monique says, “A good survey strategy should have a cadence that reflects an indefinitely sustainable pace of learning, acting and repeating. People should feel there’s been enough time to dive into results, act on those results, and perceive change in the organization before another survey comes out.”
Agile Principle 10
“Simplicity-the art of maximizing the amount of work not done-is essential.”
Agile HR is all about finding the shortest and leanest path to business outcomes. “This one can’t be underestimated. Many survey programs and action plans fail because they are unnecessarily complicated,” says Monique. Finding a clear focus on which to take action when it comes to survey results is massively important. Keep it simple, and communicate it to stakeholders.
Imagine what your team could do if you found a sustainable (and constant) pace. To see all of Monique’s insights, check out her full blog post.
If you want to learn more about what Agile HR looks like, visit the Culture Amp blog. We cover more on how other HR teams use agile principles, and the four key ways to use agile to act on employee feedback.