How can HR implement this strategy in order to benefit their business?
By Marta Chmielowicz
âAgileâ has long been a business buzzword, but theÂ COVID-19 crisis has accelerated its adoption across theÂ HR function. The uncertain and ever-changing natureÂ of the pandemic has forced HR leaders to transformÂ their business priorities, talent management practices,Â and technology tools in the blink of an eye.
In fact, Gartnerâs recent The Agile HR Function SurveyÂ indicates that 63% of respondents are now using someÂ variation of agile methods and principles within theirÂ HR department, and most organizations are shifting toÂ agile as a way to improve their business outcomes.
However, there is lingering uncertainty in how agileÂ can apply to the needs of HR. Seventy-eight percent ofÂ HR leaders do not have a defined strategy in place toÂ guide their agile approach.
How can HR implement agile in the best way toÂ benefit their business? Gartner recommends three bestÂ practices.
1. Allow HR professionals to focus on strategy. HRÂ departments often get bogged down in organizationalÂ silos, poor data visibility across the organization,Â and lack of technology that can standardize routineÂ processes. As a result, HR leaders waste valuable timeÂ that can be better spent making connections andÂ driving strategy.
This is confirmed in the research: A 2019 Gartner HRÂ Structure survey showed that less than 40% of HRÂ leaders believe their function separates transactionalÂ and strategic tasks appropriately.
To truly be agile, these professionals need to be givenÂ tools that can automate transactional tasks and freeÂ their time to focus on high-impact organizationalÂ problems. Talent platforms that aggregate employeeÂ data from across the organization and artificialÂ intelligence-driven tools that enable the talentÂ acquisition process can be a good first step.
2. Understand the needs of the business. GartnerÂ research finds that only 29% of employees agreeÂ that HR understands their needs and expectations.Â While employee engagement surveys and entry andÂ exit surveys are commonly used to gauge employeeÂ sentiment, HR leaders need to dive into the data evenÂ further if they want to understand how to have aÂ strategic impact. Frequent and short pulse surveys,Â recognition data, and productivity metrics can allÂ be leveraged to paint a fuller picture of employeeÂ engagement.
3. Maintain a flexible approach to planning. LikeÂ most business leaders, HR professionals set their keyÂ priorities at regularly scheduled strategic planningÂ sessions. However, this can be a detriment at a timeÂ when circumstances and regulations are rapidlyÂ evolving.
According to Gartnerâs 2020 Agile HR Function Survey,Â only one-third of HR leaders agree that projects areÂ paused or stopped if they are no longer deemedÂ strategic or valuable, and only 34% of HR leadersÂ agree that resources are reallocated as needed toÂ tackle priority work.
To succeed in the post-COVID world, HR leaders needÂ to be quick on their feet, constantly reassessing theirÂ business priorities and the efficacy of their programsÂ to ensure the highest-priority projects receive theÂ greatest investment.