One of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today is how to sustain and excel in the face of rapid and non-stop change. We now live in a world where technology advances every day, where geographic boundaries are virtually nonexistent, where time-to-market continues to shorten and skills become obsolete in about two years’ time. The only thing that’s certain is that everything changes, all the time. Given this environment, how can your organization meet crushing deadlines, seize opportunities and adapt to change?
Agile Workforce, Agile Organization
A business can only be as agile as its workforce. Companies can’t adjust and pivot if their team lacks flexibility and fails to embrace change. This is true at all levels. Whether it’s entry-level or C-Suite, everyone needs to feel empowered, show willingness to accept change, take risks and innovate. So the question becomes how to help the entire team develop this mindset to ensure they can handle whatever is thrown their way?
Eliminate Knowledge Gaps
When an experienced employee leaves the company, they take a lot of knowledge with them. Managers often focus on reassigning tasks, without ever considering the importance of knowledge transfer. The full weight of someone’s expertise is often not felt until they are gone.
You can eliminate knowledge gaps through mentoring programs between seasoned staff and greener staff. Creating cross-generational relationships ensures knowledge will naturally flow downstream. Encourage mentees to ask “why” their mentor does things in certain ways and to pick their brains whenever time allows.
Teams that are micromanaged cannot adapt quickly to change. Employees must be trusted and empowered to make decisions, take action and even take risks. Instead of holding them back, build them up. Encourage them to break out of their comfort zones by rotating task delegation, cross-training them in other areas, assigning leads on projects to help develop leadership skills, and embracing a fail-forward mentality.
Teams that overcome challenges do so together. They aren’t afraid to ask each other for help and support, bounce problems around and look for creative solutions together. This type of collaboration is difficult to achieve in organizations that promote a strict hierarchy.
Leaders and managers can promote collaboration by assigning projects at a group level, rather than an individual level. Set group metrics and goals, and let the team work together to achieve them. Managers can check in on progress, but should attempt to let the team work out their own challenges and snags whenever possible. Over time, the group will develop the essential skills required to become more agile and flexible.
Hire The Right People
Over time, people can learn to become more flexible and agile on the job, but it is much more efficient to hire people with those qualities right off the bat. If you are looking to build a more agile team, the professional recruiting experts at TRC Professional Solutions can help. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help you achieve your goals.