Published on April 21st, 2014 | by Roderick McInnes0
Engaging People Raises Agility
Employee engagement and agility are essential to the growth of any business. At Alium we try and empower our colleagues to fulfil their potential through creating an agile and responsive work environment. This was one of the reasons I found this report by Huw Morris of Efficienarta Limited so thought provoking.
He discusses ways in which to establish an agile workforce and the benefits it brings to a business. This knowledge and insight could prove highly valuable when taking on a new interim position. Especially if there is a need to restructure or to motivate a workforce to manage transformational change. Here’s the report, let me know what you think:
Engaging People Raises Agility - Huw Morris
Flourishing enterprises excel at their current activities, spot changes in their environment early and develop employee agility to embrace new threats and opportunities. Such climbs up the mountains of the business environment are faster and less risky if the people aspects are proactively managed. Recent research by EY painted a stark picture:
“80% of enterprise change transformation programs fail. A common characteristic of this failure is the lack of effective engagement of businesses with their employees.” (Source: Performance)
Leaders can reduce the probability of such failures and build a foundation for greater employee agility and improved continuous improvement by:
- Building a dialogue with the individuals in their teams
- Promoting an open culture that values ideas
- Teaching employees and other stakeholders about their enterprise and how it creates value for all stakeholders
- Transparently linking initiatives to the values and strategic direction of the enterprise
- Resourcing initiatives adequately with either permanent or interim staff
Combining the information contained in the top 7 levels of the pyramid above (even if only in the thinking of enterprise Leaders), with a good knowledge of each individual’s current performance, capabilities and ambitions (gained through effective dialogue), can allow leaders to:
- Engage employees in sensing changes in their competitive environment and developing improvements and new capabilities
- Identify individuals who have the capability to contribute now to the initiatives needed to achieve objectives to meet the agreed goals
- Identify individuals with the ambition to grow their capabilities and make a broader future contribution (and perhaps contribute to a future leader development programme)
- Identify capability gaps that should be filled by recruiting additional talent on either a permanent or an interim basis - perhaps while existing staff are up-skilled / re-skilled
Raising Employee Agility Conclusion
Enterprises with people that have a good understanding of their organisation and their competitive environment are better able to move with agility and capitalise on changes - not least because such people can engage more effectively with customers and other stakeholders. Leaders at all levels have a duty to engage and develop their people to optimise these contributions!
The practical implementation of these ideas is explored further in a new book entitled “Strattomics” - available in both print and Kindle editions. The book contains a spectrum of tools to help implement continuous improvement and grow more agile capabilities, as well as links to supporting information on the Internet.
Huw Morris’ report asks pertinent questions about employee engagement and the business benefits of employee agility. What is the best approach to raise employee agility and get the best out of a team? Is it about open culture, or is there more to it than that? Is it a question of identifying talent within the team and honing skills?
These were just some of the questions which fuelled our debate. What have been your strategies for employee agility and what were the results? Were you one of the elite twenty percent that achieved transformational change? Please leave your experiences and comments below.
Huw Morris is the Managing Director of Efficienarta Ltd who help Enterprises improve the Effectiveness, Efficiency and Consistency of their Corporate Governance through improved Leadership, capabilities (inc. Training and Programme Management), and re-engineered systems and processes.