Being agile is about more than working practices. It’s a business culture. To see the benefits of agile working, you need a shift in mindset at every level of your company.

How do you know if new and existing hires will be more effective by adopting agile working methods?

Companies must hire with agile working in mind

‘Disrupt or be disrupted’ is the battle cry of today’s forward-focused businesses. These businesses always look for the next great innovation to stay competitive in todays’ fast-paced world. To make this happen, businesses encourage a new way of hiring.

Historically, it was beneficial to find employees who understood your technology or your legacy industry needs. But in a business ready for the next big thing – whatever that may be – these skills could be out of date before the ink dries on a new hire’s contract.

It’s much more important to consider agile working methods. This is not only so that an employee can manage teams or complete a sprint. It also builds up their character as a business leader.

So, who is this ‘agile employee’?

Just in Time

Applying a ‘Just in Time’ mentality means having exactly the skills and tools you need, and nothing more. ‘More’ might have been traditionally impressive. But in agile teams, it’s considered excessive or even wasteful. Why spend time on honing a deep understanding for an area which might be irrelevant tomorrow?

This is the same concept as ‘failing fast’, launching a minimum viable product and then seeing if it has legs. Simplicity leads to quick value.

Responsive to Change

Today’s valuable employees can roll with the punches. This is a key tenet of adopting agile working in your team. You don’t need to stick to a particular job description or rollout for personal development. The agile employee looks for where they can add value, and how.

If the business pivots, an agile employee can identify where they best fit. They retrain or evolve as necessary, seeing change as an opportunity rather than an unwelcome deviation.

Collaborative and Communicative

‘Teams’ as we know them might soon be obsolete. The best agile employees work across more than one team, ideally across business and technical functions.

According to an Entrepreneur.com article, “Agile teams excel because they are efficient, non-hierarchical and communicative”.

These teams accept that the next steps for a big vision could need expertise from another colleague, team, or even company. They see the benefits of agile working across teams in industry-changing collaborations like DevOps or more recently, SecDevOps.

Reflective

An agile employee is two steps ahead, able to be self-reflective and impartial about the next hurdle or turn. Self-improvement through new processes or training is an essential ingredient of the way that agile works.
A Forbes article comments on the connection between this personal attitude and ultimate business success.

When you set out to be a continuous learner and have a growth mindset, you are always looking for ways to improve your product, your services and yourself as a manager and leader.”

In the same way that agile teams are self-governing, the ability to uncover your own next steps and work towards a goal independently is incredibly valuable.

Adopting agile working opens the doors to embrace disruption

Disrupting through the benefits of agile working is about more than encouraging your staff to use agile best practices. Your departments and teams need to feel agile from the inside out.

Employees who personify agile working are likely to be able to lead successful disruption from within. They spot the next great innovation, encouraging and supporting their peers. They stay current and relevant to your business, no matter what challenge comes next.