Agile work environments aren't just good for businesses—they're good for employees, too. In a flexible environment, employees can find purpose and readily gain applicable skills, helping organizations relevant amid a rapidly changing economy.
In fact, employer commitment to building an agile workforce has increased 155 percent over the last four years, according to Randstad. By 2025, 68 percent of employers say the majority of the workforce will be employed in an agile arrangement.
We spoke with business leaders from a wide variety of industries to learn what they are doing to help their organizations stay agile for years to come.
Focus on What Makes You Stand Out
Find what makes your company unique and capitalize on that strength as a selling point for your product or service. Peter Yang, co-founder of ResumeGo, a company that provides career coaching and resume writing services, says applicant tracking systems give his business a leg up on the competition.
"Before finalizing a client's resume, we pass it through several in-house applicant tracking systems to make sure the resume scores highly for the types of jobs the customer is planning to target," says Yang. "This gives our clients an advantage over their competitors for the same job, and gives our company an edge over similar firms who haven't adapted to this change."
Make Your Mission Matter
One of the top priorities of jobseekers is to find an organization that truly embodies and lives up to their mission. Shannon Block, president and CEO of World Forward Foundation, a global executive volunteerism organization, has a big goal—world peace—which she keeps top of mind through active reflection and dialogue.
"Before we discuss strategy at our meetings, we discuss the natural change management cycle and reflect on where we are on the curve," she says. "The curve ranges from worry and confusion, to risk-taking and visioning. While we hope to realize world peace, we are realistic. Change is fast, but new beginnings are slow."
Stay Open to Change
Laurel Mintz, CEO and founder of marketing agency Elevate My Brand has learned that taking the leap to rethink goals, redesign strategies or even change the overall direction of your company can be scary, but is sometimes necessary for success.
"It is important to remain intuitive and recognize when change needs to happen," she says. "The best companies know when to revamp, re-shift and rebrand when engagement is low."
Bring Employees Together
Teamwork is an essential part of an agile work environment. Employee engagement falls to just 2 percent among teams who feel their managers ignore them, compared with 61 percent for teams led by managers who focus on strengths.
"Create and empower integrated multidisciplinary project teams comprised of a minimum of people from design, engineering and marketing, and make sure they are accountable from the project start to delivery," suggests Jay Peters, managing director of PARK USA, a design and innovation management consulting firm. "Many companies speak of interdisciplinary teams, yet truly aren't set up culture- or risk-wise for effectively operating as such."
To find out more about how your organization can stay agile while facing constant change, check out Cornerstone's new e-book: The Rise of a Holistic Learning Experience.
Photo: Creative Commons
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