How to Maintain Organizational Agility through Change Management
Often said and believed, a phrase, ‘ends justify the means’. However, in an organization, if the means are not structured in a streamlined manner the end can never be achieved. Prima facie a survey suggests that 47% employees consider it to be a top priority to maintain their organizational agility through change management.
“When we say ‘organizational agility’ we mean the manner in which a company works to cope with changes.”
For instance, the nationwide lockdown which was a result of COVID-19 led to a transition towards remote work. The Indian Government, in a recent order, announced that all IT company employees can work remotely on a permanent basis.
This suggests that such sectors are developing and transitioning in order to cope with the ongoing pandemic which will provide them with stability in the long run. Similarly, the Human Resource management of other companies are also trying every day, through various means, to be more flexible and adaptable in the face of change.
How to Obtain Nimble Execution in an Organization?
Nimble execution is to be quick in understanding the problem area and followed by strategizing a method to solve it. Different organizations face varied challenges, however, obtaining organizational agility is a common issue that is emerging due to lack of understanding among HR executives regarding technology and evolving culture needs. In order to ensure that the employees are responsive and dedicated towards the workflow, a future-forward layout is the need of the hour.
For example, take the case of building trust & reinforcing it continuously in these behind mask times – The non-availability of physical workspace, water filter discussions & over the coffee connects can put managers in a fix. There is a very high need to set up fluid but definite basic principles that enable these confidence instilling & trust reinforcing discussions for employees in a remote setting. In fact, it does not impact productivity directly, but also the mental health & well-being of employees & teams.
“At Zimyo, we relentlessly focus on transforming human capital to the most critical asset for organizations powered with the most critical currency of trust, enabled by data, collaboration, open communication, engagement & belongingness. Using our new-age and innovative practices, organizations have not only improved their efficiency & effectiveness, but it has also invigorated their teams & promoted employee well-being in these unprecedented times.”
In present times, Technology has been a major enabler in the past few months. Digital acceleration helped executives, HRs, as well as business leaders adapt with agility and ensure workplace collaboration & zeal. The disruptive yet evolving scenario continues to witness the power of digitization, data-driven decision making in operational processes for an improved alignment, sustainability of business processes& nimble execution.
Problems Leading to an Inflexible Organizational Structure
In order to know how to lead an organization towards obtaining agility, the problems that give rise to inefficiency must be first identified. Among the various reasons that might be a reason for lack of changeable workflow in an organization, a few have been mentioned below.
- Rumpled work structure – It is imperative that the work design in any organization is revamped with changing times. The traditional workflow might be advantageous to some, however, not to all. Every organization is required to analyze the pain points and make necessary arrangements to bring in the change.
- Ineffable teams – Until and unless a team is moved out of their comfort zones they will never be able to realize their potential and capabilities. Intransigent teams might get overwhelmed with the work at hand leading to rejection of the work design and organizational values.
- Redundant technology and culture – A mix of technology and culture are required in every field of work. Being cohesive, understanding every individual’s culture and pace of adapting helps an organization to rebuild itself and excel in their domains.
- Unbending/Unyielding resources – There are certain resources in every organization which turn out to be rigid after a certain point of time and are at the disposal. Modifications and replacements of such resources are the need of the hour in order to cope with the changing scenarios. Resources are required to be efficiently allocated and flexible.
What are Solutions That Lead to Organizational Agility?
While any HR aims at acquiring stability the real problem lies with the distribution and management of work among the various employee units. Listed down are a few prospective, workable solutions.
- Re-alignment of the work design in a way that agility is maintained through change management. Ways and methods should be derived so that organizational agility is sought without keeping the tasks and targets at stake.
- In order to prioritize the motive that efforts of the taskforce are turned into success it is necessary that their work is streamlined and well communicated. When the task force is well aware of their roles and responsibilities it becomes easy for them to individually as well as collectively derive methods to maximize their productivity.
- The main aim of any organization is to make their thought and product reach the end-user with transparency. To achieve this aim they are required to shift their decisions regarding technology and resource mobility. With evolving and advanced technologies emerging around the corner an organization should also adapt to the change.
- As aforementioned one of the biggest hurdles in the way of maintaining organizational agility through change management methodology is unbending resources. When the resources are not flexible enough at the disposal of the company their use cannot be fully optimized. This issue can be solved by redefining roles of permission granting units at an organization and dismantling the pre-existing redundant hierarchy. This will lead to flexibility in management.
What More Can Be Done Through Change Management?
With respect to changes in the workplace paradigm, the new-age workforce prefers to focus more on experiences. Building an enriching employee experience that fosters creativity, open communication, collaboration and engagement is vital to drive growth for businesses. It helps businesses and employees reach their maximum potential. Hence, employers must redesign key human capital practices (employee benefits, recognition, Evp) that resonate with lifestyle choices of employees. In the present scenario, offering curated experiences is the best way to recognize honest efforts from employees and incentivize positive workplace behaviour
Essentially, it’s a lot more about Change management – as even with the right skills, technology adoption may fail, if employees are not educated about the change, the why of change & its benefits. The Why, its resonance with employees & the benefits at all levels needs to be widely communicated & cascaded with success stories across the entire system. While the CXO suite plays a major role here, by inspiring and enthusing employees to embrace technology. HR leaders& Change Management Champions must be able to leverage Influencers to be digital-leaders, acting as role-models of tech-usage. This must be complemented with continuous investment in employees i.e. training employees and supervisors on how to use and leverage technology to perform well.
To summarize the entire topic of maintaining organizational agility through change management I would say ‘Do you know what it is like to live in a city under sea?’ No, not until you experience this in person. Similarly, in the ongoing organizational transition if human resources are not allowed to design, test and fail/pass a method to bring about agility the entire motive behind the process is lost. An organization cannot function efficiently without the workforce taking active involvement in reshaping the workflow.