The only certainty about the future of work is change.
An important part of an agile work culture is increasing flexibility in order to adapt to the changing needs of your employees. As the pandemic and its effect on the workforce have proven, change is inevitable and it’s important now more than ever for companies to adopt more agile practices and policies.
Luckily, agile work cultures aren’t exclusive to any one industry, and any company at any time can start to build one. To help get you started, seven leaders from Rolling Stone Culture Council each suggest one step companies can take to build a more agile work culture and explain why it’s important to do in order to keep up with an ever-changing workforce.
Create a Safe Environment for Innovation
Make your team feel like they can break stuff without jeopardizing their careers. Agile businesses are continuously iterating new prototypes to find solutions in an uncertain world. Regardless of industry, leaders can model the behaviors that allow agile workflows to thrive. That means creating the psychological safety that empowers teams to innovate, sometimes fail, learn from failure and move on. – Allan Fair, Meaning
Host a Daily Scrum Meeting
Regardless of industry, I encourage leaders to host a short, focused scrum meeting to kick off each day. In these agile-style meetings, you can discuss project specifics such as roadblocks or challenges that your team may be facing. Having a designated meeting time is becoming increasingly important as companies shift to flexible work schedules. – Ashley Deese, ashleydeese.com
Give Employees the Autonomy They Need
Provide autonomy, which includes trusting that employees will do their jobs, whether they’re on site or remote. Articulating that clearly is key to an agile culture (though sometimes easier said than done!). To navigate the future of work with the ongoing uncertainty, flexibility is required. We know now, more than ever, that our personal lives intersect our professional lives and situations can change instantly. – Gregg Brown, Change Ready Leadership
Ensure Work-Life Balance
Business owners and managers need to take responsibility for ensuring remote teams are optimizing their schedules for work and play. Working from home makes this division challenging, so encourage scheduled downtime. Pay attention to your employees overworking or struggling with work-life separation as opposed to focusing on the flexibility like it’s at risk of creating a compromised work ethic. – Traci DeForge, Produce Your Podcast
Reward Productivity With PTO
I think the pandemic has proven that even with flexibility and freedom organizations can still be productive with the right structure. We’ve always advocated for employees to enjoy time off, whenever that may be, as long as their goals and duties are still being met at the end of the day. – Vanessa Gabriel, Drop Delivery
Measure Results, Not Hours
Measure productivity by results, not by hours worked at a certain location. The pandemic proved that people can work flexible hours from remote locations. Unless fixed hours are required, offer employees greater flexibility and control over their own schedules. Having company-hosted events promotes in-person interaction and positive work engagement. Skilled workers will be attracted to that. – Marietta Ulacia, Afro Latin Jazz Alliance
Break Down Team Silos
Setting up meetings with team members who don’t normally work together encourages diversity of work relationships, lets you hear new voices at the table and is something that only requires scheduling and showing up. It detracts from silos, allows access to talent that may not have been apparent, breaks down hierarchy in the moment and allows for more integrated communication across departments. – Lizandro Salazar, ArcataX Inc.
This article originally appeared in Rolling Stone.