That concept is usually related to physical ability. According to its most basic definition, agility is the power to move quickly and easily.
However, agility is also a concept related to our thinking capacity. It’s a person’s ability to draw quick and accurate conclusions in stressful situations. It’s exactly what any entrepreneur, leader, or manager wants to see in their team.
Agile working is about engagement, effectiveness, and high achievements. The stats are clear: labor productivity growth is weak, and that affects all industries. When you hire agile employees or you encourage your current employees to become more agile, you’ll boost the productivity of the entire organization. Who doesn’t want that?
The good news is that it’s possible to elevate the agility levels in your team. We’ll give you 7 important tips on how to do that.
- First, Be Mindful about the Hiring Process
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s not just a cliché saying; it’s the absolute truth. When you’re careful during the hiring process and you accept the most agile candidates, you’ll only need to maintain that spirit within the team. Maintenance is much easier than training.
How do you recognize the most agile candidates?
Lionel Moore, team leader at BestEssays, has a good tip to share: “The interview process gives you hints about the applicant’s personality, but it’s not enough. You gotta test their skills in a real-life situation. When we hire new writers, for example, we give them actual projects to complete. We see how they work under tight deadlines and we measure how they meet other requirements. Of course, they get paid for this work, but they are aware of the fact that it’s a trial period.”
Give the candidates a test period! That’s the best thing you could do for your organization.
- Make New Employees Feel Welcome
People are more effective when they feel connected to the team. When they sense the “vibe” of the organization and they feel like they fit in, they are inspired to work more efficiently.
So focus on developing contagious team dynamic that will spread onto the new members. You’re the first one who needs to be kind, friendly and welcoming. All others will follow the lead.
- Everyone Should Know Who the Leader Is
When you’re thinking about motivating your employees, you should definitely let their individuality shine. They should have a certain degree of flexibility, so they can share their ideas and thrive within the organization.
Still, everyone should know who the leader is. Hierarchy is still necessary and we haven’t found a more efficient system of leadership. One person has the lead role, and the most efficient way to work is for everyone to follow clear guidelines. As a leader, you must provide those guidelines instead of letting the team members make big decisions alone.
In addition, the leader must monitor the process of task completion, recognize the pitfalls and think of timely solutions.
- Make the Work Environment as Comfortable as Possible
The physical environment has a huge effect on the performance of your team. Researchers found that when employees worked under uncomfortable lighting and room temperatures, they felt “stuffy” and tired, and they had difficulties to focus.
When your employees come to the office, they should feel comfortable. Space itself should be inspiring. So invest in good office furniture and make sure to keep the lighting and temperature comfortable.
- Boost Their Time Management Skills
Agility is mostly related to great performance under tight deadlines, so it’s directly dependent on people’s time management skills. How do you encourage the development of time management skills? Simple: you track people’s performance within a specific period of time.
When you set progressive steps towards a particular goal, you should provide them within a definite timeframe. When someone misses such a mini-deadline, you don’t have to sanction their lack of performance. There’s still enough time by that big deadline; you just have to remind them that now they have more work to do by then.
Monitor the performance with a consistent time-tracking method. That will make your team more responsive to deadlines and more agile in the long term.
- Teamwork Is the Best!
We talked about leadership and we talked about the importance of making people responsible regarding deadlines. Does that mean you should approach leadership with a firm hand? Not at all. Your main goal will be to develop a team of people who rely on one another and look out for one another.
When people support each other towards the success of a common goal, the team spirit makes everything easier. They will be more efficient in decision making, and they will definitely be more agile in their performance.
To foster team spirit within the organization even when you don’t have everyone in the same office, you can rely on digital tools, such as Asana. Needless to say, actual meetings and close cooperation are still necessary, so make sure to keep that contact alive as much as possible.
- Measure the Results
How can you tell if your workers are agile or not? You need some kind of measurement system, which allows you to evaluate people’s performance.
The key performance indicators are variable, depending on the organization. The universal factors, however, include producing good-quality work in a timely manner, behaving professionally and not wasting time on distractions while you’re supposed to be working. Make your own list of such performance indicators, so you can have a foundation to measure people’s effectiveness. If you notice that someone is slowing things down, you can react as quickly as possible.
Of course; you won’t get rid of that employee. You’ll give them instructions and you’ll encourage them to get better. It’s better to invest in training than to start the hiring process all over again; that would be much more expensive and it would bring an entirely new member for the team to get used to.
As any other leader or business owner, you’ve probably relied on some of the methods we mentioned above. But have you been aware of the agility of your team members? That’s an important concept we often forget about. It’s time to remind ourselves about it!
Author's bio: Warren is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at BestEssays.com, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.