“It’s time to blow up HR and build something new.”
While this headline from the July/August 2015 edition of the Harvard Business Reviewwas met with disapproval, anger and mild contempt from the HR community at large, the article’s message was straightforward. In short, HR needs to get with the times and be more user-centric, accountable, and oriented toward business outcomes.
Fast forward to 2019, and our new expectation for HR: Be agile.
Agility — a concept that originated in software development — is now being used (and perhaps misused) for all manner of concepts, systems and processes in the business world. At Gallup, we measure workplace agility by asking workers for their level of agreement with two general statements about their organizations:
- In my company, we have the right mindset to respond quickly to business needs.
- In my company, we have the right tools and processes to respond quickly to business needs.
We find that real organizational agility is in awfully short supply. Gallup’s recent research in the U.S. shows that few employees feel that their organization is agile (and, alarmingly, those few employees are far more likely than everyone else to think their company is ahead of its competitors and feel confident in the organization’s financial future).