How to instill agility in HR services

Human resources have every interest in participating in this movement of business agility, which promotes innovation. But how?

Flexibility, improved teamwork and increased productivity – the agile approach has many advantages. Philippe Mast, CHRP and co-founder of the CORTO.REV recruitment firm, considers this approach to be “self-learning and innovating”. He believes the agility we are seeing in more and more fields is of great interest to spread into human resources. How and why should you draw on agility in HR practices?

The benefits of agility in HR services

“From a macro point of view, it’s about ensuring that the decision-making structures and the work processes create value instead of just creating security,” explains Philippe Mast. Organizations often have many decision-making processes that ensure stability, compliance and security, but which ultimately make them too rigid. On the other hand, an agile organization breaks the silos in which companies work most of the time and promotes multidisciplinary collaboration. It’s also a question of putting the customer at the heart of the process, in the manner of design thinking, in other words, collaboration which begins with the needs of the final user. “The organization will be more flexible; there will be many more successful actions,” says Philippe Mast, who calls this organization “Darwinian”.

Asking the right questions

Before moving to the agile mode, it is absolutely essential to clarify why. “It is really necessary to give a meaning to this change, because it can be destabilizing for the staff,” notes Philippe Mast. In his opinion, the major questions to be asked are: does the company have the right leaders to do it? Does it have the right culture as well as the right structure? “If I have an extremely pyramidal structure, with very hierarchical processes, it will be longer,” he says.

Agile procedure

The team can begin by referring to the “Agile Manifesto”. On a daily basis, the team uses collaboration platforms, such as Slack or Asana, which allows tasks to be assigned easily. “We meet more often than before but more quickly, since information has already been shared on Slack,” explains Philippe Mast. It’s a matter of ending the formal meeting, which is too long and proves to be a waste of time.

In addition, agility permits cross-management of projects. “For example, there is no job description, but rather roles. This facilitates engagement, and people see their work is valued,” explains Philippe Mast. In agile mode, no one is left alone to face adversity. “Responsibilities are shared,” he adds.

To conclude, Philippe Mast wants to recall that two questions remain unresolved: in the absence of job descriptions, how is agility compensated, and how is each one’s work recognized? The more organizations adopt this model, the more we will be able to determine it.


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