HR has traditionally been the most ignored, underestimated, undervalued and hidden component of any organization but still they play a very crucial role in shaping the culture and policies of an organization. As one of the important support functions , it is very important that the HR functions changes to live up to expectations demanded from it by an Agile organization. This would not only mean learning about what Agile philosophy means but also to imbibing the principles while working on key policies and decisions from an HR perspective
Here I list the key differences that HR needs to bring in:
Function Traditional approach An Agile environment approach Recruitment
The focus typically is on fitting the right skills with the job profile. The recruiters mostly focus on keywords provided by the hiring managers and identify the profiles and initial screening based on these keywords In an Agile team, the focus is not only on the technical skills but also on collaboration skills. An agile team is not looking for a single Star but a team player who can take everyone along to success. Initial screening of a potential candidate should also focus on these Appraisals and Promotions
The simple way to appraisals and promotions is through individual KRAs and KPIs. The rating and assessment provided by the Manager decide how much appraisal/ promotion an employee gets. Some of the typical performance metrics like No of bugs recorded, customer appreciation, LOC written etc form the basis of the assessment by manager As Agile philosophy recommends team work and the success and failure is entrusted to the team and not to a single person, it is important that team metrics are a part and parcel of appraisals and due weight-age is given to team goals and also achieving individual knowledge gain goals Designing company policies
The HR takes reference from their experience with previous companies or prevalent industry practices and various company policies are designed with these as input Involve representatives from all levels of experience into the decision making through a series of meetings and workshops. This would make the policies more inclusive and you would typically see lesser complaints and queries as most people would be aware of what to expect. Also, it is an interesting and effective practice to publish the draft policy beforehand and invite comments and suggestions from everyone in the organization before finalizing the draft Training and Knowledge Sharing
Training requests are typically raised by the reporting managers and the vendors/ trainers are recruited by the training department Few important steps like running training surveys for training content needed in an year, participating in key team meetings to understand the mindset and organize training based on this as input and working with Business Leaders, Teams and Scrum masters to identify new technology areas for training can help the teams by providing them the right knowledge at the right time Employee Engagement Activities
These are planned based on specific requirements and/or focused on soft skills HR Generalists need to be assigned to each business unit as partners where they would work with leaders, coaches and teams to identify a calendar of team building activities, activities required for team mindset change, creating right kind of infrastructure for the teams and also identify work-life balance measure as may be needed for the team(s). These are just a few pointers that I could think of from my limited experience working on OD activities with Clients' HR functions. I am sure in your organizations, you would be able to find many more areas which require attention and need for change .
So keep exploring and learning and working with your teams to make the team environment Agile !