Psychological Safety

What is Psychological Safety and Why is it Important?

Defining Psychological Safety  

Psychological Safety was first described in 1965 by Edgar Schein and Warren Bennis. They described it as an environment where people are given a chance to express themselves freely.   

In recent years, many organizations have discovered that allowing employees to speak candidly and raise concerns without fear of being judged fosters teams to perform at their maximum ability. HR can introduce psychological safety by dedicating certain parts of company policy to grooming management.   

Management can be held liable for practicing psychological safety in their respective divisions without judging staff members, even when they may be incorrect. When an atmosphere is a safe space for all, individuals find it easier to be creative and think outside the box. However, when such a culture is not adopted, members may be discouraged from performing, affecting the return of investment (ROI).   

It’s easy to identify when an organization lacks psychological safety. For starters, employees will avoid any form of participation and avoid giving feedback even when required. An organization should recognize that employees spend most of their time at work, meaning it is essential for an employee to be psychologically secure because, if not, it will easily affect other parts of one’s life.   

How HR can Implement Psychological Safety  

Organizations that strive in their respective industries are said to be those that intentionally enforce psychological safety. HR will be responsible for creating policies highlighting the importance of such a culture. HR can even go the extra mile by including psychological safety in management KPIs.   

Furthermore, once Human Resources has conceptualized how to implement a psychological safety strategy for an organization, the next step would be to involve management’s input.   

Each manager needs to understand that each team member is different, so it should not be a one size fits all approach when creating such an environment. HR and management must attend training should their management style not correspond with the advocated strategy.   

Management must speak freely should they need training or further assistance in deploying this strategy. This is a holistic approach; executives should lead by example for teams to follow. When HR makes specific disciplines a priority in an organization, the transition will occur quickly and rapidly.

Signs of Lack of Psychological Safety     

The concept is largely undermined. Psychological safety is not just being nice to each other but a full-blown strategic plan that needs to be implemented for the company’s well-being.  

The phenomenon, at times, may not necessarily affect the overall performance of an organization but a particular department or unit. This may occur when a manager of a specific division has created a fear culture within a team.   

This will be seen when employees are more concerned with keeping their jobs with an end goal of a salary instead of being goal orientated regarding performance while taking pride in their work.   

When a company onboards an employee, they usually invest money in the recruitment process and in providing training. Some employees will opt to leave a psychologically unsafe organization even after an organization has invested in them. Often employees don’t leave companies but leave their managers.   

When an environment is safe, the business will not be at a continuous loss. Once a high-performing individual decides to leave, Human Resources will be responsible for investing in the process of replacing that individual and hope that the replacement will be exceptional. 

How an Organization can Benefit from Psychological Safety 

No matter how big or small an organization may be, it will reap the rewards if they implement psychological safety. Once an organization decides to follow this route, employees will become innovative and motivated. In return, customers spending their hard-earned money will also reap the benefits. 

As employees get used to this concept, they start making intelligent decisions that are not personal but beneficial to the organization’s performance. When teams are free to express themselves, they can tell a risk that may damage a company’s reputation before it occurs.    

People who are happy with their working atmosphere won’t have a reason to leave. They will stay longer and become loyal to the organization. Such employees are flexible in implementing change when expected to because they feel safe and secure to do so, mainly of the trust built.   

Teams in high-performing organizations tend to be proud and will represent the organizations externally. They will attract potential employees to join the company. This will result in cutting costs in the recruitment process.  

No matter the sector or size, increased psychological safety will dramatically affect an organization’s performance.   

Why Practice Transparency in a Psychological Safe Environment 

When transparency is practiced in the workplace, it creates trust amongst team members. Members should never have to wonder where they stand on a project. In such avoidance, confusion is eliminated, which also eliminates costly mistakes.   

When an organization has given clear direction regarding employee roles in a team, they will spend more time creating profitable ways instead of worrying about where they fit in the part of a whole.   

It will happen that some issues may be uncomfortable to discuss, but when striving for a psychologically safe and transparent atmosphere, it needs to be done. It is better to address problems rather than let the elephant in the room grow out of control.     

A good manager will be able to recognize conflict when transparency is practiced. They can attend to the problem before it affects the working morale of others and before creating a psychologically unsafe atmosphere. Sharing information or data should be quickly done without any hesitation.   

Transparency is not one-sided but includes all associates involved in a department, project, or company. While relaying a message across teams, whether it is an easy task or not, it’s essential to do it respectfully.   

In an organization that holds fairness highly, they will also respect each other whether they like each other on a personal basis or not. 

How does Psychological Safety impact External Stakeholders 

Stakeholders’ (individual or organization) interests may vary from being financially invested to consumers of a particular brand. Whichever interest external stakeholders may have in an organization will be driven by how the boat is driven in-house.   

Before a funder or sponsor may want to invest in any organization, they will first analyze the company’s performance, culture, and what drives the turnover. The people who drive the company’s direction and achievements are the organization’s associates.    

If an organization renders a service, customers may be attracted to invest in an organization; however, the retention of customers will be highly dependent on employee behavior. Should a stakeholder not be satisfied with the result, there is a high chance that they will cut all ties.   

A stakeholder holds a specific power in the success of an organization. The word of mouth of a stakeholder disappointed by a service provider can quickly tarnish a company’s reputation. Therefore, it is pivotal for teams to practice psychological safety for the organization’s well-being and sustainability. 

Labor Law Influencing Psychological Safety  

Labor law talks about the rights and responsibilities of any organization. These laws may be different for each country. Labor law encourages employers to form legally binding documents as a contract. It is the employer’s responsibility to be transparent in a legally binding agreement.  

Such transparency can safeguard an organization should the possibility of being sued to arise. It echoes a form of protection while practicing psychological safety for employers. Sometimes if rules are not documented, employees may take advantage and exploit an organization for their gain.   

Therefore, being open to employees about their standings in the role they play, and expectations is important and further sets a tone for a psychological safe culture. 


Human Resources has been known to lead the way for employees. When hiring, HR is the first point of contact for employees. The attitude carried by an organization’s HR sets the tone for an organization. If a safe environment has been created by HR, employees will also freely approach HR with issues that may affect their performance. 

When an organization has failed to create a safe environment, it will show in the attitude of associates. In return, if an organization has created a healthy working space, it’s seen in the performance of the business. External stakeholders are primarily invested in organizations that have made psychological safety a priority because they know their investments are in good hands. They won’t have to worry about poor returns.     


MicrosoftTeams-image (4)

The Importance of Neurodiversity at workplaces


Over the past years, the term diversity has become a buzzword. Organizations and researchers have been embracing diversity because of the perks that come from a diverse workforce. In psychology, people learn of individual differences. In management sciences, people realize that individual differences can benefit organizations if managers hone and utilize each employee’s uniqueness. 

People are different in various ways, and organizations need to be able to accommodate and make everyone feel included. With that said, a concept has also gained popularity called ‘neurodiversity.’ Firstly, this article will explain what neurodiversity is and then comment on how companies build neurodiversity workforces in their workplaces. 

What is Neurodiversity  

In short, neurodiversity is the diversity of the human brain and mind (Autistic UK, 2018). Human beings are different in how they think, and neurodiversity denotes that these natural variations in the human brain lead to differences in how people think and behave.   

Neurodiversity was first coined in the late 1990s by sociologist Judy Singer, who argued that neurological variations are differences in people, like gender, sexual orientation, race, and many others. 

To truly appreciate neurodiversity, people must understand how it came about. Research denotes that neurodiversity began as a neuro-minority human rights movement (Doyle, 2021).  

Neuro-minorities is a term that describes a group of people that differ from the majority of a population regarding brain functioning and behavioral traits due to conditions such as autism. 

Within disability rights, this social movement aimed to embrace neurological differences among people and increase the acceptance and inclusion of all people in society (MEd & MD, 2021). To this date, neurological awareness has increased, and research and education on this concept are increasingly becoming important regarding how society addresses these differences. 

Albeit the movement encompasses many different neurological variations, the movement is most substantial in the autistic community (Tougaw, 2020). However, other conditions include dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and many others. Some of these conditions range from mild to severe, for instance, autism (Resnick, 2021). 

According to research, if a person has autism, they may experience struggles with socializing with other people and social skills. However, on the positive side, people with autism can manifest behavioral traits that include; creativity, attention to detail, and visual learning abilities (Resnick, 2021). The autistic community, over these past years, has tried to shift how society perceives them so that their uniqueness can be valued and seen as valuable to life.  

Neurodiversity at Work 

At the workplace, these differences mean people work and learn differently. Organizations have been trying to embrace differences for the betterment and elevation of the deprived minority. However, this notion has been positive for companies since diversity can impact an organization’s bottom line.   

Research depicts that although awareness about neurodiversity has increased, organizations have not been able to keep pace with this trend. Research suggests that companies have employed only a few people with neurodiversity.   

A recent UK study found that only 16 percent of the autistic adult community were employed (Badenoch & Clark, 2021). Most dyslexic people were unemployed. The main reason for this slow growth in the employment of neurodiverse individuals is that companies have not included neurodiversity in their diversity and inclusion practices.   

However, the benefits of neurodiversity in organizations are becoming more apparent. Companies are incorporating neurodiversity in recruitment and diversity strategies (Bewley & George, 2016). Incorporating neurodiversity in strategies has created a competitive advantage for organizations due to neurodivergent traits such as creativity, having a different perspective, having specialized skills, and being highly consistent (Bewley & George, 2016).

Below are how companies have been building neurodiverse workforces :   

  1. Recruitment and Selection :  companies are increasingly employing people with neurodiverse conditions. In application processes, companies ask candidates to declare any neurological conditions that they may have and the type of accommodation they would require. Additionally, companies have been rethinking the recruitment process to attract neurological candidates by highlighting their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Thus, hiring managers have been making the job descriptions clear (Badenoch & Clark, 2021).  
  1. Creating neurodiverse teams :  companies have been creating neurodiversity – typical teams. Research has recorded 30 % higher productivity in these teams. (Autistic UK, 2018). Companies have found out that diverse thinking enhances innovation and creativity within teams.  
  1. Formulation of neurodiversity policies and practices :  to increase neurodiversity presence in organizations, HR departments also include neurological conditions in their diversity policies. They are ensuring these policies do not disadvantage people with these conditions.   
  1. Onboarding and training of new hires :  When it comes to onboarding, the standard of training is being adapted by companies also to suit the needs of individuals with neurological conditions. Companies are designing training materials that are accessible to individuals. 
  1. Performance management : Managers have been increasingly learning to give feedback to people with neurological conditions. Thus, being sensitive when giving feedback and building support structures that enhance motivation and self–esteem.   
  1. Retention :  Companies have been making employees with neurological conditions feel at home, thus making them appreciated. HRs are introducing support structures to aid the working experience for neurodiverse employees, for instance, the opportunity to speak out if there are any concerns or issues. Organizational cultures nowadays are being established as a safe space where employees with neurological conditions can feel comfortable and flourish. Central to this has been the psychological safety in these organizations. 

How can Companies make their Workplaces more Neurodiversity–friendly?  

To make workplaces neurodiversity-friendly, there is a range of practices that companies can put in place. Such practices include, but are not limited to: 

  • Adjusting employees’ workspaces to accommodate sensory needs such as sound sensitivity, for example, offering sound cancelling headphones  
  • Using a clear and direct communication style that is concise and easily understandable
  • Conduct workshops for awareness so that other employees can be more understanding and sensitive to diversity differences
  • Being kind and patient

Diversity is an essential aspect of modern organizations. This report has briefly explained the concept of neurodiversity. It is, however, necessary for organizations to fully embrace people with neurological conditions, as it reflects on the organization’s bottom line.

The neurodiversity community has been for the past decades advocating for their rights. The employment rate of neurodiverse individuals remains low. However, organizations are incorporating neurodiversity as part of their workforces. It remains the job of managers and PeopleOps practitioners to be able to utilize all the different types of diversity that manifest in their organizations

Reference List 



Design Thinking: A New Approach for Human Resource

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs 


When someone hears the term design thinking, they might instantly relate it to art, user interface, or design-related things. But design thinking is not limited only to art or user interface design.  

Design thinking is a complex business solution. It is a non-linear approach or process. People live and work in a world of interlocking systems, where many of the problems they face are dynamic, multifaceted, and inherently human.  

Currently, many people are facing the BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Nonlinear & Incomprehensible) & VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous). After the world crisis with COVID 19, businesses and entrepreneurs understood humans’ importance and their roles in business growth and development.  

So now, businesses are focusing on human-centric techniques rather than following traditional approaches for growth and development. Now, enterprises are adopting creative methods and innovation in their business strategies.  

Thinking like a designer can transform the way organizations develop products, services, processes, and strategies. This approach, known as design thinking, brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. 

What is Design Thinking 

Design thinking is an analytic and creative process that engages a person to experiment, create and prototype models, gather feedback, and redesign.  

Design thinking is an innovative approach to innovation and problem-solving that takes design perspectives and processes and applies them to problems designers don’t typically encounter.  

“Design Thinking is a way of looking at innovation, to find the intersection between human values, technical capability, and commercial viability.” 

History of Design Thinking 

In the mid-60s, Horst Rittel, a Design Theorist, wrote comprehensively on problem-solving in design, and the term he used was “Wicked Problems.” Wicked problems are at the very heart of Design Thinking because these complex and multi-dimensional problems require a collaborative methodology to design solutions. 

In the 1970s, Computer scientist and Nobel Prize laureate Herbert A. Simon introduced design as a science and a way of thinking in his book Science of Artificial. Herbert A Simon contributed many thoughts related to Design Thinking.  

In the 70s, Robert H. McKim elaborated the concept of Design Thinking in his book Design Thinking Methodology. He touched on various aspects of visual thinking and design methods for solving problems, emphasizing combining the left and right brain modes of thinking to bring about a more holistic form of problem-solving. 

In the 80s, Nigel Cross wrote a paper Designerly as Emeritus Professor of Design Studies at The Open University, UK. He explained the nature of designers problem-solving. He primarily focused on cross-compared designers’ problem solving to the non-design-related problem solutions we develop in our everyday lives. 

In the 90s, IDEO, a Global Design & Innovation Company, accepted Design Thinking to the mainstream. Using Design Thinking, IDEO developed its user-friendly technology, toolkits & steps. 

After two years, Richard Buchanan (the Head of Design at Carnegie Mellon University) published his paper, Wicked Problems in Design Thinking. In this paper, he focused on the origins of Design Thinking. He also elaborated that Design Thinking integrates highly specialized fields of knowledge to the new problems from a holistic perspective. 

Between 1990 to 2000 – we can call this era – The First Wave. After 2000, the second wave started was Design Thinking.  

In 2005, The Stanford School of Design or the (today, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) started teaching Design Thinking. In this course, they made the development, teaching, and implementation of Design Thinking one of its own central goals since its inception.  

Principle of Design Thinking 

Design Thinking has four principles – laid out by Christoph Meinel and Harry Leifer of the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, California.  

  1. Human-Centric – this is the main principle of Design Thinking. When we design or create innovation, we must always consider human-centric approaches. We need to understand what people (or employees) need and their expectations and incorporate this understanding into every aspect of processes. 
  1. Embrace the Ambiguity – Ambiguity is inevitable, and it cannot be removed or oversimplified. Experimenting at the limits of your knowledge and ability is crucial in seeing things differently. As per this principle, we need to reframe our problem or look at it from conceivable angles to get several possible solutions. 
  1. Redesign – Change is constant, and the world is changing so fast. So, we always need to redesign our processes and thinking. 
  1. Tangibility – We need to make ideas tangible in the form of prototypes, and on that basis, we can communicate with people more effectively. 

The Phases of Design Thinking 

The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford describes Design Thinking as a five-phase process. These five phases are not always sequential, and we can often run them in parallel and iteratively repeat them. The phases of Design Thinking are below-  

  1. Empathize – We need to research people’s issues or problems in this phase. We need to understand their issues by empathizing with them. Empathy is the main phase of Design Thinking and provides us the critical initial point for understanding the problems. In this phase, we map people’s behavior and how they behave on the floor? How’s their body language in the meeting? How can we engage them? Based on these observations, we find many things. I call this People Mapping because we try to understand people’s psychological and emotional levels. We seek to set aside people’s assumptions and gather real insights about problems during this phase. 
  1. Define – In this phase, we define the problems. In the first phase, we gather all the information and insights that help us understand the issues, and now we start to make sense of them. We categorize the problem and define clear problem statements by the end.  
  1. Ideate – In this phase, we upgrade ourselves as creative thinkers. We use various brainstorming techniques to generate ideas to solve problems creatively. 
  1. Prototype – A prototype is a scaled-down version of the product. This phase is critical in putting each solution to the test and highlighting any constraints and flaws. Depending on how they fare in prototype form, the proposed solutions may be accepted, improved, redesigned, or rejected throughout the prototype phase. 
  1. Test – This phase is the end of the Design Thinking process. When we turn ideas into tangible solutions in the prototype phase, we validate the solution with the target users. Based on the feedback, we either finalize the solution or redefine the problem statement and develop new ideas we hadn’t thought of before. 

Why Is Design Thinking important? 

Design thinking enables organizations to create lasting value for people. HR/People Operations professionals need to embrace a human-centric mindset. When they observe disengagement at the workplace, they need to empathize, define the issues, and develop solutions that foster engagement and enrichment.  

Design thinking is a Human-Centered approach and brings together the desirability from the people’s perspective with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. 


MicrosoftTeams-image (15)

What is Growth Mindset in the Workplace?

What is Growth Mindset in the Workplace?

A growth mindset is “the conviction that knowledge and skills can be acquired” (Mindset Works, n.d.). People that have a growth mindset think that by putting in time and effort, they can become smarter, more intellectual, and more talented.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi and a newfound principle to many in the workplace.

In a progressive industrial and technical world, company survival is dependent mainly on forward-thinking leadership and setting the pace for the future to prevent the risk of becoming obsolete.

In July 2021, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson portrayed their ambitious growth mindset and the essence of agility by going to space for the first time to learn more about the universe and find the next best thing to expand their business.

In its simplest terms, a growth mindset means seeing a chance to grow.

A company’s long-term survival is heavily dependent on being open-minded and welcoming innovative thinking. Blackberry was a domineering mobile gadget company in the early 2000s. Still, due to the lack of a growth mindset, it failed to maintain its competing aspects losing all dominant presence.

This article explores the concept of growth mindset, how it applies in the contemporary world, and why it is essential because this is the change we want to see and value in corporate environments.   

Fixed and Growth Mindset

An individual with a growth mindset understands that hard work and excellence come from learning through mistakes and gaining feedback from others to help enhance talent, skills, abilities, and personality. 

Individuals with a fixed mindset feel that their core characteristics, such as intelligence, talents, and abilities, are unchangeable and rigid over time. 

Professor Carol Dweck is a pioneer on growth mindset and shares that it is the most efficient method for helping people raise their self-efficacy, overcome their fear of failure, and believe in their ability to become competent in the future. 

People who have a growth mindset have more self-efficacy in achieving their goals, according to research. The Growth Mindset Institute has identified eight basic mental models that will cause people to have a fixed mindset.

These eight mental models are known as fixed mindset triggers because they frequently induce people to have a fixed mentality response. A fixed mindset trigger is a mental pattern that leads to bad habits, including procrastination, resistance, and giving up. 

The eight mental models are mindset beliefs, high effort, challenges, setbacks, success of others, comfort zone, feedback, and grit.

A growth mentality is essential for success in today’s competitive corporate world. Companies must adapt to changing circumstances, learn from mistakes, and believe that each employee has more potential for success.

How Growth Mindset Impact Organizations Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

A growth mindset is one of the Agile PeopleOps Framework™ Manifesto.

Many organizations are dealing with the economic downturn caused by the pandemic (dubbed the “COVID-19 shock”) as the world continues to live in fear. Surviving these unprecedented times will require essential lifestyle changes to combat infections and rethinking how we do business.

The traditional formulas for success no longer apply in the new normal. Instead, adapting and growing in the face of adversity will be the key to triumphantly overcome the COVID-19 shock.

Keeping in mind: With change comes growth.  

Let us understand the organizations that adopt a growth mindset.

Microsoft Growth Mindset

According to The Adecco Group, one of the biggest companies in the world, Microsoft, has adopted the “Growth Mindset Culture.”

In 2014, when Mr. Satya Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft, he recognized that the company had become siloed, and the divisions were competing with one another. Bureaucracy and internal politics were impeding innovation and teamwork. He realized that change was the need of the hour for growth and sustainability.

The company’s stock price is now five times higher than when Mr. Nadella took over, and Microsoft’s market capitalization has surpassed one trillion dollars.

Microsoft has become the go-to “equipment”/ software used in various organizations during these “COVID times” as many businesses conduct work-from-home opportunities to which Microsoft so vastly caters.

Amazon Growth Mindset

Amazon was among the earliest online retailers, starting their business almost 14 years ago, offering the ability to buy online (a new concept at the time) in a new market: the internet.

Today the company has multiplied in size and respectfully in business, almost tripling revenue, becoming one of the world’s successful online stores/organizations to date. So how did they do it? 

By applying the growth mindset, the company was better able to assess risks and collect data (specifically, how to reach optimal customer satisfaction) to inform the next step, thus, creating an agile operating model. 

Amazon embraced strategic planning that boosted revenue and provided employee growth (opportunity for workers/employees to grow by working themselves up the hierarchy levels).

With COVID 19 dominating presence, this business will continue to flourish as its ideals align with how our world has significantly changed. The company is in the center stage today with more and more people buying online than physically wanting or even stepping outside. 

“If you decide that you are going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table.”

Jeff Bezos; Founder & Former CEO of Amazon

Growth Mindset: The Future of Work in Human Capital Management

According to a PwC survey, 66.7% of employees in the human resource workforce are unprepared for the changes ahead. Alarming, indeed!

The business world is still recuperating from the COVID-19 pandemic. During these challenging times, People Operations must find solutions to how organizations can positively impact the workplace and the workforce.

On the brighter side, People Operations trends evolve and transform the way we work as technology advances. The role of People Operations professionals is evolving to Strategic Practitioners, Employee Architects, Experience Designers, and Coaches. 

People Operations professionals must develop a growth mindset from the practice level down to the academic level to drive a holistic change in organizational strategy, structures, and processes. The essence is to deliver user-centric value and human experience to the employees.

By cultivating a growth mindset, the practitioners can embark on a continuous learning journey to innovate new ways to elevate the human experience within organizations and external stakeholders (including candidates). This, in turn, will enable them to make significant contributions to organizational sustainability and success.

Initially, HR transformation aimed to make HR processes more efficient at a clerical and administrative level. However, in today’s new era, HR is taking a backseat, and People Operations occupies the driver’s seat.

The growth mindset can stimulate People Operations practitioners to envision the big systemic picture of organizations and serve as constructive Change Catalysts.

Stimulating Growth Mindset at Individual and Organization Levels

Growth as a mind-related aspect is often not stimulated enough and gives the illusion that an individual has reached her peak while a lot of change can still occur.

The Growth Mindset theory then becomes operational by encouraging the stimulation of the mind through learning and developing skills that will create advancements for personal and career growth. In organizations, individuals with a Growth Mindset are an asset and valued because they represent the value of hard work and dedication.

Organizations can

  • Induce learning by sponsoring the latest learning and development seminars that train employees to upskill
  • Make room for mistakes in the organization to learn through trial and error and allocate time to improve on the mistakes made to avoid repetition in the future. 
  • Foster team collaboration from all departments in the organization as a way for teams to learn from each other
  • Create a culture of “open communication and feedback” where employees can share their concerns, ideas, and solutions for different areas of improvement.
  • Challenge employees to get them out of their comfort zones by pushing them towards organizational and personal goals.

A growth mindset can be stimulated at an individual level through introspection, habituating change, focusing on the process, not the result, and seeking learning opportunities.

Organizations benefit from stimulating innovative thinking. It enhances motivation and cognitive growth, fosters positive work relationships, and boosts performance mainly because employees become eager to take risks and pursue more meaningful goals.


Tenets of Agile PeopleOps Framework™

Organizations must embrace paradigms of vision, the uncertainty of vision, the uncertainty of understanding, complexity, and agility to attain sustainability and a competitive advantage in these unusual times. – transforming traditional HR to Agile PeopleOps practices, thus giving an agile plus human experience edge in today’s disruptive business world.

Agile PeopleOps established a cohesive and dynamic approach that takes People Operations (traditionally referred to as Human Resources / HR) to the next level – changing traditional HR to Agile PeopleOps practices, offering an agile plus human experience edge in today’s disruptive business world.  

This is admirable when the C-Suite, Leadership Teams, and People Operations (HR) practitioners use the Agility PeopleOps Framework TM (APF TM) to develop adaptability and human-centric approaches. 

Growth mindset (the zeal to continuously learn & improve to achieve mastery) 

Everything revolves around one’s mindset. Whether it’s about achieving job success, establishing your own business, completing a difficult exercise, or being a parent, having the correct mentality might be the difference between success and failure. 

Carol S. Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, identified the significance of attitude after decades of research. In her book, she discusses the contrasts between a fixed and development mindset, demonstrating how we think about our skills and abilities influence our success in practically every aspect of life. Studies suggest that when we embrace the potential of a development mindset, it may be critical for job success. 

A fixed mentality holds that our intelligence, character, and creative potential are fixed. In essence, you are given a hand in life and must accept it. Believing that your characteristics are fixed promotes a need to prove oneself over and over. Career stagnation can be caused by a stuck attitude. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is founded on the belief that your inherent traits are those you can cultivate via your efforts. It is presumptuous to believe that everyone can change and improve as a result of experience and practice. Failure, with a development mindset, is viewed as a stepping stone to progress rather than a hindrance. 

Creating a growth mentality 

Mindset is formed by our own set of powerful beliefs. A growth mindset implies that beliefs may be altered when they no longer help us reach our objectives. Here are five techniques to get control of your mental attitude and cultivate a development mindset 

Accept failure. 

Fostering a development mindset entails viewing failure as a beneficial rather than a negative experience. Everyone has setbacks. The trick is to learn from each one and make better decisions as a result. People who are extraordinarily successful usually fail their way to the top. Before earning his big break, Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times. Even Oprah Winfrey was sacked from her job as a news co-anchor at a Baltimore television station before going on to launch a popular daytime talk program. According to reports, a producer informed her she was “unfit for television news.” “I had no clue what I was in for or that this was going to be the greatest developing phase of my adult life,” Oprah later stated. 

A world in transition 

With technology and business models developing at such a quick pace, adopting a growth mindset is critical to job success. Workers will need to constantly learn new skills in order to stay competitive as automation technologies, such as artificial intelligence, become more common. According to a McKinsey research, up to 375 million people globally would be required to shift jobs or gain new skills by 2030. According to research, your thinking determines your success. What counts is not how excellent you are, but how good you want to be. 

Human-centric approach (thinking from the lens of candidates & employees, and fusing both empathy & rationality) </h4 >

HCD is a method of thinking that puts the people you’re aiming to serve, as well as other key stakeholders, at the center of the design, innovation, and implementation processes. Our HCD strategy is iterative, quantifiable, and results-driven. Understanding the relationships among stakeholders across the ecosystem is the focus of this study. 


Meeting people where they are, is the greatest approach to understanding them. We recommend getting off of your desk and immersing yourself in the lived experiences and context of individuals you want to understand and involve in the design process, whether that is at a factory, on a farm, or in someone’s house. 


People are at the heart of social influence, and people are ever-changing. Their social, economic, and cultural environments impact their experiences, opinions, and behaviors. Understanding people on a more nuanced level leads to stronger and more meaningful design, regardless of what we’re working on together. 


Methods that are creative and collaborative assist in engaging stakeholders and users, mapping out new potential areas, and aligning around new agendas, ideas, and strategies. 

Transcultural competence (the ability to address cultural differences and dilemmas by moving away from ethnocentrism and believing in the genius of ‘and’)  

Many professions struggle to function well among diverse cultures, and as the world evolves, it’s become evident that engaging with other cultures, both local and foreign, necessitates proficiency in both identifying and transcending cultural boundaries.  

The following four stages are given for detecting and addressing cultural dilemmas: Recognizing, accepting, resolving, and understanding cultural differences 

Human Effectiveness Indicators (Measures to assess the effectiveness of performance of individuals / teams) 

Employees who are happy and engaged.  

If the great majority of your employees are engaged, it is a strong sign that your human resources department is effective. While a variety of variables impact employee satisfaction, efforts such as team-building activities play an important part in creating a positive work experience. 

Managers who communicate well. 

 One way to know if your department is effective is if managers frequently seek their advice. When managers are upfront with their representative, it makes resolving workplace obstacles simpler, allowing tiny concerns to be mitigated before they become major issues. 

Workplace Characteristics of an Effective Employee 


Above all, a practitioner must be trustworthy. Professionals are expected to be trustworthy and follow through on assignments, which goes hand in hand with responsiveness. Being a “go to” person in times of need and keeping your promises builds a reputation for dependability. 


Staying locked up in your office and only being seen when there is an issue is a simple way to undermine your success as an HR professional. Being visible is essential for success and may help you create relationships with the individuals you support. (Having a presence can also help HR workers lose their “grim reaper” reputation.) 


Nobody enjoys asking for something and then having to wait what seems like an eternity for an answer. Requests to HR are frequently time sensitive, such as those pertaining to salary or FMLA. A successful human resources professional aims to respond in a timely manner. 

Communication Abilities 

From emails to workers to coaching meetings with managers, must be able to successfully transmit information to others. They must also be able to clarify concepts and effectively explain difficult facts. 

APF™ methodology is a critical enabler for the C-suite, leaders, and practitioners to take a stepwise approach to build agile organizations and drive agility in people operations and business.


Coronavirus Global Impact and Response

The Infographic “Coronavirus Global Impact and Response” provides a high-level overview of:

The PDF version of the Infographic can be downloaded here:


The HR Manager as a PeopleOps Scrum Master

The PeopleOps Scrum Master (PSM), aka HR Manager is an individual with diverse stances (for example, facilitator, servant leader, coach, change agent) as shown in the image.

Different contexts and situations call for different stances, and the PeopleOps Scrum Master needs to know when and how to apply them.

This post explicates a real-time situation and the stances of PeopleOps Scrum Master that a Head HR fulfilled, and serves as an inspiration for today’s HR Manager who is keen to foster agility and human experience at the workplace.

Situation Overview 

The Head HR was associated with a company that specializes in ready to move workspaces and interiors segment.

Prior to her joining, the company’s HR department had minimal systems, processes and procedures in place for several years.

The industry trends and the changing role of HR deemed the company’s management to redefine their HR function.

The Head HR was recruited and was accountable for organizational development and change management. 

Post joining, one of the change initiatives the Head HR proposed was to conduct an ‘external audit’.

To initiate the same, she examined the employees’ files and was shocked that 

  • hard copy files of some employees were missing 
  • important documents like mark sheets and experience letters of some employees were missing 
  • few files were torn and disorganized
  • most of the files didn’t have increment letters, and rewards & incentives documents 

The HR team (Head HR & Recruiter operating from headquarters, and HR Executive operating from a different state) had only 20 days left to organize all the 135 employees’ files.

The Recruiter was overloaded with fulfillment of priority requisitions for about 10 days and the HR Executive had other priorities to be fulfilled. 

Action Plan 

The Head HR prepared the following action plan: 

  • Get all the files from different offices to the headquarters (within 5 days from the date the process begins)
  • Organize logistics for the HR Executive to come down to the headquarters. Ensure the processes in the location are not impacted in the absence of HR Executive (10 days from the date the process begins) 
  • For the files with missing documents, ensure the employees’ give the documents to Head HR within 7 days 
  • For the files with missing hard copy documents, search for soft copies in company’s repository. If unavailable, take the help of employees to create new files 
  • Prepare new set of files for those that were torn and disorganized 
  • Partner with finance team and employees to get all the increment letters, and add them to the files 

The Head HR as a PeopleOps Scrum Master 

Change Agent and Servant Leader 

  • The PeopleOps Scrum Master (aka Head HR) very well understood that her team had other priorities to fulfill before they could join hands with her in this priority project. She very well elicited Agile PeopleOps Framework™ values like respect, commitment and adaptability. 
  • She didn’t wait for them to complete their work. Instead, as a catalyst for change and with a true intention ‘to serve’, the PeopleOps Scrum Master set aside 2 hours every day to work herself on the project. 
  • For employees who were busy at the construction site and could not fill the necessary forms, the PeopleOps Scrum Master elicited stewardship behavior to address the impediment. On their behalf, she filled the forms by taking the details over phone. The PeopleOps Scrum Master shared the soft copy of the duly filled form to the employees through e-mail and WhatsApp. She asked the employees to make necessary corrections, sign the documents and send it to her in a day’s time. She ensured that this activity was completed before her team could join her in the project. 

Facilitator and Mentor

  • The HR team (HR Executive and Recruiter) joined the project after 10 days. Both didn’t have any prior experience in employees file management. As a mentor, the PeopleOps Scrum Master explicated the importance of file documentation and management to the team. She provided the necessary guidance on how the process should be followed, including soft copies preparation and saving them in employees’ database. As a facilitator, the PeopleOps Scrum Master promoted collaboration and enabled the team to achieve their project objectives. 


The entire project of employees file documentation was completed as per the schedule (20 days). An internal audit was conducted by both finance and quality teams, followed by the external audit. There were zero errors in the entire process. 

The HR team (PeopleOps Scrum Master, HR Executive and Recruiter) received accolades, a team reward of INR 5000, and a half-day off from the company’s Managing Director. The team spent the reward amount toward team lunch and sweets for all employees. 


The PeopleOps Scrum Master, aka HR Manager applied multiple stances based on the context and situation, and helped the project to be successful. The team learnt that where there is a will to accomplish objectives and tasks, there is a way to fulfill them without hampering the daily activities. 

Author: Kalyani Pantangi

Edited by: V Lakshmi Chirravuri


One Metric that Matters – Part 1

What Really Counts?

(Editor’s note: This is a two-part post. Part 1, below, introduces the One Metric That Matters’ approach to metric measurement. For more on this and taking a lean approach to analytics, we recommend you read Lean Analytics, by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz. Part 2, to come, will take this approach and overlay it with enterprise transformation, particularly that of the Agile HR variety. Enjoy!)

We live in a data-rich world, filled with trackable, measurable interactions that can help us iterate on products and processes in nearly real-time. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips about user behavior, and we have a number of ways to validate just how successful we’ve been in a given initiative.

This is, of course, good news: Generations before us couldn’t imagine the user-level data we have today, nor the tools we have available to churn it all into meaningful insight.

So we have a lot of data. But do we know what matters in this mess of numbers and metrics? What really matters when we talk about whether we are increasing user engagement with a given product or service? Are click-through rates or downloads really indicative of how likely your service is to appear next year? Let’s assume you have a mature product: how do you know what customers want in the next iteration? What measurements will you use to help take your solution to the next level (whatever it is – it’s all relative.)

Data is dangerous when we abuse it – and it’s very easy to do: When a product is in beta the metrics may not be relevant to a year-old solution with a solid customer base. In fact, we need to identify which metrics to shortlist and which will be the single metric that defines the success of a solution in the wild.

What is that One Metric That Matters (OMTM)?

The OMTM is less a concrete thing, and more of a guideline that helps you, the solution owner, identify how a product is doing. The concept comes from Ben Yoskovitz’s “Lean Analytics”, a book primarily for startups, focusing on deriving meaning from data.

When it comes to OMTM, different stages demand different metrics, and of those metrics, there should really only be one that you rely on to tell you how things are going. This sole focus helps cut noise from the signal and allows you to make very specific decisions for very specific reasons.

Steve Glosky, entrepreneur and founder, has put together a nice table of metrics describing which metrics can be used at what stage of the hypothetical innovation program in a corporation. Out of the many steps listed in each step, the OMTM framework demands that you obsessively pick just one to track and decide on it.

OMTM Framework

What happens once you’ve identified your One Metric? You measure it! You’re free to track other metrics too, but the One Metric becomes your North Star. As things mature (or reverse course), change what that metric should be for the various stage. Glaveski summarizes, and suggests themes for each stage of growth (again, for that hypothetical Innovation Program):

Hypothetical innovation program difference table

Since your initiative or product may be different, the above tables may not apply to you. Nevertheless, the concepts remain the same: cutting data noise from signals, and investing in that sensing and responding to that signal, will empower you to make impactful decisions for product development. Reduce the search for non-significant numbers, and see real progress where it matters.

Author: Christopher Goscinski