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Transforming HR for Organizational Growth: Embracing Agile PeopleOps

In the dynamic landscape of today’s business world, organizational success hinges on adaptability, collaboration, and a laser focus on the people experience. That’s why companies are increasingly turning to Agile PeopleOps, a transformative approach to HR that aligns with the principles of agility.

Adaptability to Change:

Agile PeopleOps (Agile HR) empowers teams to swiftly respond to market trends, technological shifts, and changing business dynamics. The ability to adapt is the cornerstone of sustained growth.

Enhanced Collaboration:

Breaking down silos and fostering cross-functional teamwork is at the heart of Agile PeopleOps (Agile HR). Collaboration is key to collective problem-solving and driving innovation.

Focus on People Experience:

Happy and engaged people are the backbone of any successful organization. Agile PeopleOps (Agile HR) places a spotlight on creating an environment that nurtures continuous feedback, learning, and development.

Iterative Improvement:

Agile methodologies encourage iterative cycles of planning, execution, and review. Applying this to HR processes ensures continuous improvement aligned with the organization’s evolving needs.

Customer-Centric Approach:

In Agile PeopleOps (Agile HR), people are viewed as internal customers. This customer-centric mindset informs the design and delivery of HR services, contributing to improved satisfaction and engagement.

Faster Decision-Making:

Agile PeopleOps (Agile HR) decentralizes decision-making, enabling faster, more efficient responses to organizational needs. Say goodbye to bureaucratic delays!

Talent Acquisition and Retention:

Adapt recruitment strategies, offer flexible work arrangements, and create a supportive environment for People’s growth. Agile People Operations (Agile HR) is a game-changer for attracting and retaining top talent.

Data-Driven Insights:

Harness the power of HR analytics to make informed decisions. Data-driven insights into people’s performance and engagement are invaluable for strategic decision-making.

Continuous Learning and Development:

Agile PeopleOps (Agile HR) fosters a culture of continuous learning, ensuring that both people and the HR team stay ahead of industry trends and are well-equipped to support organizational growth.

Is your HR ready for the future? Embrace Agile PeopleOps and unlock the potential for organizational success!

PeopleOps Pulse 2023

PeopleOps Pulse 2023

PeopleOps Pulse 2023 is an exciting opportunity for Human Resources (HR) and People Operations professionals to learn and understand the ever-evolving landscape of HR/People Operations and the latest trends in the industry. This virtual global conference will provide a platform for the attendees to future skill their capabilities and pave a pathway to help organizations ACE their game and foster business agility, adopt coaching as a practice, and elevate the people’s experience.

Why Attend?

The business landscape is a volatile one, as we all know. The more prepared we are, our chances of surviving unforeseen circumstances improve. The COVID pandemic is an example of these unforeseen circumstances. It changed the whole dynamic of how we conduct our work. The workforce went from on-site to remote to adapt to the covid situation and be safe. As HR/People Operations professionals, we went from cautioning an employee’s clothing on-site to communicating with our workforce over our devices. So, what did adaptation look like for us?

While adapting to change can never be dubbed an easy process, how “easy” or “hard” it is, is relative to how prepared you are. The transition that happened as a result of COVID-19 was likely a more straightforward process for agile organizations. During COVID, how did this adaptation look for your organization? Also, are you prepared for the next unforeseen change?

The ever-changing business landscape demands organizations be nimble and quick in adapting to new trends and challenges. Hence, organizations must intentionally recalibrate and embrace new ways of thinking and working, especially as it pertains to agility, coaching, and experience (ACE) – a unique theme of the global virtual conference, the PeopleOps Pulse – that is a driver and enabler of innovation and sustainability across organizations.

Conference Theme

Why Agility, Coaching, and Experience? These are some of the most important and core practices of Agile PeopleOps. Incorporating these principles into your work and business is one of the necessary steps to being prepared for unforeseen changes.


Organizations must embrace and practice agility to stay sustainable in today’s disruptive world. During the conference, you’ll learn why agility is behavioral, what are the key traits of agile personality, agile innovator, agile knowledge, and the role of leaders in leading a transformation journey. You will gain insights into the best practices for leading and managing change and what HR and People Operations functions must do to leverage organizational agility.


Coaching is a game-changer as it can help individuals and teams reach their full potential, drive success, and create a culture of continuous improvement. As a result, coaching should be an integral part of any organization’s strategy for success. The conference will bring together renowned coaches who will share their expertise on coaching teams for better performance and to create a coaching culture within your organization.


Experience is a third key theme of the conference, and creating a positive experience at the workplace is all about elevating the human experience. A happy and engaged workforce is essential to the success of any organization. Renowned coaches, organizational change experts, and practitioners will share their pearls of wisdom on holistic well-being and its importance in enhancing employee productivity and life satisfaction, the essence of cultural intelligence in creating a diverse and thriving organization, and how to create a living conscious culture in organizations.

The Value

Attendees at the PeopleOps Pulse 2023 conference will learn

  • How to foster business agility through innovative strategies and practices?
  • How can organizations adopt coaching to improve performance and drive employee engagement?
  • How can organizations elevate people’s experience?

Attendees will also be able to network with like- and diverse-minded professionals worldwide, strike up constructive conversations prior to and during the conference by visiting the Discussions page on the website, and learn from one another.

Register for the Conference

As a reminder, our conference is tagged PeopleOps Pulse 2023, and the theme is ACE (Agility, Coaching, and Experience). It is happening on October 10–12, 2023

You do not want to miss these sessions. Register for the conference and get your tickets via our PeopleOps Pulse 2023 website. 

After you register, you will be directed to a page as shown below. Ensure you click Add to Calendar.

After you register, you will receive a registration confirmation email to your email id. Feel free to click the button Sign In and follow the platform prompts/messages. It’s important to note that by signing in, you will be able to join the conference. 

Don’t miss this opportunity. Connect. Learn. Grow

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The Future of Workforce 2023


The work, the workplace, and the workforce are changing. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in how organizations operate and the types of skills in demand. These changes will only continue in the years ahead as businesses face new challenges and opportunities.

To stay ahead of the curve, we conducted a research survey with our elite partner Culturelligence. This article outlines our journey. We highlight the ‘why’ of the research, the process, the demographics, and what the report entails.

The ‘Why’

We live in a highly disruptive changing world. New needs and expectations at the workplace are emerging rapidly, thus adding to the current complexity and disruption.

In today’s complex and disruptive world, customer and consumer expectations are ever-evolving, and so are workforce aspirations. These evolving aspirations and the complexity around workforce composition rapidly disrupt the existing workforce structure that many leaders and organizations traditionally define. 

Leaders and People Operations (PeopleOps) practitioners must know the future of the workforce, the workplace, the multigenerational workforce composition, and the associated dynamics to manage the new needs and expectations of the evolving workforce. Here is where our research ‘The Future of Workforce 2023’ would help as the expected outcomes were to gain insights on:

  • Any significant similarities and disparities between how different age groups perceive their workplace environment
  • Any preferences toward working with specific age groups
  • Mode of work preferences

The Process

The team designed the survey with only five (5) questions using the Likert scale to research the desired outcomes mentioned above.

The overall research includes the following:

  1. Team structure and Composition – For instance, what age groups do the respondents prefer their peers to be, their managers, senior managers, and CEOs? 
  2. Workplace environment – We asked individuals to select their desired level in the first (or next job) based on factors like the latest technology, learning opportunities, salary and great perks, and supportive managers & leaders. The scale ranged from doesn’t matter to most preferred.
  3. Mode of work preference – What work setup (full-time in the office, fully remote, or hybrid) are they interested in working in?

The Demographics

350+ respondents distributed across 11 countries participated in the research, as shown below. They varied in age groups: 20-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-59, and >60.

The Report Analysis

We divided the analyses into 3 phases to consider different perspectives and ensure analysis is drawn accurately without missing any data points.

Stage 1: The team involved in survey distribution and data collection conducted their analyses on the overall results. Each member shared their insights as a draft report.

Stage 2: APF Research Team conducted further cross-categorical analysis by slicing & dicing data into different categories across different age groups – 20-25, 26-35, 46-59, and >60.

Stage 3: Agile PeopleOps and Culturelligence thought leaders spent hours discussing the report and its recommendations with the Research & Analysis team.

Next, the team reviewed and organized the research data and worked with the design team to represent results as stacked charts and finalize recommendations into simple categories (Avoid and Adopt) to help organizational leaders and Agile PeopleOps practitioners reflect, ideate, and design the future organization.

The contribution of all research team members is fully appreciated. We can’t wait to hear how this report was helpful and adopted by leaders in organizations to design the workforce in 2023. You can download the research report here.

A glimpse of the research report is below..

Please watch this space for our second article, The Top 10 Insights from Future of Workforce 2023, by our research team. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.


The team worked in an agile mode with weekly sprints and check-ins. The entire journey was exciting: brainwriting and brainstorming the research theme, survey design, launch, and data analyses.

Special thanks to the entire team (APF Research members, Thought leaders, and our elite partner Culturellignece internal & external team members). A big thank you to our respondents.

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.     


What is Agile HR

How To Implement An Agile HR Strategy In Your Organization

In recent years, there has been a movement within the HR industry towards what is known as ‘Agile HR’. This term refers to an approach to HR that is more flexible and responsive to change. It is based on the principles of the Agile Manifesto, which was originally created for software development.

So, what is agile HR? Agile HR is a term that is used to describe the application of agile principles to the HR function. It is about being responsive to change and adapting to the needs of the business. This approach is becoming increasingly popular as organizations strive to be more agile and responsive to the ever-changing business environment.

Agile HR involves moving away from traditional, bureaucratic HR systems and processes and adopting a more flexible, customer-centric approach. This means creating an HR function that is aligned with the company’s business strategy and can adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace.
If you are interested in learning more about agile HR, then keep reading!

What Is Agile HR?

The question that might cross one’s mind is, “Does agile work in HR?” The simple answer to this question is ‘yes.’

The Agile HR model states that the human resources job is not just limited to implementing controls, standards, compliance, and driving execution. But it is to facilitate, steer, and improve HR and organizational agility.

It’s worth noting that driving agility means steering programs that create adaptability, innovation, collaboration, and speed.

Agile HR is an innovative way of rethinking and redefining the HR function by moving away from the traditional HR operating model.

It focuses on cross-collaborating between and within different functional, project, or program teams (including HR) to deliver user-friendly value and experience to stakeholders (internal and external). Iterative feedback is yet another crucial component in Agile HR.

It simplifies how recruitment and other aspects of the human resources function operate to improve processes and harness agility, thus transforming HR and the organization.

Moreover, Agile HR practitioners have the flexibility and opportunity to contribute to the overall experience of the workforce.

In a nutshell, one can safely conclude that Agile HR is a drift from traditional HR’s rigid rules into a simpler model driven by feedback from everyone involved, from customers to employees to management.

One may wonder why this drift and transformation is happening now anyway? Why are organizations looking to suddenly include Agile in their way of doing things?

It is because of the fast, innovative world we live in and because user-driven or customer-centric models are better suited to be adaptable in the short term.

Agile for HR

Agile for HR (human resources) is a term used to apply the agile methodology, principles, and values to the HR function within an organization. Agile for HR aims to improve the effectiveness of HR processes and make them more responsive to the needs of the business.

In recent years, Agile for HR has been gaining popularity as more organizations have begun to embrace the agile ways of working in Human Resources. There are numerous benefits of practicing agile for HR, like enhanced collaboration and communication between and within HR teams and other functions and increased flexibility in delivering value and experience to customers (candidates, employees, and other stakeholders).

Why Agile is important in HR?

It’s important to realize that agile is the only solution in today’s fast-changing world. The core philosophy of agile is to deliver value to customers.

In HR, candidates, employees, and stakeholders are the customers. Multidisciplinary teams must collaborate to deliver value to the workforce and clients.

However, the transition to agile is not easy, as it requires discipline and perseverance. Agile is about adjusting and modifying. It is a journey.

Joe McCollum, a senior adviser to McKinsey, says, “In agile, you get back control; your voice is listened to, you help shape the work, you help shape the team dynamics. Everybody’s a doer, and you are much closer to the action than the traditional hierarchy.”

In the old traditional model, hierarchies cause people to not be in control of their work, and this acts as a barrier to change. The old model doesn’t encourage fluidity – a must in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) and BANI (brittle, anxious, non-linear, and incomprehensible) business world.

Agile is pro-fluidity, and it requires the HR processes to be perfectly tuned such that people make decisions and act quickly. This is an antithesis to the people processes that move people hierarchically through the traditional structure, thus delaying the decision-making process and actions in delivering value.

Hence, “people processes across a flatter organizational structure, with reduced silos, require a different HR approach.” (McCollum J, 2021)

Comparing and contrasting traditional HR and Agile HR is vital to understanding why agile is important in HR.

Traditional HR versus Agile HR

Transactional (or traditional) HR processes involve routine employee life-cycle management and general administration. The structure is hierarchical, and the work style is pre-defined.

Traditional HR always takes a top-down approach, and the roles are standard and siloed. Traditional HR is grounded more in a reactive stance towards employees, reactive to employee requests and disciplinary issues.

In contrast, Agile HR takes more of a ‘proactive’ and holistic approach. The purpose is to deliver value to stakeholders and maximize their experience journey. Agile HR prioritizes collaboration and co-creation, feedback, and innovation.

The below visual provides an overview of traditional HR versus Agile HR.

Infographics showing difference between Traditional HR vs Agile HR

What is the modern name for HR?

If Agile HR is the way forward for the coming years, it is crucial to elevate HR to something more holistic and value-centered. Enter People Operations (or PeopleOps).

People Operations, as a function and industry, doesn’t consider employees as resources but values them as an organization’s competitive advantage.

It invests in the development, engagement, and enrichment of employees. People Operations considers the employee life cycle an integrated unified journey instead of a siloed one.

Enter Agile PeopleOps that can be interchanged with Agile HR in the rest of the sections in the article.

Benefits of Agile HR (Agile PeopleOps)

Agile HR (People Operations) is the new paradigm for current and next-gen HR. It requires a few shifts in the mindset, as illustrated in the Agile HR (People Operations) Manifesto.

When practiced, the Manifesto will yield the benefits (or value realization) at the individual, team, and organizational levels, as depicted in the visual below.

Info-graphics showing the benefits of Agile HR and Agile PeoplsOps Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto for HR (PeopleOps) takes a global perspective and uncovers better ways of developing an engaging and enriched people experience by practicing and helping others practice it.

Team of teams over traditional hierarchies: Companies must bid goodbye to hierarchical-based organizations and welcome opportunities to create a synergistic network of teams, enabling organizations to adapt and innovate quickly in a VUCA and BANI world.

Growth mindset over fixed mindset: A growth mindset sees failure as a motivating springboard for advancement and mastery. Organizational members, including the top echelon, leaders, and HR, must embrace a mindset that helps them embark on learning agility.

Coaching culture over command-and-control: Leaders and managers must be the drivers for building an intentional coaching culture by enabling team members and teams to realize their potential.

Transcultural competence over cultural competence: To navigate the cultural dilemmas and differences in various socio-cultural settings, members must develop transcultural competence – the ability to recognize, respect, reconcile and realize the cultural dilemmas.

The Agile HR (PeopleOps) Manifesto attempts to break through the Agile manifesto barriers and calls for intentional change. It demands leaders and People Operations practitioners to embrace challenges, improve mastery, be more transparent, and coach one another through feedforward and feedback.

Implementing the Manifesto and the Agile HR methodology – Agile PeopleOps Framework – has multiple benefits.

  1. Increased cross-functional collaboration and co-creation
  2. Prioritization and transparency
  3. Streamlined and value-driven PeopleOps processes
  4. Regular check-ins and iterative feedback
  5. Regular cadences and continuous improvements
  6. Enhanced human experience (HX)

Agile Human Resources Approach

HR leaders and teams need to create an integrated HR-Business solution by focusing on individual competence and organizational work processes, workplace culture, and climate.

Agile HR doesn’t limit HR roles to administrative capacities; instead, they should develop T-shaped capabilities – having a deep knowledge of any given HR function with the capabilities to work across different disciplines.

Leadership teams should let go of control, provide more autonomy to teams, and build an environment of psychological safety to encourage individuals to experiment and learn from failures. Leaders and HR professionals need to nurture human experience and harness coaching culture. It is in fact the job of authority figures to make sure their employees and subordinates are happy and satisfied with all things relating to the workplace and its duties.

According to an article by Ashley Brooks, “Ensuring employee satisfaction is an important part of many HR roles. Most companies don’t want to be known for having an unpleasant work environment that employees can’t stand.” Unhappy employees don’t put any organization in the best of positions for one; customers lose faith in your service or product. Such a reputation affects recruitment as most employees might stir clear of such work environments.

Authority figures need to move away from micro-managing tactics and look toward getting results rather than dictating how employees get to resolutions. The Agile HR approach encourages communication and trust between organization members.

Scrum Alliance and business Agility Institute state that, agile coaches’ biggest challenge in doing their jobs is leadership acting as a barrier to agility through resistance and a lack of understanding of the agile methodology. This information reinforces the importance of having authority figures not only on board with an agile transition but spearheading the process. People in positions of authority have so much influence in such situations; their taking the time to understand agile and its requirements makes the shift swift and effective.

The Agile methodology in HR also makes a clear demarcation between employee fun and well-being, once no organization or employer cared for such things in workers. Research has shown that overworked and unhappy employees make for bad business.

Agile’s focus on being human-centric and employee well-being has highlighted this difference. Fun and well-being at first glance seem like terms that are working towards the same goal but in reality, these things aren’t mutually exclusive. Companies like WeWork which went the ‘fun’ route as a form of engagement and improved work environment failed due to this lack of mutual exclusivity.

While We Work employees had leisure items on location like football tables, ping pong tables, and even alcohol at work their well-being was still criminally lacking. Many employees complained about how stressful it was to be forced to have fun all the time by an employer who demanded long hours from employees.

Fun is short-lived yet well-being is lasting. “A fun work environment provides only short-term rewards for employees. This doesn’t lead to lasting happy employees or work engagement,” says Survey Monkey. Well-being curbs issues like burnout, and stress and increases emotional resilience in employees.

The Agile HR approach is heavily implicit in technology, as the world evolves being tech-literate has become a vital skill. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends, “as organizations become more digital, they face a growing imperative to redesign themselves to move faster, adapt more quickly, facilitate rapid learning, and embrace the dynamic career demands of their people.” Agile HR is preparing organizations and their workforce for these unavoidable changes in business and striving to make sure organizations stay ahead of the curve of progress.

Agile HR also approaches the subject of compensation in its fast-paced and evolving manner. Traditional HR works on an annual timeline for raises, market and performance evaluations, and feedback. Agile HR is in a constant state of assessing all these things which makes for better employee engagement and satisfaction and protects organizations. According to an article on the LucidChart website, “Regularly assessing your pay structures, benefits, and compensation packages can help organizations identify and reduce pay gaps, protect against wage discrimination lawsuits, and personalize compensation plans to attract and retain employee effectively.”

Traditional Hierarchies to Network of Teams

Many companies are undergoing a shift from traditional hierarchies to a network of team models. Organizations are making the educated decision to shift from authoritative traditional hierarchical systems that rule with an iron fist. With a network of teams, there is more of a collaborative approach to things that involves strategies that anticipates possible issues.

According to the Deloitte report 2017, 32% believe they are transitioning to design their organization to be more adaptable and team-centric. As per Deloitte, the top Human Capital Trend of 2018 is the rise of the ‘Symphonic C-suite’. 51% of the survey respondents rated C-suite Collaboration as very important.

The C-suite executives need to step out from their functional silos and work collaboratively across functions and departments to address organizational challenges and serve as role models for their respective functional or departmental networks of teams.

The Agile approach mandates HR be accountable and agile in functional areas, collaborate with organizational leaders to create a culture of engagement and co-creation, and ensure that this culture proceeds from the top to the operational level.

Rather than operating through a chain of bureaucracy with rigid mandates that can hinder progress in cases, having a network of teams opens the floor to a more adaptable way of working. This flexible route or work helps employees to conjure more effective tactics for projects and

Agile/Lean Methodologies

Scrum and Kanban are the most common agile and lean methods used by HR teams. Scrum is a framework to manage work. It has well-defined roles, and time-boxed ceremonies and its three pillars are transparency, inspection, and adaptation. Scrum breaks down long processes in service delivery or product delivery in line with its three pillars. Scrum’s ceremonies and meetings as a whole provide teams with an opportunity to collaborate, go over items together, and resolve problems swiftly.

Kanban is a lean methodology that fosters workflow visualization and helps manage the ‘flow’ of work. Members use physical Kanban boards or digital boards like Trello, ClickUp Restya, and others to visualize the workflow. According to research conducted by Kanban University, “76% of respondents reported that Kanban was ‘effective’ or ‘more effective than other methods/frameworks they have used.”

HR practitioners use lean methods to visualize HR workflows (like recruitment, onboarding, team training, quarterly goals, and others) and have disciplined cadences to foster constructive and meaningful conversations.

For example, a Recruitment Specialist can use a Kanban tool (like Trello) to chart out the new hires’ onboarding process workflow. The board can have lists/columns like pre-onboarding, during onboarding, and post-onboarding.

For each list, the Specialist can create cards to describe the activities (like pre-onboarding may entail the team sending out forms to the new hire to sign up, setting up a training schedule, and getting his ID and badge ready).

During Scrum cadences, the cross-functional team of onboarding specialists, IT/operations team, recruiter, and other stakeholders can refer to the Trello board and have constructive conversations to celebrate wins and ideate as a team on how to reduce delays and optimize the workflow.

Human Experience

Organization members aren’t mere resources but are human beings who are instrumental in leveraging the organization’s competitive advantage. Research shows that an engaged and committed team can help organizations succeed and thrive.

The APF approach creates principles with a human-centered mindset and a rich agile methodology in HR. According to research done by Survey Monkey, “Happier employees are more engaged. And engaged employees show increased productivity as well as a far lower rate of absenteeism.”

The Agile HR mindset requires leaders and HR teams to use design thinking principles and techniques (like empathy mapping, brainwriting & brainstorming, storyboarding, and journey mapping) to understand their customer’s needs, motivations, and expectations to design better people-centered solutions.

To elevate the human experience, the HR teams must design a journey map to include personalized touchpoints, validate the map with new hires, incorporate the feedback, and experiment on a small scale to evaluate if the process fosters a positive candidate experience.

Agile HR understands the value of a human-centric approach to things, in any organization where people are involved their satisfaction and happiness matter. This also involves looking at trends and social matters that affect one’s human capital. While in the past employees tended to prioritize their work, research from Survey Monkey indicates that millennials and Gen-Xs are more likely to prioritize both, happiness at work and home compared to baby boomers.

The human capital of today is not looking to sacrifice one for the other when it comes to career and private life. This is an important shift organizations must adapt and factor into their structures as the human experience is constantly changing. Ignoring this would negatively affect any organization’s bottom line.

Coaching Culture

According to research, coaching culture (one of the APF manifestos) is highly correlated with an organization’s performance and employee engagement & enrichment.

To build this culture, managers need to be intentional facilitators and coaches. HRs need to provide deep-dive knowledge and support to the managers and collaborate with them as partners & co-creators to create a coaching culture.

HR teams must evaluate success in terms of employee satisfaction & engagement levels, innovation and co-creation levels, organizational trust, and integrity.

Today business is not solely about maximizing shareholders’ profits, but it’s more about providing better opportunities for more stakeholder involvement and maximizing the shareholders’ value.

Long-term business success mandates HR professionals and leaders to be people-centric. They need to put their people first and create value for internal customers (employees), external customers, and end-users, thus building a great place to work.

Frequently Ask Questions

What is Agile HR Management

Agile HR management is a new approach to HR that focuses on speed, flexibility, and collaboration. The goal of agile HR management is to create a more responsive and adaptive HR function that can quickly adapt to changes in the business environment.

What is Agile in HR

The term “agile” has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in the business world. Agile methodology is a type of project management that is designed to be adaptable and responsive to change.
In human resources (HR), agile is a term that is used to describe the management of people in a way that is flexible and adaptable. HR professionals who work in an agile environment are constantly looking for ways to improve the process and make it more efficient.

What is Agile HR Certifications?

Agile HR Certification is a program that provides certification to Human Resources (HR) professionals who want to verify their expertise and embrace agile values, practices, and ways of working. The certification is provided by the Agile HR Consortium, which is a group of leading HR agility practitioners, researchers, and coaches.


Agile/PeopleOps certification certainly plays a key role in building one’s own People Operations or Human Capital Management career. If you plan to expand your job role or broaden your portfolio, this is the best time to do Agile PeopleOps Certification. Are you eager to adopt a learning agility journey and strengthen your professional career? If yes, connect with us, and our team will extend the necessary guidance and support. You can subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with our new and upcoming posts.


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


What is Agile Method and How It Works

If you’re reading this, there is a high likelihood that you are familiar with Agile methodologies in software development.

You know about Scrum, Kanban, SAFe. You’re familiar with why these methods work, and the value they deliver not only to organizations, but teams leveraging them.

You recognize the value inherent in iterative development, and collaborative environments.

Agile has taken the business world by storm: Adoption on Engineering teams continues to accelerate (12th State of Agile Report).

And the values and principles behind the Agile Manifesto are evolving to meet the needs of other business functions.

Agile in HR isn’t particularly new – plenty has been written to date about why HR would benefit from such a framework.

And yet, there hasn’t been a very good answer as to how Agile values can be tactically brought into an HR organization.

Enter the Agile PeopleOps Framework (APF). APF enables HR teams to intentionally adopt a more Agile mindset.

It shifts from a worldview of VUCA to one of flexibility, responsiveness, and transparency.

APF borrows heavily from the structure of the Agile Manifesto to bring a refreshed list of values and priorities, directly in line with the HR business function.

A Tale of Two Manifesto

Mirroring the structure of a Scrum Team (and at scale, a program team), APF focuses on human capital strategy, and intentional talent acquisition.

It is a full-service framework, accounting for COPs, KPIs (now called Human Effectivity Indicators – or HEIs), and end-to-end value delivery (from Talent Acquisition, to long-term employee.)

Roles and processes are similar to Scrum, and the underlying feel of adoption is not unlike that of software development.

If your organization has adopted Agile methodologies within its Engineering Teams, consider APF as part of your organization’s journey.

There is, of course, a lot to unpack here. Values, principles, roles, and processes differ slightly from that of their traditional Agile counterparts.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss some of these changes in greater depth. We’ll detail how the APF Agile HR Manifesto differs from that of the Agile Manifesto.

We’ll discuss where we believe Agile (as a mindset) is heading, and why we think Agile is here to stay, albeit in various forms.

Also peek into the processes that drive APF – diving into the customizations of Scrum and Kanban that were made in response to different environments and goals.

Finally, we’ll look ahead and talk about what it means to be culturally agile, and how to get there.

A fair warning: this is Systems Thinking-type stuff. Get ready to think big!

We’re excited to introduce APF, and we think you’ll begin to find value from Day 1 of adoption.

Our PeopleOps Coaches offer 1:1 coaching, and other services to help you get started on your journey (or to help accelerate!)

Author: Christopher Goscinski