Nurturing workplace agility in the digital era
In wake of learnings over the past three years post-March 2020 and in today’s rapidly evolving business environment, companies should be embracing agility to thrive. This is especially prevalent with the increased focus on technological advancements, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital transformation.
“Workplace agility refers to an organisation’s ability to adapt quickly, innovate, and respond effectively to changing market conditions and customer demands. With the digital era driving unprecedented disruption, fostering workplace agility and a hybrid model has become crucial for organisations to stay competitive,” says Nelis Swart, Chief Impact Officer at SAPRO.
As a specialist in identifying, developing and deploying specialised audit skills, Swart reflects on years of experience working with highly flexible and agile forces.
As most businesses find themselves in unchartered waters, his key to perfecting the hybrid working model – employing professionals in one part of the world to service clients in another; a concept unmistakably synonymous with an auditing company – is to start by having a clearly defined strategy in place.
“The cornerstone of a multi-pronged strategy to achieve workplace agility and an effective hybrid model is to put employee’s personal well-being and professional fulfilment at the heart of major change, while sustaining performance,” says Swart.
Embracing a growth mindset
A growth mindset is the foundation of workplace agility. It entails cultivating a culture where employees are encouraged to embrace change, learn from failures, and continuously develop their skills. By fostering a growth mindset, organisations like SAPRO, create an environment that supports experimentation, risk-taking, and learning from mistakes, enabling employees to adapt more readily to new technologies, especially with the rise in AI, and market dynamics.
Agile methodologies and practices
Agile frameworks promote cross-functional collaboration and faster decision-making. By breaking down projects into smaller, manageable tasks and encouraging frequent feedback loops, organisations can respond quickly to changing requirements and deliver value in shorter cycles.
Building a diverse and inclusive workforce
An agile workforce requires a strategic and flexible approach to sourcing, attracting, and onboarding talent that aligns with the organization’s values, culture, and business goals. Fostering inclusive cultures that value and respect all employees also create an environment where individuals feel empowered to contribute their unique insights and adapt to change more effectively.
Continuous learning and skill development
Prioritising continuous learning and skill development is a must. Providing employees with opportunities for upskilling and reskilling not only enhances their capabilities, but also equips them to embrace new technologies and evolving job roles. Encouraging a culture of lifelong learning fosters adaptability, enabling employees to navigate rapidly changing digital landscapes.
Agile leadership and empowered teams
Leaders need to empower their teams, provide clear direction, and create an environment of trust and psychological safety. By delegating decision-making authority and fostering a sense of ownership among employees, leaders enable teams to respond swiftly to challenges, innovate, and adapt in the face of uncertainty.
Collaboration and communication
By leveraging digital tools and platforms, organisations can break down silos, facilitate cross-functional collaboration, and encourage knowledge sharing. Open lines of communication, both vertically and horizontally, enable employees to exchange ideas, provide timely feedback, and align their efforts towards shared goals.
“Sifting the good from the past and merging it with the new good of a tech-enabled, efficient economy will be the profession’s biggest job for the coming years. The ability to handle fast change and constant uncertainty will be key to successfully navigating the digital era,” concludes Swart.