Keeping your team agile in a changing workplace

Keeping your team agile in a changing workplace

The more businesses move forward and evolve, the more the makeup of the team changes.

What one person was doing when they started a few years ago might be completely different to what the business now needs.

It can be difficult to load more responsibilities on someone, who is already working hard. But in today’s ultra-competitive world it is unavoidable.

While often necessary, there are risks if you don’t approach this the right way. An employee pushed too far could walk, while someone with too much work on their plate might see their quality of work decreasing across the board to allow for the extra time and brainpower spent on additional tasks. Whole teams can lose morale if they feel unappreciated for their extra efforts or if they feel that their work is being severely affected.

But there are ways to manage for agility, making your business adaptable to changes like this, while managing the risk that comes with it.

Depending on what the extra load is, it might feel easier to give the responsibility to one person. It’s only one person to train and one person with questions. But if only one person understands each area, what happens when they are off, or too busy? Perhaps your social media guru has left and there’s no replacement, or perhaps it’s a waitress, or an administration assistant. The bartender who’s now trying wait on tables as well as look after the bar is feeling overwhelmed. The one team member who’s taken on the whole of the administration is putting his own work on hold.

But there are ways you can manage for agility effectively, building an agile team that can absorb the extra work in a way that means there is no one person feeling the strain.

This might even mean getting rid of ‘specialists’ and specific roles. The way the team works can shift depending on the workload of each member of staff and no one is left to feel like they are doing this alone.

An agile team means the end result is better. It requires real leadership, rather than just management. This includes talking as a group about the goals for that day and seeing what needs to be moved around. With this you can really concentrate on any issues that crop up and fixing them immediately. It keeps the flow of work constant and uninterrupted by absence or varying deadlines. There is also much more transparency: employees will understand each aspect of their colleague’s role, because they will be able to take over any time it’s needed.

It’s also good to keep the staff motivated and loyal. One great way to manage for agility is by introducing incentives, where targets are set and employees are rewarded for their efforts when these targets are reached. They might be trips, extra salary, treats in the office, or days off. Having common goals that everyone is held accountable to is a great way to create and maintain a high-performing business.

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