Dr Simon Hayward from Cirrus talks to HR magazine
Businesses are keen to increase their workforce agility in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the majority believe that increasing diversity and creating an inclusive culture is a key way to achieve this, says HR magazine.
Research has found that the ability to attract and retain diverse employees and create an inclusive culture was selected is an important element of building an agile workforce.
“Diversity helps to drive agility. Many of the leaders I work with value diversity across their organisations because diverse teams share different perspectives,” commented Simon Hayward, CEO of Cirrus and author of The Agile Leader, speaking to HR magazine.
“They look at things from different angles. Together they can form a diverse understanding of the challenges they face, which helps encourage deeper collaboration and richer solutions.”
Hayward said agile organisations are better placed to handle an uncertain future.
“If your business is an agile one, you are better at innovating to create new solutions with focus and speed. You can react and adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
“Many organisations still operate in quite traditional ways, with hierarchical structures and employees operating within clearly defined functions. These things can be barriers to agility. To build a more agile workforce, you need to encourage more cross-functional collaboration and develop more multi-skilled employees.”
A significant investment in L&D and widespread cultural change, Hayward said, are both needed to achieve agility.
He added: “In practice it is best to start by ‘lighting fires’ across your organisation wherever you find real problems that need creative breakthrough. In this way you can generate a bottom-up momentum, a movement from within the organisation, which attracts others so that they want to join in.”