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What Is an Agile Workforce, and How Can It Benefit Your Company?

Posted on April 10th, 2023 Read time: 3 minutes

We’ve all experienced awkward situations where the watercooler conversation reveals the potential implications of a company decision we (somehow) never heard about. Few things trigger as much self-doubt as learning that you’re unfamiliar with something your peers treat as common knowledge — especially when lacking that knowledge might stall your career. This is where being agile comes into play.

Agile workforces and agile workforce management are all the rage, but perhaps they are in conversations you feel left out of. Does “agility” conjure images of gymnasts and tightrope walkers rather than business decisions and management philosophies? Are you concerned your team isn’t as agile as it should be? Agility isn’t just for sports; it can also be incorporated into your business strategies. Keep reading for a quick overview of agile workforces and their benefits.


What Does an Agile Workforce Look Like?

Put simply, agile workforces focus on achieving incremental goals and utilize efficient, flexible, and performance-driven organizational structures. For example, agile businesses possess the capacity to quickly pivot to changes in market conditions and evolving customer priorities. Companies that value workplace agility will likely rely on operational strategies such as the following:


Openness to Remote Work

The news is in: You don’t need to work out of an office to get your job done. Remote working frees team members to concentrate on their job tasks without worrying about commute times or logistical hang-ups. Flexible work arrangements also enable your organization to develop and implement solutions to address shifting operational needs without being restricted by geographic location. There are many types of arrangements, too, from contingent workers and gig workers to global workforces — and all contribute to agile workforces.


Embracing Change

Yesterday’s answers might be today’s performance barriers, so incorporating new technology and innovative business strategies is essential to building an agile workforce. Your clients and customers are certainly experimenting with new ideas and testing out the latest apps — so shouldn’t you do the same? If an old system or platform isn’t functioning as it did when you first implemented it, then embrace that things need to be changed to become effective and efficient again.


Empowered Employees

Children need constant guidance and supervision, but your employees don’t. Trusting your team members to take initiative and solve problems independently eliminates reliance on unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and improves your company’s ability to rapidly adjust to changes in the economic environment.

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The Benefits of an Agile Workforce

Agile workforces enable the world of work (or the future of work). Businesses worldwide are transitioning to agile workforce models for one simple reason: They’re the best way to do business. Agile workforces improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. Agile teams are faster and more innovative than their traditionally operating counterparts and are less likely to endure burnout because they benefit from flexible work arrangements and feel trusted and appreciated by management.

Maintaining an agile workforce indicates that company leadership recognizes that marketplace conditions are constantly evolving and that merely standing pat isn’t sufficient to remain competitive. Although any business would realistically gain from employing an agile workplace model, this framework is especially useful for organizations operating in spaces that rarely, if ever, have a standard status quo (e.g., tech companies).

Implementing an agile workforce arrangement starts at the top: Company management and HR professionals must lead the way by emphasizing innovation, independence, and adaptability. There’s nothing wrong with coming late to the conversation — so long as you join in.


Written By: Kara Hertzog, President of Innovative Employee Solutions

Kara Hertzog is president of Innovative Employee Solutions (IES), a leading provider of remote and contingent workforce solutions, specializing in global Employer of Record, Agent of Record and Independent Contractor compliance services in 150+ countries. Founded in 1974, IES is a woman-owned business, certified by the WBENC and partners with companies to provide compliant employment solutions that empower people’s lives.


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