How to Handle Employee Resistance During Agile Implementation?

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How to Handle Employee Resistance During Agile Implementation?

While most businesses still go after the age-old objective of earning profits, the modern workplace is very different. Of course, that’s not to say that many businessmen and professionals still cling to the familiarity of the “old ways” that have led many organizations to success. But an increasingly large segment of the workforce, especially millennials, no prefer flexible working environments, based on the “agile” school of thought. This, however, presents a unique set of challenges which this blog discusses in detail.

The Agile Model and Managing Resistance to its Implementation
America currently has a diverse workforce consisting of individuals that have very different views and opinions on the best way to do things. With so many opposing viewpoints, it can be difficult to introduce and implement an agile system within any organization. Convincing employees to bring their own devices to use corporate Spectrum Internet Plans is simple. Convincing employees to become agile is much more challenging. This blog explores the following areas:

1. The Benefits of an Agile Working Model
2. Flexible Workforce Trends
3. Employee Resistance and Management

Let’s get into the details right away.

The Benefits of an Agile Working Model
Typical team structures consist of a manager with a team of professionals with different assigned roles and responsibilities. This structure is hierarchical, where the manager is the center of the team and controls how the team members operate. This traditional model has been at the core of many businesses you can think of.

However, the agile model presents an interesting alternative. Instead of hierarchical management, agile teams manage themselves. To do this, teams need to work together cross-functionally with other teams. The result is that instead of a single manager, individual team members get a stake in the decision-making process. The team self-manages workflows among individual members, assigning tasks to the members best suited to them. This ensures all team members are on the same page, and also encourages team accountability while boosting individual performance.

Flexible Workforce Trends
In the current hiring market, a flexible work environment is a key factor that many employees, especially millennials, look for in an employer. In fact, even rigid organizations come under pressure from younger members of their workforce to implement a flexible environment and work hours. The problem is very few organizations actually implement an agile system unless it aligns with customer needs. One of the most common contributors to this is usually rigid top-level management that prefers conventional workplace structures. However, an even bigger contributing factor is employee resistance to agile implementation, which follows in the section below.

Employee Resistance and Management
Very often, plans go awry when trying to implement agile in your organization’s workforce. You may have to face intense and unexpected resistance from certain members of your existing workforce. This can slow down the implementation process as well as lead to miscommunication, conflict, and friction between employees.

Oftentimes, this resistance is the product of a lack of understanding of agile on the employee’s part. Some employees may have trouble understanding or accepting an agile approach. Others may not understand how it can benefit them. Some may even have problems unlearning conventional approaches and adopting a new one. You have to understand that this resistance is a natural human response to change, and you can manage it in the following ways to keep your agile implementation on track:

Anticipate and Preempt Resistance Flashpoints
Take a closer look at your workforce and try to identify the employees that are most likely to resist agile implementation. These people are more likely to influence those who are undecided about accepting or resisting agile too. So before you start implementing agile, ask your managers to meet with these employees and neutralize their resistance. This will make it easier to manage resistance from the rest of your workforce.

Don’t Push for Quick Wholesale Changes
Don’t think that you can push for agility transformation overnight. Yes, it is understandable that you want to implement agile as soon as possible. But it is impractical to think you can drive a sudden transformation. The agile process should be introduced incrementally, instead of quick wholesale changes to your business. This will allow your workforce more time to understand and adapt to the changes, reducing resistance as it goes along.

Keep Communication Channels with Employees Open
Communication is key. You can be sure that many of your employees will have questions about the new agile system. Since they aren’t used to it, there will be some initial confusion and hesitance before employees begin to accept agile. This makes it very important for you to maintain two-way communication with your employees. Not only will this help answer their questions, but it will also help them understand how the new system can benefit them if they adopt it quickly.

Leverage the Necessary Technology
If you want an agile workforce, you need to address any gaps in technology that your organization may have for agile implementation. Agile workforces should have the flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection. If the technology you offer your employees is obsolete or limited, you will limit your workforce’s ability to work productively.

For example, if I work as an agile writer for an e-magazine, I will need the magazine to give me a computer, smartphone, and an internet plan, unless they want me to use my own. In which case the risks are amplified. I could have a slow laptop, my smartphone could be outdated. Or, my internet connection might require assistance from the Spectrum Phone Number Center (1-855-837-6837). Conversely, if I have the necessary technology I need from the magazine, I am ready to work at any time from anywhere. Leverage technology wherever you can to implement the agile approach better in your workforce.

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