Business Agility

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Agile HR Manifesto

agile hr manifesto practices

Agile HR Manifesto Values

Agile Human Resources (HR) represents a transformative shift in how organizations manage and support their workforce. By adopting Agile principles, HR departments can become more dynamic, fostering a culture of collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement. Let’s expand on the practical application of Agile HR, as well as specific practices organizations can adopt to become more responsive and people-centric.

Agile HR Manifesto in Practice

Collaborative Networks Over Hierarchical Structures

  • Cross-Functional Teams: Implementing Agile HR means encouraging cross-disciplinary teams to work together towards shared objectives, leveraging diverse skill sets and perspectives.
  • Community of Practice: Establish communities within the organization to share knowledge, best practices, and innovations, thus breaking down traditional silos.

Transparency Over Secrecy

  • Open Communication Channels: Agile HR encourages the use of digital platforms and regular meetings to ensure all team members have access to the information they need.
  • Feedback Culture: Cultivate an environment where feedback is freely given and received, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Adaptability Over Prescriptiveness

  • Flexible Processes: HR policies and procedures should be flexible, allowing for adjustments as organizational needs evolve.
  • Responsive Design: HR initiatives should be designed with the flexibility to pivot based on feedback and changing conditions.

Inspiration and Engagement Over Management and Retention

  • Empowering Leadership: Shift from traditional management to a leadership style that empowers employees, giving them the autonomy to make decisions and innovate.
  • Engagement Programs: Develop programs focused on engaging employees through meaningful work and recognition, rather than solely relying on retention strategies.

Intrinsic Motivation Over Extrinsic Rewards

  • Purpose-Driven Work: Align employee roles and projects with the organization’s mission and values, providing a sense of purpose.
  • Autonomy and Pride: Offer opportunities for employees to develop their skills and take ownership of their work, reinforcing a sense of pride and autonomy.

Ambition Over Obligation

  • Career Pathing: Provide clear pathways for career development, allowing employees to see how they can grow within the organization.
  • Talent Development: Invest in training and development programs tailored to individual strengths and career aspirations.

Agile HR Practices for Organizations

Agile Recruitment and Onboarding

  • Continuous Hiring: Adopt a strategy of continuous recruitment to ensure talent needs are met promptly and efficiently.
  • Iterative Onboarding: Streamline the onboarding process to be more interactive and iterative, allowing new hires to acclimate and contribute more quickly.

Performance Management

  • Frequent Feedback: Replace traditional annual reviews with continuous feedback loops, facilitating regular conversations about performance and goals.
  • OKRs: Implement Objectives and Key Results to align individual achievements with organizational goals, ensuring everyone is moving in the same direction.

Agile Learning and Development

  • Learning Sprints: Utilize short, focused learning modules to provide employees with relevant skills in a timely manner.
  • Communities of Practice: Foster an environment where employees can share knowledge and learn from one another, enhancing skill development across the organization.

Employee Engagement and Retention

  • Pulse Surveys: Regularly gauge employee sentiment and engagement through quick surveys, allowing for timely interventions and improvements.
  • Employee Journey Mapping: Analyze and improve the employee experience at various stages of their journey within the organization.

Agile Talent Management

  • Talent Pools: Create pools of candidates for key roles, enabling quick and effective hiring when opportunities arise.
  • Succession Planning: Develop a clear plan for grooming internal talent for future leadership roles, ensuring a seamless transition and continuity.

Agile Organizational Design

  • Cross-Functional Teams: Promote the formation of teams that bring together diverse skills and perspectives to solve complex challenges.
  • Dynamic Job Roles: Allow job roles to evolve in response to project needs and employee growth, encouraging adaptability and learning.

Agile HR Metrics and Analytics

  • Lead Time to Hire: Focus on reducing the time from job posting to hiring to improve efficiency and responsiveness.
  • Employee Demonstrable Satisfaction: Use Demonstrable Analytics to ensure you are measuring employee satisfaction and loyalty – especially when observing Employees displaying Neutral or Passive Behavior – Get the Real Picture!

By embracing Agile HR, organizations can create a more flexible, inclusive, and engaging work environment that not only attracts top talent but also fosters innovation and adaptability. This approach requires a shift in mindset and culture, emphasizing the value of people, collaboration, and continuous improvement in achieving organizational success.

The Role of Agile HR ExtrAgility

Incorporating the concept of ExtrAgility into Agile HR practices enriches the approach by integrating a broader, more holistic perspective that aligns with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. ExtrAgility, with its Φ-Shaped Skillset, emphasizes the importance of understanding and contributing to these broader societal and environmental goals. This expansion requires Agile HR to not only focus on internal agility and responsiveness but also on how organizational practices impact the world at large. Here’s how ExtrAgility can play a significant role in Agile HR:

Holistic Approach to Organizational Impact

  • CSR in HR Practices: Agile HR, through the lens of ExtrAgility, incorporates CSR into every aspect of HR practices. This includes ethical hiring practices, promoting diversity and inclusion, and ensuring that the company’s operations contribute positively to societal goals.

Integration of SDGs

  • Aligning HR Goals with SDGs: By integrating SDGs into HR strategies, organizations can ensure their workforce development and policies contribute to global priorities such as quality education, gender equality, decent work, and economic growth.
  • Sustainable Workforce Development: ExtrAgility encourages the development of a workforce that is not only skilled and adaptable but also aware of and engaged in sustainability initiatives. This involves training programs that incorporate SDG awareness and encouraging employees to participate in sustainable practices.

Embracing ESG Criteria

  • Environmental Stewardship: Agile HR practices can include initiatives to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint, promote sustainability in the workplace, and encourage employees to engage in environmentally responsible behaviors.
  • Social Responsibility: This involves ensuring fair labor practices, supporting community engagement initiatives, and fostering a workplace culture that values and promotes social well-being.
  • Governance and Ethics: Agile HR can lead by example in ethical governance, transparency, and accountability, ensuring that all HR practices reflect the highest ethical standards.

Expanding the Agile Mindset

  • Beyond Flexibility and Responsiveness: While traditional Agile HR focuses on adaptability and responsiveness, ExtrAgility emphasizes the importance of extending these principles beyond the organization to consider the broader impact on society and the environment.
  • Holistic Employee Engagement: Engage employees not just in their roles but also in contributing to CSR and sustainability goals. This can play a key role in enhancing employee satisfaction and retention by providing a sense of pride, purpose and contribution to a greater good.

Practical Application in Agile HR Practices

  • Agile Recruitment and Onboarding: Incorporate ESG criteria into job descriptions and recruitment processes. Promote diversity and inclusion and consider candidates’ alignment with CSR values.
  • Performance Management and Development: Include sustainability and CSR goals in performance reviews and development plans. Encourage and reward contributions to these areas.
  • Agile Learning and Development: Develop training programs that include sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility. Encourage lifelong learning and awareness of global challenges.
  • Employee Engagement and Retention: Use engagement programs to promote awareness and involvement in sustainability and CSR initiatives. Map the employee journey with a focus on ethical and sustainable practices.

Metrics and Analytics

  • Tracking and Reporting: Implement metrics to track the organization’s progress on CSR, SDGs, and ESG goals. Use this data to inform HR strategies and communicate success and areas for improvement.

By integrating ExtrAgility into Agile HR, organizations can not only enhance their internal agility and responsiveness but also ensure they are contributing positively to societal and environmental goals. This holistic approach reinforces the importance of businesses operating as responsible global citizens, with HR playing a pivotal role in driving these efforts.

Photo by Mimi Thian

agile hr manifesto
agile hr manifesto

Agile HR Manifesto

Source: ​

We are uncovering better ways of developing an engaging workplace culture by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value: 

1. Collaborative networks over hierarchical structures 
2. Transparency over secrecy
3. Adaptability over prescriptiveness 
4. Inspiration and engagement over management and retention
5. Intrinsic motivation over extrinsic rewards
6. Ambition over obligation

That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.


Principles behind the Agile HR Manifesto 

We follow these principles:

Support people to engage, grow, and be happy in their workplace.

​Encourage people to welcome change and adapt when needed.

Help to build and support networks of empowered, self-organising and collaborative teams.

Nourish and support the people’s and team’s motivation and capabilities, help them build the environment they need, and trust them to get the job done.

Facilitate and nurture personal growth, to harness employee’s different strengths and talents.

Authors of the HR Manifesto

Carles Almagro
Ana Anastasijevic Vuletic
Josh Bersin
Willemijn Boskma
Klaus Bucka-Lassen
Amy C. Edmondson
Stew Friedman
Bob Gower
Riina Hellström
​Rickard Jones
Sandeep Joshi
Radoslaw Lont
Marjaana Murtomaa
Chris Nikitas
Simon Paynter
Hugo Pibernat
Adam Polczyk
Jussi Hölttä
David Rock
Sergey Rogachev
Marti Serra
Dan Sloan
Pia-Maria Thóren
Dov Tsal
Manfred van Veghel
Hannes Velt
Dariusz Wylon

For Education Purposes Only, Please refer to for a complete list of language versions and signatories.

Agile HR Manifesto PDF

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