This is a guest post by Alexis Croswell, Content Marketing Manager at Culture Amp.


The concepts behind agile development have proven so successful, other teams, like HR, are starting to adopt the agile philosophy.

You’ve likely seen some great articles on agile software development, which was created as a way to meet the rapidly changing and complex demands of customers. Similarly, agile HR is gaining traction as a way to meet the rapidly changing and complex demands of today’s workforce.

Specifically, let’s explore how acting on employee feedback can be done in an agile way, and I’ll explain how we at Culture Amp have found success in implementing some agile HR methodologies.

How to act on employee feedback in an agile way

Using an agile methodology to act on employee feedback sounds like a good idea, right? Employees see results faster, and HR teams can work faster and better. The thing is, agile HR can only happen if companies bring employee feedback analysis in-house.

During the heyday of consultancies it was more common for companies to outsource their employee feedback analysis. Consultants would come to a company, administer a survey, then disappear for a few months to a year. Upon their return, they’d make changes that HR teams weren’t privy to beforehand. In other words, they were left out of an important process.

Luckily, today it’s more common to bring employee feedback analysis in-house so it can be managed by the HR team. Feedback is collected in real-time, and HR teams decide on a cadence that suits the needs of their company.

Side by side listing of difference between consultant-led feedback and agile feedback

Agile HR at Culture Amp

At Culture Amp, we use our employee feedback surveys internally to continuously learn and take action. Stacey Nordwall, Senior People Operations Manager at Culture Amp, recently shared how to create a culture first onboarding program by incorporating employee feedback. Stacey’s approach to improving the onboarding program based on employee feedback is a prime example of agile HR. While she may not have used the traditional 1-2 week iteration cycle, she had clear points at which a new feature was added to onboarding, due to feedback she had received.

“Throughout the iterations of our onboarding program, we always used our platform to survey new hires about their onboarding experiences. Between the survey and the one-on-one meetings I had with nearly every new hire, I was able to iterate a lot over time. Some of these things would be small (like broken links in a checklist) and some would be feedback about things they thought were fundamentally broken. Getting this feedback was essential in being able to evolve the program,” says Stacey.

Retrospective meetings are another agile component used frequently within Culture Amp’s HR team. If a new hire leaves the company after just six months, the team gets together to talk about what happened. Stacey says, “These meetings help us learn if there is something we can improve in our recruiting or onboarding processes.”

The future of human resources is agile HR

More is being asked of HR teams today than ever before. From hiring, to compliance, to productivity and retention, to the employee experience, leadership, learning, and development, HR is the backbone of successful companies.

The growth of HR teams and their expanding capabilities depends on shaking up old practices and trying out concepts like agile HR. An agile methodology can be applied to many components of HR practice, like performance management.

If you want a deeper dive into what a more agile HR looks like, check out Culture Amp blog. We cover how HR teams use agile principles and practices, including the four key ways to use agile to act on employee feedback.

Why you should learn more about agile HR...