Atlassian Blog

Why you’ll be hearing more about agile HR in 2018

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


If you’re a fan of Atlassian, you’ve likely seen some great articles on agile software development (like this awesome guide!). The concepts behind agile development have proven so successful, other teams, like HR, are starting to adopt the agile philosophy.

Whereas agile software development was created as a way to meet the rapidly changing and complex demands of customers, agile HR is gaining traction as a way to meet the rapidly changing and complex demands of today’s workforce.

We’ll explore how acting on employee feedback can be done in an agile way, and how we’ve found success in implementing some of the agile HR methodologies at Culture Amp.

Acting on employee feedback in an agile way

Using agile methodology to act on employee feedback sounds like a good idea, right? Employees will see results faster, and HR teams can work faster and better. However, agile HR can really only happen at companies that bring employee feedback analysis in-house.

During the heyday of consultancies it was more common for companies to outsource their employee feedback analysis. A sharp-looking team of consultants would come to your company, administer a survey, then disappear for a few months (or even a year). Upon their return they’d decree changes to be made, and HR teams would be left out of an important process.

Nowadays, it’s more common to bring employee feedback analysis in-house, managed by HR teams. This allows for the collection of feedback in real-time, and HR teams can survey on a cadence that suits the needs of their company.

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 iterating the onboarding program based on feedback is just one example of how our HR team is agile. 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 before six months is up, the team will get together to talk about what might have happened. Stacey says, “These meetings allow us to learn if there is something we can improve in our recruiting or onboarding processes.”

Modern HR is agile HR

More is being asked of HR teams today than ever before. From hiring, to compliance, productivity and retention, the employee experience, leadership, learning and development – and more – 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. The agile methodology can be applied to many components of the HR practice, like performance management.

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


Also published on Medium.