In Organizations that practice Agility, there is a growing need now to reimagine the role of HR. In this article, we see just from an employees perspective areas when HR interacts with an employee during the employee life cycle.

Mark has worked for 12 years. He has a masters degree. He is well respected in his field. His skill is sought out in the industry and he is really happy with what he is doing.

Employee Lifecycle

Let’s look at this lifecycle where typical involvement of HR happens.

The term human resources is a challenging one. Irrespective of what we call this group its what this group does that can make a huge shift to an Agile Organization.


In most cases, if you are really good at what you do, you probably have a good job. So if you are a recruiter who is hiring for experienced professionals you need to do a lot more than just searching for profiles on job boards or LinkedIn. Most experienced recruiters have a tactic of approaching candidates, and over a period of time, getting them to think about possible future opportunities.

A few years back, I had hired one of the best Agile recruiters ever. As soon as she joined, all of a sudden our recruitment pipeline would look really good. She would organize events that looked more like meetups, and in those meetups, she would invite some of the candidates she was targeting either as a speaker or an attendee.

Good recruiters make the whole process seamless. Every small detail would have been thought through. Each email that goes out or the phone call has a fun human touch. Even when people are not hired, they would get an email why they were not hired, and what would they have to do to get hired. We have had numerous cases where people would come back after months saying, I completed all the items in the list, now hire me.

On-Boarding New Employees

Why do we celebrate only when people leave the company? While we should do that, why not make a lot of noise and make someone feel awesome. on the day they join the company.

Here are some ideas to make Mark’s first day memorable.

  • Send Mark something he/she likes a few days before they start.
  • Stand with your team and clap and invite Mark as he joins the organizations.
  • Keep paperwork on day 1 to a minimum.
  • Laptops should be ready when they arrive not after a few days.
  • Keep a task board of things they have to do and give them a few days to complete the work.
  • Don’t bore them with corporate training on the first day. let them do the work they joined to do.

Professional Development

Most work not always but in many cases has come down to teamwork. Every employee needs to set for themselves a few goals and they should be measured on reaching those goals.

  1. Goals to help grow self.
  2. Goals to help the team
  3. Goals to help the organization.

Separate feedback systems from Financial Incentives. Dan Pinks Drive  Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. Are you creating ways in the organization to encourage Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose?

Minimize Titles, Promote roles instead. All organizations do need some sort of internal numerical systems, which should only be used for salary purposes. In some organizations, these levels are given so much importance that it ends up killing creativity


It’s easier to hire new employees but tough to retain them. Each person has many reasons to work. Most of us work to get paid. But beyond that, we work to use our creative mind and make a difference to the community around us.

People leave when they have a bad boss, and when work does not motivate them anymore. This is where leadership role is critical in creating organization systems where people have the freedom to work, but are working towards clear goals for the group that they are working on.

A big part of retention is the ability of an employee to feel like they own the organization.

There is a difference between happy employees and engaged employees. What you want are employees who are engaged in what they are doing and hence happy doing it.

HR can play a critical role in creating 360 feedback systems, happiness surveys, enabling organization-wide collaboration tools. video conferencing systems, work from home policies, timesheet only for billable work, open PTO,


When people decide to leave, support them. Don’t try to stop them. There is a reason they are leaving. Treat them as future customers, future employees. Ask them in the exit interview what the company could have done differently . In some cases, employees do leave just because they are following the money, and those kinds of employees who are only motivated by money are better off to leave.

What you don’t want to lose are those dedicated employees who would not have left, if they felt they had been heard, they felt their work mattered and when work gets fun, people often don’t leave.

In all of this having even one strong leader in your HR team who understand that can bring agile values to the work they do, they will make a huge difference to your workforce. Find the right leader to lead your HR group. And as you do so maybe call it Resources for Human not Human Resources.

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