Jul 08 2019

Establishing Agility in HR

“There are many tools available online that can aid organisations in adopting agile practises for HR. My suggestion is to consistently test your policies to optimise for simplicity”

by  Nigel Lim, Co-Founder & CEO, Payboy

An organisation’s growth is disrupted if HR cannot become “agile” in this technical age. Companies are redesigning their HR practises to adopt agile methodology to stay competitive against the rapidly changing environment.

Futhermore, studies conducted by Deloitte has shown that organisations adopting agile are two times more profitable.

There are 3 areas of HR that can adopt agile to greatly improve the organisation,

1. Compensation
Making compensation agile should be considered a top priority for HR. Larger retailers frequently use sales contests to reward their employees and there are constant iterations of these competitions to create the optimal results. Past studies show that annual bonuses are not effective, as it does not reward the right behaviour. Incentives work best when it comes immediately after the right actions.

Some companies have changed the way they conduct annual apprisals and replaced it with contribution bonuses based on feedback from the ground.

The challenge most companies face when adopting agile for compensation is that legacy payroll systems are unable to cater to the speed and complexity of the incentive changes.That's why we developed Payboy to create a payroll system that scales with operations.

2. Performance Appraisals
Organisations cannot be agile without the right performance appraisal framework. Employees need feedback from multiple sources frequently. For companies to adopt agile practises, they need to lose their annual appraisals and find the right cadence for their organisation. Almost everybody hates annual reviews, so no love lost there.

Managers need to be trained to give frequent feedback. Most companies employ an agile coach to guide managers and teams on proper agile methodology.

Adobe replaced its annual review process with more frequent ‘check ins’ that allow managers and employees to communicate on 3 topics: expectations, feedback, and growth and development. This transition saw a 30% drop in staff turnover as a result.

3. Recruitment
With the advent of AI, Blockchain and Big Data, recruiters needs to constantly iterate their findings with hiring managers when trying to fill a complex role where the job responsibilities are not yet clearly defined.

Just like how agile takes large projects and breaks it down into smaller pieces, recruiters can take complex roles and break it down into smaller responsibilities to scout for.

Having a Kanban board for recruitment teams gives visibility into the progress on each roles and facilitates discussion between hiring manager and recruiter. It also allows teams to prioritize roles based on something more logical than timeline. Instead of going through roles first-in-first-out, they assign scores based on strategic value to the organization, size of the target market, or complexity of the requirements to each job, and can allocate resources accordingly. Companies are also qualifying candidates who are well suited to an agile work environment.

There are many tools available online that can aid organisations in adopting agile practise for HR. My suggestion is to consistently test your policies to optimise for simplicity.

 Nigel Lim is the CEO & Co-founder of Payboy. Having worked in the back-offices of Citibank and Toyota Asia-pacific, he understands the burden of administration large companies have with legacy infrastructure and kick-started Payboy to steer growing SMEs and Start-ups away from legacy technology. Nigel was able to bootstrap Payboy initially by leveraging on cloud technology to automate his sales and back-office processes while sustaining a lean workforce. He is now establishing a regional footprint for Payboy while empowering Millennial leaders in his company to take over local operations. LinkedIn


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