How flexible are you? Are you a go-with-the-flow person or someone who loves a great plan? How about your workplace? Organizations need all kinds of people to run a successful business, but agile businesses with agile leaders unlock the full potential of their people and their organization. The best companies are learning to embrace flexibility for better performance. 

The power of agile businesses

An agile business is an organization that “can respond quickly and effectively to opportunities and threats found in its internal and external environments (be they commercial, legal, technological, social, moral, or political).” With the onset of the pandemic, the ability to “pivot” became increasingly important and businesses that had already adopted agile practices were better equipped to do so quickly and effectively. Employees felt more stable during tumultuous times because they had more confidence in their companies ability to make necessary changes in the marketplace. They had already learned to embrace flexibility for better performance because of their company’s philosophy and track record. Agile businesses, both then and today, are better equipped to handle the unknowns. 

The impact of an agile leader

Fast Company describes the impact of agile leadership like this: 

“It is about leading with compassion, openness, and authenticity. It is about living in the present but scanning to the future. It is always listening and being curious about new ideas and possibilities, and continuously learning. It is about being resilient and thriving in a time of frequent disruption, through self-awareness and empowering others. It is about being comfortable, being uncomfortable, and leading by example.”

Agile leaders have learned to embrace flexibility for better performance for themselves and those they lead. This kind of leader practices empathy and as a result, their employees are more engaged. Whether managers are leading in a fully remote, fully in-person, or a hybrid workplace, employees have great trust when they are given independence, responsibility, and freedom of choice.  

The performance benefits

Employees who do what they do best every day are 6x more likely to be engaged in their job. When team members are led by a manager who has shifted to a coach or has embraced agile leadership, employees are empowered to make decisions, use their strengths, and take on projects that energize them. As a result, organizations thrive. Agile businesses embrace this kind of work style and flexibility for better performance. In the changing landscape of the workplace and the need to manage the impact of The Great Resignation, organizations that build a culture that’s adaptable are more likely to retain their best talent. Creating a culture employees love includes learning to embrace flexibility for better performance, financial stability, and organizational health. 

As the pandemic drags on, its long-term impact on the workplace is yet to be fully known. Organizations that are thriving are learning to embrace flexibility for better performance despite the unknowns of today and tomorrow’s world. An agile business with agile leaders will emerge from this season stronger and healthier with this model at its core.