Flex culture, a new approach to workforce management specifically developed for IT organizations competing in the digital age, revolves around an all-encompassing transparency that pervades IT leadership. By communicating freely and openly, not only about the organization’s shared purpose and approach to intentional partnering, IT leaders can assuage the fears of internal staff who worry about job security, while motivating externally provided talent to function tightly within an integrated team environment. This tight alignment across all types of IT talent enables the organization to manage through an almost constant onslaught of change – efficiently and effectively.
Painfully aware that they cannot now nor will they ever be able to afford the breadth of talent they need, IT leaders who take five pivotal steps to manage their workforces in times of hyper-change can build the skilled teams they need without breaking the budget:
- Delineate technology skills sets as either “core” to the business or “non-core.” This distinction gives IT leaders a clear view of the digital talent they are seeking when they begin working with a trusted third party to augment internal staff.
- Communicate to staff the “big picture” of the technology landscape and how they fit into it, openly sharing, as soon as known, emerging new priorities. Keep remarks focused on how they can prepare for and support coming changes personally and professionally.
- Form mult-disciplinary teams of IT talent that pair historical knowledge with digital expertise, teaching technologists to understand the customer experience and how the solutions they build and rollout advance the customers’ business goals.
- Screen internal and external IT candidates for critically needed “soft skills” and “culture fit” needed to navigate the IT organization nimbly and efficiently.
- Remember to extend digital learning opportunities to internal staff in an effort to keep their skill sets relevant and marketable.
At its heart, flex culture rewards full-on collaboration between and among multi-disciplinary teams. When multi-disciplinary teams with a diversity of talent operate in lockstep, creativity and innovation abound, fast-tracking engagement, performance and, ultimately, loyalty to the organization.
In the next PWI blog post, we will explore why a flex culture matters so much – not just to employees but to the credibility of IT leadership as well.