The HR manager of any organization is responsible for the identification and introduction of learning agility in the business organization. Learning agility is a special characteristic that means learning from practicality and experience. This is a trait which people of high capability and potential possess. People who have enough potential to adapt themselves according to the new process and organizational changes are considered to be learning agile, and they always perform effectively.
Meaning of learning agility
The term learning agility means the ability to welcome and introduce the new concepts and materials launched in the business world to the business organization. In other words, it means the ability to quickly identify the useful information of the business environment and utilize it for the better performance and success of the business.
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People who possess this characteristic are considered to have strong leadership qualities. Not all employees live up to their promises, but people who possess learning agility give the best and high rate performance. An employee who is agile learns quickly from the available information and experiences. He is flexible and always ready to take risks, strives for his and company’s growth and development.
The characteristic of learning agility is something that can be learned, developed, and improved. A person learns and develops this quality through book reading and classes. He learns from his past experiences and always strives to reflect on past bad performances.
5 Important Elements of Learning Agility
The term learning agility has broader aspects. It comprises five learning aspects that make the whole term of learning agility. A person who wants to be learning agile must have skills and shortcomings in the following written categories. These categories were introduced by Korn/Ferry Lominger.
Element 1 – Mental Agility
Unlike a normal misinterpretation, this term here refers to the quality of always being curious, able to learn and work quickly, identify and adopt new processes and information. These people have qualities quickly have insights about the business environment and adapt them accordingly for the improvement of the business.
Element 2- People Agility
This element talks about the skills and leadership qualities of people. People who possess such qualities have better emotional connections with other people and always show true empathy towards others. Other people follow them in case of organisational changes for better guidance.
Element 3 – Change Agility
Unlike people who work strictly as per their schedule and structure, people who have changeability work on new challenges, they always try to learn new methods and incorporate them for the improvement of business operations.
Element 4 – Results agility
People who have the quality of results agility always try to achieve success the very first time. Such people undertake challenges and perform at the best rate to achieve success.
Element 5 – Self Awareness
It is one of the most important elements. People who are aware of their strengths and weakness always excel than those who aren’t. Becoming self-aware is the most important thing for success in a career.
HR and other managers of the organization look for the above-written qualities so that they can allocate the company’s resources accordingly and effectively.
Importance of Learning Agility
In today’s business world, there came many changes in the operational procedures and methods of businesses due to increased complexity and competition in the environment. These changes demand more flexibility of organizational processes to sustain in the competitive world. In response to the change, the business organization requires leaders who proactively adopt the changes and trends. They want to develop agility in their employees by providing them access to educational courses, career courses, by creating a favourable organizational environment and peer to peer contact.
How do we predict the quality of learning agility?
The managers of a business organization can use many benchmarks for the assessment of the said quality. But generally, it is advisable to analyze the employee’s work performance critically. By assessing his work performance, we will get to know about his strengths and weaknesses. To boost up the analysis process, the managers can carefully assess the employee’s work. They can give challenges to the teams to develop new skills and also encourage them to identify their strengths and weaknesses and respond accordingly.
The following are some of the predictors that can help managers in analysing the quality:
- Organizes work effectively efficiently
- Possess problem-solving skills
- Have creative thinking
- Knows how to manage conflicts wisely
- Possess leadership qualities
- Motivates everybody
- Knows how to deal with tough situations
- Manages political issues wisely
- Understands everybody
- Have self-awareness
These are some of the predictors which can help in the identification of learning agility quality in the employees.
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How can managers develop this quality in their employees?
The quality of learning agility can be developed in the employees. The managers will have to create a conducive environment where they can learn new skills. For this, they have to design workplaces that would be suitable for their growth, provide managerial support, and bring a new learning culture. These would help in the development of learning agility quality in the employees.
- The managers can use the following practices for the development of the said quality:
- The managers can have discussions about inspirational stories and case studies with the employees.
- They can also have group discussions where employees will be motivated to share their thoughts and opinions about the given topic.
- They can also represent a hypothetical problem where they will be asked about the logical approach that they can adopt.
- Managers can also seek different perspectives about employee’s action plans.
- They can also use educational, developmental resources for the inculcation of the said quality.
- They can also use rewards as a motivational force for the development of quality.
- They can also provide coaches and mentors who would help in the development of new skills.
These are the practices that would help managers in developing the quality of learning agility. The quality of learning agility is quite crucial for the development and success of the business and managers often face challenges in the identification and development of such qualities. But they should put consistent efforts for the inculcation of the same so that the business organization can stay in a highly competitive environment.