Companies that rolled out a strong agile culture more than doubled their commercial performance.

The report carried out by researchers Truthsayers Neurotech is the largest study of its kind and commissioned by agile consultancy JCURV and not-for-profit Agile Business Consortium.

It was found that Covid was a significant impetus for many organisations’ new focus on agile culture. Almost all organisations – a staggering 237 percent increase – began to use agile working in some form, as a result of the pandemic. 

Agile workers more engaged

This approach resulted in employees who were almost twice as engaged as those working for non-agile companies with a significant increase of – 64 percent versus 34 percent. 

Vikram Jain, Managing Director at JCURV, says: “In a time where the best laid plans and forecasts have been decimated by external forces, the data should reassure everyone that agile practises are one sure-fire way to feel prepared for whatever may happen in the future but this must be done in a strategic way so as not to overwhelm existing work expectations, and ensure employees are not at risk of burnout. 

As the ‘Great Resignation’ means employees are leaving the workforce in record numbers, the report shows how becoming more agile can combat key concerns around the attrition of talent – by engaging employees. 

Employee satisfaction was reported to be 160 percent higher from respondents in organisations that introduced agile at scale. This was compared to those that were not agile – where respondents were seven times more likely to feel like they had a great ‘team spirit’ compared to places without agile practises.

Businesses with a strong agile culture were also found to be most prevalent in some of the industries which had been hardest hit by the pandemic. For example:

Professional Services 

Healthcare & Pharmaceutical 

Government 

Education 

Financial Services

Those in finance reported the highest levels of agility, with the highest overall agile culture score at 64 percent, compared to cross-industry average score of 47 percent. 

While the report found that an increasing number of businesses have become agile in the last year, business leaders are less agile in their behaviours in the last year: a mere 44 percent reported this compared to 56 percent in 2020. This mismatch is felt at all levels: while 73 percent of C-Suite members believed they were acting as ‘role models’ for agile behaviour within their organisation, only 16 percent of delivery teams members agreed.

Mr Jain also said: “With a 237 percent increase in business performance reported from those who have built a strong agile culture, agility should be at the top of mind for any organisation looking to ensure they’re attracting and retaining the best team possible and maximising productivity.”

Adding: “I hope to see significant emphasis placed on ensuring senior leadership are engaging with and learning about the agility process this year, as a current lack of C-suite involvement in its adoption may be impacting the effectiveness of the adoption of agility.”