Working in multidisciplinary teams makes work more enjoyable and means that customers receive a better service, according to new research from Nyenrode Business University.
Dr. Mike Hoogveld conducted a large-scale survey and completed a case study at four major energy suppliers discovering that agile leadership also leads to greater job satisfaction.
He said: “We found that the agile approach means working with a multidisciplinary team for short periods or ‘sprints’ to complete a project focused on the customer. This enables you to easily respond to your customer’s changing wishes and needs."
Agile collaboration with various experts in a team is a great learning experience for employees. They like being responsible for what is delivered to the customer as well. It’s also satisfying to produce something tangible in a short period of time, and that makes the work more enjoyable.
“However, the condition is that all internal business processes must be well-aligned with each other. The biggest success factor in this regard is working in multidisciplinary teams: you have all the expertise on board and can operate as a mini-enterprise. The result? Increased speed and more satisfied, loyal customers.” Hoogveld explains.
Hoogveld’s study reveals that leadership is a determining factor in the success of agile working for the customer. In other words: managers and supervisors should collaborate with employees to set priorities and formulate goals, but then give them the space to pursue these in their own way.
However, the researchers warn that it’s a common pitfall to think that this can be achieved with tools and techniques alone. People have to be willing to change their mindset. In short, agile working is not a quick fix, and this often turns out to be difficult for companies that are wrapped up in day-to-day operations, not taking the time out for real innovation.