Atwoli
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli

They say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Francis Atwoli, having been re-elected unopposed for the umpteenth time has kicked off his new mandate as the Secretary-General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) with a salvo on Safaricom’s transition to an agile workforce.

But what is an ‘agile workforce’?

An agile business enables people to work in ways which best suit them, so efficiency, productivity and job satisfaction tend to increase, too.

The world over, organisations that embrace agile working model successfully are clear about why they are doing it.

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Agile workers can largely choose when they work and where from with the priority to achieve the best results for the company, not to work set hours in a specific location.

They are flexible in that employees can operate from anywhere — from home, coffee shops or while on the move.

This especially comes at a time when all organisations have adopted some level of flexibility during the coronavirus pandemic that is now into its second year, allowing workers to operate from home and or in shifts to help reduce the chances of contracting the virus.

An agile company or an organization takes flexibility to a whole new level when it comes to trying new things. This openness to trying different ways to test out the best possible strategy can help the business increase the productivity and efficiency of the agile workforce.

Telecommunications giant, Safaricom, announcement to transform into a world class technology company will see the formation of small teams known as squads is bold as it is aggressive.

The squads will then be put together in a tribe and the tribes will report to the executive committee.

The plan is expected to break the hierarchical structure, eliminate some roles as others significantly change. Some chapters such as marketing will span across the squads and tribes.

It may be difficult to explain to the erstwhile trade unionist what is an agile workforce, but Safaricom will be hoping its youthful workforce will embrace the radical change the company is proposing.

The leading telco is being watched keenly.

Having been severally named BrighterMonday’s Best 100 Companies to work for among firms in various sectors that include agriculture, banking, fast moving consumer goods, healthcare, non-governmental organisation, auditing and finance and technology it has to handle the transition above board.

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