“At a time when firms strive for competitiveness, HR innovation can serve as a non-traditional, but vital source of competitive advantage” (Amarakoon, Weerawardena & Verreynne)

What is HR innovation? It is simply the ability to help create, protect and build organizational culture which is a critical role for HR to play, as it is a major driver for innovation. Innovation in HR is more important than most of us believe. The first step is knowing what it looks like and how to make it happen.

The HR industry as we know it could become irrelevant and be replaced by staff and managers taking control and creating the culture and business they want and need. Or the industry could instead increasingly show its true colours by becoming integral to organisational strategy, to business goals and to staff needs. How do we achieve this? Success is all about innovation.

To instil innovative thinking you need to develop an innovative culture. HR leaders play a large role in maintaining an opened and relaxed environment that will ensure employee satisfaction and creativity. A corporation that has team members with varying backgrounds will enable a diverse workforce that will bring contrasting perspectives and ideas to the table.

Hiring the right people is one thing, however it is important to implement speaking empowerment and processes to ensure all relevant ideas are followed through till the end. Innovation in HR bears two things: creativity and implementation. It is about doing something new, not doing something better. Corporations should give team members a reason to want to happily come to work every morning.

An area where HR should facilitate innovation is by taking risks. They should encourage the hiring of creative team members. Alternatively, HR could encourage line managers to cut highly innovative individuals some slack in measuring performance against broad standards or, more fundamentally, alter the performance standards to include innovation criteria.

HR can contribute to innovation activities along a wide spectrum. From applying the corporate principles of driving out process ‘waste’, through ensuring its policies and practices facilitate, not hinder, innovation. From performing its resourcing role mindful of new requirements, to finally pressing for the adjustment of leadership behaviours, engaging directly with culture change, and helping to ensure that the conditions are right for innovation to flourish.

Insights by Propay Partners

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