hrtechoutlook

HR Driving Innovation in Organizations

By HR Tech Outlook | Thursday, December 19, 2019

For any innovation to become successful, unity among the workforce is a prerequisite. Innovation is the result of people being able to work together differently, think out of the box, and come up with new insights for the problem at hand

Fremont, CA: Innovation is longer limited to research and development teams; neither is it restricted to the development of new products and services, and any company that still does not believe this is already losing to its competitors. The scope for innovation is expanding every day, including organizational culture, ways of working, operational processes, customer insight, marketing, business models, recruitment, training, and management development. The opportunity for innovation is present in every scenario, and the opportunities to support innovations are countless. More than ever, HR functions have become massive support to the development of a culture or an innovation.

People Cultivate Innovation, not Processes

Unlike what most people think, innovation culture is a result of people and not a process. When you look at innovation from this point of view, it becomes clear how pivotal a role HR plays in the development of an innovation culture. For any innovation to become successful, unity among the workforce is a prerequisite. Innovation is the result of people being able to work together differently, think out of the box, and come up with new insights for the problem at hand.

Innovation is highly dependent on multiple factors. The culture of an organization is one of these factors. For instance, an organization that encourages experiments, where leaders listen to the opinions of others, where assumptions are questioned, and the customer's or stakeholder's interests are genuinely considered breeds an environment that cultivates innovation. Innovation is not a natural talent; it is a behavioral trait that can be nurtured or developed over time. HR teams that work closely with learning and development teams can benefit from this culture.

HR and Technology

Organizations are highly technology-driven today, and under these conditions, HR is posed with the challenging task of identifying the right kind of skill set required. HR is also posed with the difficult task of paying attention to the different aspects of work like employee well being and engagement. This is where technological change has a prominent influence. Although technology is created to reduce the burden on humans, it brings along with it a bunch of side effects like stressors, new occupational health issues, and alternative mental health dimensions. A feedback loop for operational and strategic decision making is quite remarkable, and HR teams can provide for the same by understanding employee domain and interpreting employee data.

For innovations to be easily incorporated, organization agility is essential. This demand for flatter structures, which brings customers to the table, support functional networks of communication, increases project-based working, and instigates healthy, cognitive diversity in cross-functional teams. HR teams can take a bird's eye view on the different aspects of organizational structure, effectiveness, and culture, thereby encouraging these environments as well as the necessities needed for innovation to flourish.

Linking Industry 4.0 with Workforce 4.0

As organizations make the jump to Industry 4.0, it has become clear to managements that it requires the implementation of Workforce 4.0, to reap the desired benefits. The two are intimately linked, and as a result, HR teams need to play the role of intermediaries in these strategic discussions. Above bringing the right kind of talent and skill to an organization, HR teams must get involved in the frontline of these conversations and be the driving force, not just reacting and responding to it after it has occurred.

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