HR’s role in organizational innovation


Until quite recently, Human Resources (HR) managers were mainly responsible for selecting and hiring personnel in an organization. They never really participated in organizational innovation but had a very important role in managing administrative formalities for the newly appointed personnel and in providing them training for their current job profiles. HR’s role was limited to managing the earnings of the recruits and chalking out the exit strategy for the workers. The exit strategy is an important part of the HR’s job profile as it delineates how an HR manager would ask a member of staff to leave.

Evolving role of HR
HR’s role has changed swiftly over the past few years, with HR professionals getting involved in the company’s management as a strategic associate. Nowadays, they have to work together with the company’s’ top management to establish how to combine HR activities with the intended organizational approach. HR’s role is now focused on employee management initiatives and organizational growth interventions in order to achieve the person-organization fit. Basically, the aim is to train and develop the employees on the whole so that they can evolve with the organization. With cultural changes becoming more prevalent in the companies, it is the need of the hour that the HR supports these changes and initiates innovation, breaking them away from their stereotype administrative profile.

How HR contributes to organizational innovation?
Processes and policies are the core of any organization but where do the ideas for these processes come from? Undeniably, social interactions among human beings beget innovative ideas that in turn give rise to new processes and initiatives that the management can implement. The same has been concluded from several meetings that were aimed at improving efficiency. The employees are the core assets of any company. A company’s product, brand, techniques, sales, would mean nothing if it doesn’t have the right workforce to implement and sustain it. Suffice it to say, it is essential to administer this particular asset efficiently and competently.

What makes HR’s role in organization innovation so crucial is communication. There are so many techniques and books available for managing tangible assets such as finances etc. Naturally, it would be a disaster if these techniques are applied to manage human resources as it requires different skills and preparation to deal with these social assets. This is mainly because of the two-way communication that exists with human beings. The HR must constantly develop itself to manage the employees of the company by fostering an in-house social network that initiates the flow and sharing of ideas rather than holding them in their brains. This flow of ideas can lead to innovation. Here are a few things that the HR managers can do in order to initiate innovation:

  • Identify goal-oriented people in the team and give them managerial positions where they would have important decision making roles.
  • Inspire people to work out the art of project-based learning, through some incentive or appreciation.
  • Create an atmosphere within the organization that encourages the managers to help employees overcome their apprehensions like social pressure, ineffectiveness etc. This can be done by starting some workshops or sessions on relaxing exercises and techniques to root out such apprehensions.
  • Redesign and innovate the job and responsibilities of the employees to improve the inter-disciplinary information flow, both within and outside the team, using a few strategic tools.
  • Aim to tackle challenges experienced in the organization across the board.

These are some general tips to follow that HR managers can use. However, they should not confine themselves to these methods only.  They can use their innovation and add some other technique that they find useful, particularly in terms of helping the employees as well as the organization. It’s a matter of trying. Nobody wants HR people to change all their policies altogether; instead, they can take small initiatives and observe how their efforts are affecting the overall growth of the organization.

HR professionals can contribute to developing an atmosphere of innovation with support from leadership and systematic process for coming up with and implementing innovative ideas. The departments should use innovative employment and hiring practices that focus on designing new advertising materials and developing an online presence to aid in recruitment. Some of the practices that are being commonly implemented by HR managers include applicant tracking software, interacting, and on-boarding.

Coming to the area of reimbursement, some commonly implemented innovations include extensive banding, proposing market value remuneration for hard-to-fill vacancies, performance-based salaries, and conducting performance salary research. These innovative methods in performance management call attention to the superior methods for appraising performance. A shift has been observed from numerically ratings the past behavior of the employees to using narrative assessments and futuristic performance plans. A change from annual meetings to frequent training has also been noticed.

The latest performance management tools are being used that facilitate transformation in the way employees are evaluated and appraised. The main focus of the innovative developments in learning is programming that is being implemented through updated learning and training programs. The majority of these programs laid emphasis on developing leadership, with technical training and customer support training also emerging as popular fields. Many organizations have redesigned and implemented new learning management systems, leading to an increase in the availability of resources and programs on the internet.

In addition, an overall switch or modernization of human resources data system is also viewed as a novel way to introduce innovation at the workplace. The technology innovations can be implemented in various HR areas including employment and hiring, reimbursement, and training and learning. As HR has stepped up to play an ever more strategic function in organizations, it is necessary for other departments and top management to ensure that the HR professionals continue to commit to improving innovation throughout organizations.

Technical writing experts with degrees in HR management have been closely observing the role of HR in enhancing organizations’ productivity and profits through innovative practices. They can guide budding HR professionals on the latest practices in use and how they impact an organization in the long run.

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