Innovation and the changing face of HR

Human Resources, like many professional fields, is changing quickly now to meet dual needs.  Innovation in changing the face of HR –  to meet the needs of the next generation of employees, and also the needs of the business.

The changing desires and requirements of staff puts a far greater focus on the employee experience than has been typical. It’s essential for HR and businesses to plan for and address this changing employee landscape.

The way to do it is simple – rather than thinking of HR as process-driven and rigid, instead consider it the manager of the employee experience. Businesses are increasingly using human-centric design to create a great employee experience that extends from the hiring process, right through to their exit.

This process is called Design Thinking and can be used as part of your planning processes. It’s a creative process for problem solving, and it can have very real results for your business.

Design Thinking – How you can make it work for your business  

Empathise: learn about your audience, what problems do the users face?

Define: construct a point of view based on user needs, define the main problem you want to solve.

Brainstorm: brainstorm and come up with creative solutions, choose the best ideas.

Prototype: build a representation of your ideas and a prototype design.

Test: test ideas and prototypes with actual users.

This is increasingly important as technology changes the ways in which core HR activities are carried out. Competition for the best talent is fierce, and by embracing not only innovative thinking but also practical innovations, HR teams can deliver the best possible outcomes in a rapidly changing landscape.

Digital innovation has already changed the face of HR beyond recognition: from job advertisements in the newspaper to online systems: from face-to-face interviews to interview software – from desk-based staff in offices to cloud based systems to let staff to effectively work from home and be mobile within the business.

HR teams are increasingly developing their innovation capabilities so they can adapt to a changing workplace, where solutions need to be designed from the outside-in, and to succeed, businesses must truly understand the needs of staff and customers.

It’s only by moving with the times and leveraging the opportunities of our changing world that HR professionals can continue to add value to businesses – and also model how adopting a Design Thinking approach and an innovation mindset can nurture every business, large or small.

How does your business HR operate?  Is there potential changes for the future?  Contact Small Business Society for more information or help with your Human resources planning. 

The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.


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About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.


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