HR Innovation Ideas 2014

by | Mar 19, 2014

No need to (re) create, why not automate and innovate?

Before we look at HR Innovation Ideas, let’s look at some barriers to innovation.
According to the article on BIA (quote below) we recognise we need to innovate, but do not necessarily actively pursue ways to do so. However, I think one of the barriers to developing how we do things in HR and Learning is that we view change as synonymous with (re) creation. This brings with it a whole series of complications; frustration, re-writes, approvals, forums, workshops, pass through committees, operational reviews, and multiple stakeholders to mitigate…

IBM completed a survey of global HR leaders. The results showed an agreement among Human Resource leaders that driving creativity and innovation is their number one business challenge, yet only 50% of these HR executives indicated that they are doing anything about it.

Similarly, while a majority of 70 percent said HR plays a significant or somewhat significant role in fostering innovation at their organizations, 71 percent said they don’t use any screening tools designed to bring in creative and innovative candidates. Additionally, 53 percent don’t tie performance-management systems to driving innovation and 53 percent don’t even have a formalized suggestion system in place.

According to Susan Meisinger, former President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, “The takeaway for me in all this is we all think these things matter, but most of us are not doing something about it.” Secondly, she adds, “It is difficult; if it were easy, we’d all be doing it.”

Reference from BIA

So, the solution for me is simple. Automate some of what you have, and innovate others, rather than (re) create – if you must “create” then do pilot and feasibility studies instead of ‘Hard Launching’ a new initiative or process.

HR Innovation Ideas 2014

In the Chron article for SMEs “Innovative Ideas for HR functions” they list some areas of innovation that can support HR achieve strategic goals without re-inventing the wheel;

  • Career Development
  • Employee Surveys
  • Employee Orientation (On-boarding)
  • Team Building

All of these HR Innovation Ideas are simple to refresh, automate and innovate in some way or other:

  • Talent Frameworks – Every employee should know what career opportunities are available, where to find out information and how to register their interest. Creating a portal for users to explore an interactive framework is easy to develop and implement with minimal internal hurdle jumping.
  • Dynamic Mood Polls – Simple and easy way to track user moods. Not much good in isolation, but should be part of your internal communications and can supplement your annual engagement calibration.
  • PET or Pre Employment Training – Why shouldn’t your new recruits do a little on-boarding before they arrive. It will make induction more seamless and prepare your new recruits for the culture, and ease transition. Also means you can get some of the bulk content out of the way before people arrive.
  • Learning Management for Recognition – Innovate your current LMS to recognise key people who are putting in that extra effort (gamify your learning experiences)
  • Employee Relations Helpdesk – Automate your helpdesk so people raise tickets, and you can track and manage responses from your ER team with an automated dashboard
  • Applicant Tracking – Automate your applicant tracking so you can dashboard the Advert to Acceptance numbers, and fully understand your total cost of recruitment
  • Performance Management – If you are still tracking on paper, its time to wake up to the 21st Century and automate your PDR and PDP process so you can track management and individual performance, and report progress to the board dynamically – you may even be able to reduce admin, its and easy one to deliver good cost:benefit.
  • Social Team Building – Recognise internal expertise and advertise as part of your internal skills / talent system. Provide environments for like-minded people to interact, nose-bag sessions, or virtual meeting environments to help them interact face to face or virtually and build more supportive team networks.

If you want help or some support with implementing these ideas, or want a sounding board for innovating in your business then let us know by clicking here.  Also, let me know if you have any great HR Innovation Ideas for 2014, you can comment or reply to this post, or email me [email protected]

Martin Knowles

Martin Knowles


About the author

Martin Knowles has worked in a variety of sectors in Learning and Development roles and Contracts for nearly 20 years (Selfridges, Diageo, Rolls-Royce, Severn Trent, Veolia, Linklaters, Capital One, PCWorld, DSGi). He has authored content, books and articles for managers and aspiring leaders, published work in multiple media and won awards for Best Training and Development in Europe.

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