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How to Drive HR Innovation in the Workplace?

With the normalization of the hybrid work environment and change in preferences of how employees want to work — the HR’s role is getting a revamp aided by multiple HR innovations at the workplace. Today, the HR team is not just responsible for finding the right talent and catering to administrative compliance. HRs are finding them playing more pivotal roles in influencing attrition rates and the organization’s pulse. To tackle the new paradigm companies must realign their operations and reevaluate their HR workflows. 

This article will talk about how to bring innovation in HR processes for the entire organization. It will also highlight the necessity of HR tech and innovation, its essential elements, and the role of HR in innovation.

What is HR innovation? 

HR innovation is the process of developing and implementing new initiatives to meet the evolving needs of the workforce. In addition to finding a solution to present problems, it also focuses on foreseeing future needs and circumstances. 

Setting up the right HR tech and innovation process can positively impact the employee experience at all levels of the organization. From the executives to blue collars and gig teams, innovative innovation in HR workflows saves time and ensures a better working experience. Plus, it helps save labor costs, assures accuracy, and boosts growth opportunities across the organization.

Essential HR innovation practices to adopt immediately 

Recruitment innovation

Recruitment has always been a top priority for the HR department, especially in a growing organization. However, with the volatility of the current workforce demographics — resignation rates increasing, a large population of Gen Z entering the organizations, hiring top talent has never been harder. Therefore, it is crucial to have updated HR tech and innovation strategies to shortlist candidates and hire the best talent. 

Here are some areas that can be explored by organizations.

  • Programmatic job advertising 

This innovation in HR technology allows recruiters to automate the placement of job adverts on job sites. It eliminates hours of web-form filling and sorting of information. HRs can also specify what traits, skills, and demographics they require in a candidate. This makes sure the job advertised reaches the right people, at the correct time, and on the desired platform. The automated process also lowers the organization’s cost per application and saves time as recruiters no longer need to manually select job boards and post advertisements.

  • Profile Analyzers and chatbots

Manually reviewing resumes, cover letters, and profiles can be challenging. This is where AI-powered HR tools like profile analyzers and intelligent bots can help. They can narrow down potential candidates, schedule interviews, and conduct tests.

Chatbots with natural processing language (NLP) can also help candidates with their queries regarding the recruitment process. They are available 24/7 and serve as the point of contact for the candidates for issues that do not require direct intervention from the HR team.

  • Virtual reality 

Virtual reality (VR) is a great innovation in HR technology that gives on-field experience for even remote hiring and training. Many companies have started using this technology in their recruitment to give applicants virtual tours of the workplace or showcase the company culture. Walmart, UPS, and Boeing are companies that are leading the adoption of VR in their companies. They have already started training their employees using VR.

Onboarding revamp

Onboarding is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful employee experience and needs to be a priority while discussing HR tech and innovation. But many companies often ignore this step, leaving new hires unsatisfied from their first day.

Deploying efficient onboarding applications can help employees not only learn and perform better but also improve their overall experience. For example, using an AI-powered tool can organize everything, from official documentation to help candidates connect with the right people. This means that the candidate can focus on understanding their new role, without fear of not meeting application deadlines. 

These tools can also help provide a highly-personalized and interactive onboarding experience and make new hires feel welcomed—whether they are in-house or remote.

Learning and development

Modern learning and development programs are deployed not just to improve an employee’s skill set but also to boost their engagement and retention. Using the latest innovation in HR tools companies are now trying to combine all elements of the L&D process into one powerful experience.

Organizations use HR innovation to foster creativity, enhance problem-solving skills, and equip them with skills to accommodate change successfully. Employees can access these programs anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Moreover, they can connect with leaders, colleagues, and mentors to share their knowledge. HRs and organizations that do not focus on providing employees with good skill development paths, risk losing talented team members. Therefore, HRs must implement the latest technologies to provide their staff with on-demand, real-time learning, and development experience.

Performance management

Companies must understand that once-a-year appraisals or infrequent employee ratings cannot achieve the true potential of performance management. Instead, they should focus on regular check-ins, real-time feedback, and frequent recognition using tools that leverage the latest HR tech and innovation.

This is where AI-augmented performance management tools can help managers streamline the assessment process. They can help track an employee’s progress and provide valuable insights into their career development. Such tools also allow managers to receive continuous feedback and support their team members wherever necessary.

Steps to drive HR innovation at your workplace

Steps to drive HR innovation at the workplace

Since the latest innovation in HR processes focuses on leveraging the best and the latest HR technologies, organizations need to follow a strategic approach to implement them in the workplace. Here are some ways in which HRs implement innovative ideas.

  • Understand the process 

People often consider HR strategy for innovation as the process of coming up with new ideas. However, new HR innovation ideas are just a part of this broad concept — in fact, it is the first step. Before fostering a culture of innovation in the organization, HR professionals must ensure that the C-level executives have realistic expectations about the results and are patient until the ideas prove themselves.

Further, employees must understand what HR tech and innovation mean for the organization before presenting their thoughts and ideas to the process.

  • Lead by example 

Before a new HR workflow is introduced to the whole organization, testing it out within the HR team is always a good idea. This allows the new process to undergo a litmus test without using up valuable company resources.

For example, HR can hold monthly or quarterly meetings to familiarise themselves with a new tool that can be rolled out for employee management. They can conduct sessions on how to use that tool to increase productivity. Another example is setting aside time for exploring new HR tech and innovation. This will create a culture of looking out for new technologies that can help the bigger organization’s goal.

  • Create virtual workspaces for HR activities

A dedicated workspace is a powerful tool to spark innovation, boost engagement, and drive productivity among employees. However, with digital interactions becoming a major part of everyone’s workflow, installing virtual workspaces for dedicated HR activities will be very beneficial.

Activities like trivia, doubt clearing sessions, and games are a great way to keep employees engaged. HRs can set up digital rooms where these sessions can be conducted. Apart from this, digital spaces for hearing out an employee’s troubles or mood is a great way to make them feel heard. To understand their status further, HRs can also insert employee engagement surveys into these digital platforms.

  • Block time for evaluation of implemented HR innovation ideas

Implementing new HR tech and innovation is great, but it is equally important to evaluate the effectiveness of those initiatives. Encourage HR team members to block out time in their schedules to explore the new tools and HR workflows implemented. This will allow them to learn something new and come up with analyses that are unique. This level of thinking and creativity is not possible in regular 15-minute meetings. 

Research and collaborate with vendors that can help accelerate HR innovation

While evaluating HR processes that have already been implemented, HRs can get a deeper understanding of the workflows they need to revamp. A collection of different perspectives regarding the innovation process will also help them figure out gaps in the existing process. 

With this done, HRs can explore vendors who are specialized in fulfilling the envisioned HR tech and innovation roadmap planned out. Here is a set of steps to follow while confirming an HR innovation partner:

  1. Check if they have handled a similar project for clients in similar industries
  2. Enquire about their general timeline for a project
  3. Evaluate their capabilities with emergent technologies like AI
  4. Examine their ease of integration with HR tools currently being used
  5. Figure out the insights they provide in relation to the innovation process

Empower the HR team members who interact directly with the employees

Often, the most valuable and innovative ideas come from HR professionals who directly deal with employees, suppliers, and external points of contact. So, it is crucial that the HR leaders look for HR tech and innovation strategies that empower the employee-facing team members. Further, make sure there aren’t too many levels of approval. Else, a lot of time is wasted between communicating the idea and its implementation, discouraging the adoption of envisioned processes.

HR Innovation and the Future of Work

How to start HR innovation for future

HR technology and innovation have become the cornerstone for the success of the HR department. However, adopting HR innovation successfully requires understanding numerous tools and technologies at every stage of the recruitment funnel. Hence, it’s crucial to look for an integrated AI-powered solution that is easy to implement yet powerful enough to make a tangible impact. 

Enterprises should therefore chart their HR innovation initiatives only after thorough research and feedback from concerned stakeholders. The solution implemented should be easy to deploy, simple to learn, and profitable in the long run.

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Rakesh Ningthoujam

Rakesh N is a content marketer at Leena AI. A mechanical engineer graduate from NIT Manipur, he has one rule for the content he pushes out—deliver value succinctly. When he is not writing, analysing trends and Pink Floyd are his thing.

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