design thinking in hr

What do companies like Nike, Apple, Airbnb, Pepsi, Coca-cola, and many others have in common? They use design thinking for innovation. These innovations have helped them deliver better products & services. Design-driven companies have shown significant results and have outperformed their competitors. Design Thinking is a process used to solve complex problems with a human-centric approach. In this approach, a prototype is developed to test concepts quickly at low cost, feedback is taken from the users, and eventually, the final product is introduced to the market. This approach helps us in understanding & solving complex problems.

Design Thinking not only strives for a deeper understanding of the consumers but also focuses on finding the right problems to solve. This helps us to be in a better position to deal with challenges. Design-driven companies are innovative and are always ready for change.

Read also: Improve your sales with Design Thinking

Let us ask ourselves this question. Is Design Thinking applicable to human resources? 

There is a misconception that Design Thinking can only be applied to specific departments such as product development. However, that is not true. Today, companies have started to realize the broader applications of Design Thinking and are expanding its applications across departments & businesses. Companies are using design thinking to build efficient business models, set up various organizational processes, train & develop employees, etc.

Design Thinking can be applied to Human Resources too. HRs deal with employees every day, come across various problems. Therefore, HRs need a human-centric approach to solve them. Having empathy towards employees helps them deal with complex problems in an effective way. Few companies have successfully implemented this resource in the human resources department. Cisco, Nestle, and LinkedIn are a few of them.

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a methodical approach to solve complex problems by replacing traditional processes with human-centric processes. In this modern approach, tailor-made solutions are provided to employees. It is about creating innovative ideas and efficient ways to manage change, develop technology, create content, or even revamp the role of HR.

Enhancing employee experience with Design Thinking

The top priority of human resources professionals should be to enhance employee engagement. Design thinking is equipped to develop an employee-centric environment to increase employee productivity and creativity. The main ingredient to develop such an environment is empathy. Empathize with employees and understand their problems.

A few questions for the HRs to ponder upon

How to design an unbiased compensation & benefits structure?

How can employees of all ages learn from each other?

Can we recruit & retain top talent?

Companies have started taking employee engagement seriously. Companies like Google, Linkedin & Facebook have been consistently organizing events to improve employee engagement.

An organizational culture in new-age Human Resources

Companies that struggle to innovate can benefit from having a design thinking culture. Over the years, many companies have been successful in developing innovative competencies in their employees. These companies can implement this as a foundation to develop an innovative mindset & culture. An HR professional plays a very important role in building this culture in the organization

Companies like Citrix realized that it can be applied to every department and hence decided to adopt this culture. Citrix started by training its product development department, built a team of design thinkers who visited the markets, understood consumer needs, and identified opportunities. They were able to train over nine thousand employees. Today, every employee approaches a problem with a customer-centric approach.

If you are looking to upskill and would like to learn more about this domain, look no further! Start with Stanford GSB Executive Education’s Design Thinking course in collaboration with Great Learning.

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