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How HR Can Help Facilitate Organizational Innovation

CoAdvantage- Does HR help your organization adapt to changing circumstances and inspire innovation?

That’s not always the case. HR can sometimes be a drag on innovation when its own processes are rooted in a dogmatic, rigid understanding of its role.

Remember, it’s your people who drive innovation at your organization. Researchers in Research Technology Management write, “People, not products, are an innovative company’s major assets. Most innovative companies implement a suitable mix of what the authors describe to be a four-pronged human resource management strategy.”

Those prongs include:

1. Innovative companies hire creative people to meet goals.
2. They use good performance appraisal systems.
3. They use reward and incentive programs to recognize employee creativity.
4. They align the employee’s long-term career objectives with the company’s future goals.

Since HR is at the heart of recruiting, training and evaluating employees, HR actually exercises a great deal of influence over how innovative any business may be. If the HR team doesn’t look for the right people, provide them with the skills and support needed, or conduct genuinely useful performance evaluations, HR can easily lead to stagnation, not innovation.

In other words, recruit with innovation in mind. Recruiting efforts should specifically look for fresh perspectives while searching for traits like adaptability. Then, use innovative techniques like innovative interviewing.

One pro-tip: hire diversely. Diversity can fuel innovation by bringing fresh perspectives and ideas into the business. Homogeneity in the workforce can stymie creativity and “thinking outside of the box.”

Watch out for “procedure creep” too. As internal rules grow and grow like weeds, an organization’s bureaucracy can become suffocating. Thankfully, HR is perfectly positioned to do this kind of weeding as it evaluates job descriptions and duties, creates Standard Operating Procedures and organizational policies, and so on.

Another issue can be too much or too little HR. If one person or only a small team is trying to perform HR services for a growing organization, everything will slow down and get backlogged, including recruiting. Make sure you right-size your HR organization. Outsourcing HR doesn’t necessarily mean replacing your internal HR people; they can work hand-in-hand to ensure you have enough capacity to meet all your HR – and innovation – needs.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.