Design Thinking is a mindset. It is about putting users first. So much has been said and done regarding design thinking in businesses. But in the HR world, it is still a new concept.
On the Day 2 of TechHR 2016, 6 diverse thought leaders came together to discuss what design thinking really means in the world of HR. From the likes of Ankur Warikoo from Nearbuy, Itu Chaudhuri from ICD, Nitin Sethi from Quikr, Rajul Garg from Sunstone Business School, Shantanu Ghosh from Genpact and Sonu Iyer from EY who were a part of the amazing panel, Pankaj Bansal from PeopleStrong chaired the panel. The panel came up with some amazing revelations about what design thinking really means to HR.
Putting employees first: HR is all about dealing with emotions. At the end of the day, people do not just work for salaries or incentives but for feeling good about themselves. As HR professionals, it is all about thinking about employees before designing policies or processes or starting any new initiatives. It is about understanding that there is no one size fits all solution. It is also about finding ways to know what employees really want and in the same breath working towards better adoption of change. The old days of hammering change on people is over. Design thinking is about making adoption easy by putting employee first.
A shift from being process-oriented: Bringing design to HR sounds very glamorous. However, design thinking in the HR would call for a change in our current mindset of being process-oriented. Design thinking in HR is about encouraging employees to think out of the box and creating a culture of such thinking. It could mean coaching managers to give time to their employees to foster design thinking in their work. From business side, it is about becoming a sponsor rather than a show stopper of design thinking in employees. It means not asking employees to always toe the line to “what works”. Essentially it is about allowing people to fail and incorporating this aspect in timelines and commercials. It is about accepting that innovation is about iterations and effectiveness should not be sacrificed for efficiency. It also means showing ROI of thinking design.
Thinking before acting: It is human tendency to start acting on things when presented with a problem before thinking. Given the VUCA we are living in, we tend to over focus on building rather than thinking what should be built or for whom it is being built. HR is no exception to this. Design thinking is therefore a mindset of thinking before acting.
Thinking beyond digital: If HR wants to go digital, we have to think beyond digital. We have to put employees at the center of automation. Strategic HR is not just about automating processes or managing data but also about thinking about what caused those problems at the first place.
The rate at which we need to learn and unlearn today cannot be done with existing teaching models. Design Thinking is needed for employees to be relevant to meet the needs of business.