Getting design thinking right in human resources

From hiring to remuneration and skilling to mentoring, every HR process can be improved by applying design thinking to it.

ThinkStock Photos
Design thinking transforms routine HR activities such as hiring, onboarding and training by saving cost, time and energy.
By Fathima Farouk

Design thinking is an approach taken to gather an in-depth understanding of a system’s stakeholders, defining their problems clearly and designing solutions which may not have been so obvious previously. Initially, design thinking was associated with product-focused companies. However, over the past years, organisations have started applying design thinking across various functions, including human resources.

An organisation’s success largely depends on the satisfaction and productivity of its employees. Design thinking enables organisations to focus on the challenges and issues faced by employees at work, ideate creative solutions to address the same and build a great workplace wherein employees are happy. The whole idea is to curate ideal employee experiences by implementing real time solutions which are desirable, feasible and viable at any given point of time. From hiring to remuneration and skilling to mentoring, every HR process can be improved by applying design thinking to it.


While it may sound complex, organisations can implement design thinking in HR through five simple steps.

Empathise: Action number one is to step into the employees’ shoes and gather a 360-degree view of the workplace from their perspective. Challenges that employees encounter on a day to day basis, such as: commuting to work, flexibility in working hours, harmonious work relationships, and so forth need to be considered and understood from their perspective.

Define: The next step is to identify and outline the employees’ pain points clearly. This is where asking the right questions becomes crucial. For example, what is the biggest problem employees face in their day to day work? Do they spend a lot of time looking for information which should have been available otherwise? What is the biggest motivator for employees at work? It becomes necessary to define the exact challenges faced by employees in terms of how, what, when, where and why.
ADVERTISEMENT

Ideate: Brainstorm and collectively work towards listing down some creative ways to address these challenges. However, it is necessary to stay focused, as often the best solution is the simplest solution which tends to get overlooked. Select a solution which is most desirable, feasible and viable in the organisation’s context.

Prototype: Creating storyboards for given scenarios, using mock trials and putting together experimental scenarios for the chosen solution help understand how viable and effective it could be.

Test and refine: The prototype can be tested out in smaller groups to gauge its effectiveness and viability. Feedback can be collected from the sample to understand what improvements can be made to the solution/approach adopted. Accordingly, the solution can be refined and applied to the organisation at large.

Why is design thinking the need of the hour?
ADVERTISEMENT
Given how present-day workplaces are evolving, it becomes imperative for HR to ensure that they follow the best, innovative practices at work which enable employees to be more productive. Design thinking transforms routine HR activities such as hiring, onboarding and training by saving cost, time and energy. By adopting a human-centric mindset, it leads to the creation of a happier, efficient workplace wherein employees have access to the right resources, possess the right mindset and are able to make their best contributions at the workplace. This, by itself, can offer huge advantages for the company in terms of attracting and retaining quality talent, creating a holistic work environment and in being positioned as an employer of choice.

(Author is HR Head, AMD India Private Limited)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)
Download
The Economic Times Business News App
for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+