Home / HR Director’s Hub / Why business leaders think that HR could do more to drive innovation? |CIPD/Workday HR Outlook & Ipsos MORI and Cirrus Research

Why business leaders think that HR could do more to drive innovation? |CIPD/Workday HR Outlook & Ipsos MORI and Cirrus Research

Innovation is now a top business priority for a third of HR leaders, according to the CIPD/Workday HR Outlook leaders’ survey that reveals that new ways of working and operating are fast becoming realities for organisations, but it is less clear how HR leaders will contribute to them.

72% of HR professionals claim that their current people strategy will aid their business’ future growth; however, only 26% of leaders in other sectors agree. 31% of non-HR professionals believe that HR should be more focused on diversity in order to help achieve innovation in the workplace, whereas just 19% of HR leaders said they were.

But at the same time, according to research from Ipsos MORI and Cirrus, 49% of C-suite leaders believe that their HR department are failing them on one important area. The results reveal that one in two business leaders think that HR could do more to drive innovation.

“One of the biggest challenges for many large organisations today is encouraging a more entrepreneurial, responsive and risk-taking mind-set amongst all colleagues,” Simon Hayward, CEO of Cirrus, says  “This is a huge challenge when the number of colleagues runs into tens or even hundreds of thousands.

However we cannot deny that HR makes its strongest organizational contribution in the following ways:

  • As Strategic Partners, HR professionals are integrated within lines of business, working with executive teams to create people strategies that deliver tangible results.
  • Optimizing Total Rewards is a way for HR to work with senior management to find the right combination of pay, benefits, environment and learning opportunities to engage employees and reinforce company culture.
  • Achieving Flawless Execution of employee-related processing and transactions. HR is accountable for the quality of service, accuracy and speed of employee-related processing and transactions.
  • Developing Metrics, to quantify in dollar terms the value

HR initiatives bring to the bottom line, is the best way to ensure future investment in the HR function.

Simon Hayward continued to say: “Too often, bureaucracy can get in the way of maintaining a culture where innovation and improvement are valued and people feel confident to experiment without fear of failure. To fuel innovation, we need to encourage more collaborative ways of working and to increase learning and knowledge sharing.”

While almost half of the C-suite believes HR could do more to drive innovation, 69% of HR professionals believe that they are doing enough. In fact, one in five managers believe that they are doing too much to drive innovation.

Dr Jill Miller, Research Adviser at the CIPD, commented on the findings, saying: “With people being at the heart of how businesses operate, HR has a significant role to play in wider organisational innovation. This requires business-wide systemic thinking and action to affect change but the good news is that we can see from the report that the appetite from non-HR business leaders for HR to drive this change is there.”

The CIPD/Workday HR Outlook leaders’ survey  reveals the top five current priorities for HR  being: cost management (63%), talent management (50%), increasing agility organisations (49%), innovation (35%) and productivity (33%).

Comparatively, the top five future priorities for business leaders are cost management (54%), talent management (48%), innovation (38%), productivity (36%) and increasing agility the organisation (36%).

New trend is the shift away from HR transactional systems toward “systems of engagement.“

It’s important to understand the experiences of your company’s employees and customers, and to get to that, you have to focus on understanding the individual, and the only way you can do that is knowing as much as you can about those people.

The ubiquity of non-customizable cloud-based software will lead more HR departments to “design their own apps. “There’s been a tremendous renaissance in ‘do-it-yourself’ tools such as Heroku and Force.com that let companies design ‘add-ons’ to standard software when they can’t find something on the market that accommodates a unique process that actually gives them a competitive advantage.

We will also see video playing a growing role, and not just in recruiting.

Dr Jill Miller, concludes:“HR leaders need to focus on growing technological and analytical capabilities within the function, so it has the ability to meet future business requirements and really flourish in the evolving world of work.”


About Dr. Ev D'aMigo; PhD

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