Most employees view the HR function as a manager of many routine tasks. The group is considered necessary for implementing a company’s vision but not on the frontlines of execution. However, an effective HR leader can spearhead initiatives that spread innovation throughout the entire company.
To begin this process, the HR team should consider making internal departmental changes to develop and test initiatives before rolling them out to the rest of the company. Making changes at a small scale provides a way to test innovation in a way that minimizes harm if things do not go as planned. If the test is successful, the change may be applicable to the entire company. For example, explore potential online products that facilitate collaboration between teams. Measure how your HR department works together before and after its implementation. If there is a net increase in productivity, you may want to roll out the product to the rest of the company. For this policy change and other successful ones, the HR department will experience distinct benefits. First, the department will develop a reputation of being innovative and a leader within the company. Second, you will be acknowledged for your unique thinking and gain more leverage to support your team’s future interests.
Tailor your presentation to address the concerns and needs of those who will be affected.
The best way to ensure that a proposed policy from the HR department works is to be as concrete with the idea as possible. Clearly explain the concept and discuss its potential risks and rewards. Tailor your presentation to address the concerns and needs of those who will be affected. Show how the change aligns with the corporate vision. If there are risks associated with the change, discuss the potential response plans and next steps. And be sure to provide a clear time frame for the policy to be implemented.
Once the policy is implemented, the HR department needs to evaluate the effect. Each change will require different metrics for evaluation—number of people it impacts, cost of implementation, risks and rewards, and time needed to implement the change. In considering these metrics, create assessments that work for each initiative. It is particularly important to pay attention to the up-front costs versus the long-term financial gains of a policy. For instance, a company may want its employees to feel comfortable proposing ideas that may fail. The HR department ought to balance the costs of failings and the financial benefits of potentially successful ideas.
Chief HR Officers can play an important leadership role for the business if they foster innovation in their department. They will show their commitment for the company to continue evolving for the better. Their input will be more valued in future company decisions. Most importantly, they will be in charge of a department that is perceived as flexible, innovative, and integral to the rest of the company.