Innovation is a strategic HR imperative. More often than not, we simply assume that innovation falls under the purview of technical or product business units.

In fact, innovation stems from the minds of creative individuals. Innovation is imperative for an organisation to stay competitive and attract and retain key talent in the long run. Given that this strategic management covers a broad spectrum of organisational issues related to employees, culture and workflow processes, it is not surprising to find responsibility of innovation leadership also includes the HR department.

Redefining innovation
For most of us, innovation is perceived to be the introduction of new technology and inventions. New products such as driverless cars and taxi drones certainly fall under the broad umbrella of innovation – as innovation has led to the creation of these novel products.

However, there is much more to innovation than merely creating new products. Innovation goes beyond product development and technology – it is a collaborative process whereby the exchange of ideas lead to the implementation of new ideas and solutions.

The key driver and best approach to get innovation going starts with HR as well as the mindset of HR professionals, business leaders and the employees.

Here are some suggested approaches that HR can take to champion innovation within the organisation.

Changing mindsets
The first step, and perhaps most challenging, is to change employee’s mindset. After all, people tend to be resistant towards change. Yet, change is imperative in order for organisations or work processes to evolve and move forward. Hence, it is imperative that HR invoke a more open and different way of thinking. With a more open mindset, employees are likely to be more receptive towards new and creative ideas.

Lead a training agenda for innovation
Juggling between work and external learning opportunities can be difficult for employees. At the same time, employees might not be aware of the various opportunities available and appropriate for their career development. As such, the responsibility falls upon the HR department to provide opportunities for innovative leadership. Leading a training agenda that focuses on new ideas and solutions such as blockchain or AI helps to breed a culture of innovation amongst employees.

Creating a supportive culture
Any organisation can end up being a burnout factory. After all, if employees are unhappy, there is no reason for them to stay within the organisation. And the last thing that HR or any business leader wants is for their key talent to leave the organisation. It then becomes HR’s job to motivate and engage these employees by designing and implementing programmes to develop and promote the well-being of these employees.

While there are no doubt obstacles in creating an innovative culture within the organisation, HR plays an important role in championing the innovation agenda. The investment in driving an innovation culture for your employees and organisations will no doubt pay off in the long run.

Author's Bio: 

Based in Singapore, i-Admin offers world-class, easy-to-use payroll solutions using technology and systems infrastructure that exceed industry standards. Our proprietary technology platform provides a singular web-based service that delivers electronic payslips and other e-Services to our clients. We offer payroll services to companies of all types and industries across 15 countries in Asia.

As a leading regional provider of cloud-based SaaS payroll and HR management solutions, we achieve uncompromised efficiency, security and service quality to our clients’ organisations and employees, further helping our clients’ to save on large financial technological investments.