Ask any business that is committed to innovation who is responsible for it, and they will tell you it is their R&D or marketing department. However, we now know that the department that should hold responsibility for it, because they can make the greatest impact, is the HR department. This is why they should be involved from the word go in terms of finding a top idea management software option.
HR departments, unfortunately, continue to see innovation as nothing but an 1890s buzzword that is a bit fluffy and whacky. This is the wrong attitude, however, as many studies have been shown that innovation may be a creative process, it has to be supported by organizational culture. And this is created and managed by the HR department.
Consider, for instance, that the United Kingdom’s Aston Business School showed that, if the HR department involved itself in innovation, there was an increase in new productions, technology, and products! Meanwhile, the University of Sheffield supported this report, showing that an effective HR department is directly link to greater innovation. So how can a HR department become involved?
They Should Add Creativity as a Recruitment Criteria
During the recruitment process, very few businesses ask any questions about innovation or creativity. Intelligent people tend to be more creative, so the focus is instead on that. However, other cognitive factors, including mental flexibility and the ability to make remote associations, are correlated to creativity equally strongly. Furthermore, some people have a more creative personality. People with confidence, who like to take risks, who need to achieve, who can deal with ambiguity, and who prefer to work on their own, tend to be innovators.
They Should Offer Training that Is Not Directly Related to the Job
Training budgets are tight, and usually someone will only be able to have training paid for if they can demonstrate it directly improves their professional contributions to their role. However, HR departments should understand the contributions someone can make to the organization as a whole. A course that seems irrelevant to a worker’s position may just mean that they take a fresh look and see something that others were too blinkered to see.
They Should Set Appropriate Team Sizes
HR departments should also structure their teams appropriately. Again, team size and creative output have been clearly linked through research. No team, according to this research, should have more than 15 people in it, as this will make creativity drop. Rather, six to 10 people is the perfect amount.
They Have to Look at the Physical Environment
HR professionals must look at the walls and doors placed around the office. A desk is usually a place that is boring, under harsh fluorescent lights. While it may make people more productive (although there is no evidence to show it does), it certainly will not make them more creative. HR departments should develop an opportunity for people to change their physical surroundings regularly. This can something as complex as a desk rotation, or as simple as changing artwork on the wall.
Creative stuff is something marketing does, but HR clearly needs to support and nurture that.