UrbanBound CEO, Michael Krasman, spoke on a panel at the Chicago SHRM chapter about what innovative HR means in the 21st century. Michael, along with other HR thought leaders on the panel, discussed the ways in which HR has changed over the years. HR, once thought to be a purely administrative function, is now considered essential for long-term business goals as it relates to hiring, employee productivity and retention. However, innovation requires change, which can be tricky. After all, it’s much easier to resist change than to welcome it. However, the panel had a few great ideas about how HR professionals can drive innovation and be a change agent at their organizations.
Stay One Step Ahead
When it comes to innovation, it’s important to stay one step ahead. In other words, one must anticipate where the trends are going. At the end of the day, it’s not innovative to simply follow suit and do what everyone else is doing. That’s why innovative HR leaders must seek out education for themselves. That means staying on top of the latest HR technology, attending conferences and networking with peers. Being innovative means driving change, not reacting to it.
Focus on Presentation
Presentation is everything. That means the way in which you propose your change must be executed perfectly. Everything from the initial discussion with the stakeholders to internal company communication when the change is implemented.
The biggest mistake made by people attempting to drive change is not catering their message to the audience. On must focus on what stakeholders and decision-makers care about. How will the innovation affect the business’s bottom line? Will it improve productivity and retention? How? By how much? These are the types of questions a presentation must answer.
Find a Mentor/Sponsor
One of the best ways to drive change at an organization is to find a person to advocate for the idea, whether it’s someone higher up in a different department, an indirect supervisor, or a peer. A mentor can support and spread the idea. While building internal relationship takes time, it is essential to driving change—faster.
Change is not easy, so you have to be willing to fight for it and stick with it for the long-haul. It’s unlikely that the first time an HR professional introduces a new initiative, technology or process that it will be seriously considered. An idea needs to be heard many times before it can start to feel familiar and worth the risk.
When one builds his or her plans for change, they must consider the time it will take to get the green light, whether that means a month, 6 months, a year or 2 years. The timeline should never deter someone from innovating. If one remains persistent, it will pay off in the end.Driving change isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would be an HR innovator. HR professionals must be passionate enough about innovation, and overtime, their internal relationships will strengthen and their persistence will eventually drive the innovation