Frequently asked questions

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How can I be creative in HR?

To be creative in HR, you need to think beyond traditional administrative and management functions and processes and focus on people’s potential. The role of HR is being rewritten in today’s workplaces: there are many opportunities for HR creativity and innovation in recruitment, talent management, culture and values and the design of everyday working practices.

Creative ideas and innovation that directly influence business performance are part of the reason that HR and People Directors are exerting a far greater influence in the boardroom. A recent survey by Sage People revealed that 73% of HR and People leaders believe that creativity is vital for the future of HR.

Here are six ways to be creative in HR.

  • Develop a culture of teamwork

Recognize and reward overall accomplishments that contribute to the business, rather than a set of tightly defined tasks. Foster a collaborative culture, so people are rewarded and encouraged to achieve as teams, not just on their individual outputs. Communicate about team successes so it’s clear that they’re valued. Make sure you promote people with strong collaborative abilities, not just high individual performers.

  • Review organizational policies and values

Establish core cultural and workplace principles that give people freedom to work in their most productive and motivated ways. Flexible working doesn’t just mean part-time or from home: your workforce may thrive with creative approaches to benefits selection or leave entitlement. Training and development opportunities that include sabbaticals or internal placements can be motivating and help reveal fresh ideas and approaches from your workforce.

  • Make it easy to share ideas

Actively encourage employees to suggest new products, ideas and process improvements in any part of the business. This could be through a suggestion’s app with rewards, by inviting people to meet senior leaders over a coffee to talk about their ideas, or sending ideas scouts out from head office to actively solicit ideas from employees based in outlets or remotely.

  • Break out of recruitment conventions

Look at the skills and capabilities you seek when you recruit or test candidates. For example, if you want to hire people who are good at innovative problem-solving, question and measure their ability in this as part of your recruitment process and prioritize it in scores and feedback.

  • Make failure part of your learning

Embrace learning from failures in innovation, rather than punishing them. You can create a culture where good judgement is important, but everyone acknowledges that to keep the pipeline of innovation going, people need to be bold. Make sure your corporate culture doesn’t deter people from pursuing strong ideas for fear of the consequences if anything goes wrong.

  • Champion creativity

Look out for examples of excellent creativity and innovation all around the organization, to show how much they are valued and the results they can deliver for customers and for the workforce. Lead by example, looking for opportunities for your team to approach processes, tasks and goals creatively through brainstorms and by challenging entrenched approaches.

Discover how 500+ HR leaders are embracing the HR to People transformation in the digital world of work by reading our research report.

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