Design Thinking for HR

Design thinking is a big trend for organizations, and not just for product development or customer experience. Design thinking for HR is growing in popularity and application. Developing design thinking capabilities in human resources (and putting them to use throughout the organizations) can make a big difference. A helpful research report comes from Deloitte – Global Human Capital Trends 2016 The new organization: Different by design. If you scroll down to page 67 of the pdf you will see this statement in the report from the highly regarded consulting company. “Design thinking is important, and it works. In this year’s survey, respondents at companies where HR delivers the highest levels of value are almost five times more likely to be using design thinking in their programs than their peers.”

The report is definitely worth diving into…at least to learn more about the top 10 human capital trends that HR leaders should be aware of.

  1. Organizational Design
  2. Leadership
  3. Culture
  4. Engagement
  5. Learning
  6. DESIGN THINKING
  7. Changing Skill of the HR Organization
  8. People Analytics
  9. Digital HR
  10. Workforce Management

    Human Resources Design Thinking


    One of my favorite applications of design thinking is not for product development but for Human Resources (HR), and redesigning the employee experience. You can apply HR design thinking techniques, methods, and mindsets to create the internal human-centered innovations that can solve real problems and benefit your employees in the day-to-day and at critical moments. You can focus your HR human-centered design efforts on impacting a number of key employee journeys ranging from on-boarding to training & development to the physical office environment. The customer or user that you design for in this case is the employee. Design thinking projects from HR tend to be easier to do in this instance since you already know your users well (and hopefully have greater empathy) since they are your colleagues.

    Design Thinking for HR Workshop

    In our innovation training workshops we like to guide people through learning design thinking by redesigning something important from the point of view of their users (employees). This can be anything from the recruitment experience, to professional development experience, to wildly better collaboration, to more agile innovation, to redesigning their standard meeting they may run in their organization that could be much better (or different) and human-centered. I’ve heard that if you want to see an organization’s culture…take a look at the meetings. Design thinking can help you to design more engagement and a more innovative culture at the organization. You can tackle any challenge in your organization for and with your employees. Use the icons below for inspiration for areas of focus.

    How have you seen design thinking being used in human resources? Please let us know in the comments.

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