HR. Human resources. Human capital management. Ugh. This is reason #1 why I work in a department coined the “People Team.” Treating humans like disposable assets makes me cringe. Treating humans like thriving, creative, and indispensable creatures solely responsible for the success of any business is more my thing. Weird, right? Well in business, sometimes it is. We spreadsheet humans until we’re talking about the need to hire 6.337 software engineers this year. I think we can do better than that. In fact, I know we can.
I’m obsessed with exploring the newest, latest, and greatest trends in the “people” space. I’m also blessed with working at a company that’s willing to try out my new (and usually poorly formed) ideas. Currently I’m most hooked on bringing “Design Thinking” into our people team.
To put it simply, design thinking focuses on the person and the experience, not the process. We should be asking ourselves “What does a great employee experience look like from end to end?” We need to move away from process design and move toward human-centered design - studying what our employees do and observing their behaviors.
As people operations, we need to visit the client experience at our companies. What does it look like? How does it feel? How might we bring the client experience into the employee experience? How can we get ourselves to one cohesive brand and experience on both ends? We need to understand our end user. We need our people living and breathing what our clients are experiencing day-to-day.
Prototype, pilot, test, and learn. Instead of focusing on expending large amounts of time and energy into new ideas and initiatives, let’s get prototypes built and tested ASAP. Let’s work with MVPs and improve the end-to-end employee experience. But let’s also examine and refine. Many programs, initiatives, and products are already “built” to some extent. We need to strip them down or even get rid of them if they don’t fit in with our overarching business strategy.
My first step to introducing Design Thinking into people operations is to start reading. SURPRISE. I’ve got Well Designed, Change by Design, How to Make Sense of Any Mess, and a whole pocket-ful of articles to comb through in the upcoming weeks. *insert muscle emoji* Stay tuned!