The future of HR is going to be dominated by analytics and atmosphere

The future of HR is going to be dominated by analytics and atmosphere

Innovation in HR is crucial as an innovative HR department will help to produce an innovative company. Recent research, for example, has found that employers are missing out on a host of innovative ideas by not listening to their staff.

In depth research of over 1,000 employees by software firm Wazoku found that each member of staff in a company that boasts over 500 employees, suggests six ideas to improve business performance and probability in a year.

However, management do not often have the processes in place to collate and respond to these ideas. 52 percent of those questioned in the survey said that despite the avalanche of good ideas to be found in the office there was no procedure in place to air them to management and other co-workers. 59 percent went as far as to say that their ideas were often simply ignored.

The survey also found that ideas picked up by leadership were implemented in only 39 percent of cases and only 43 percent of innovations were even acknowledged by employers.

Good ideas

HR departments have to keep track of and acknowledge the good ideas of their employees. Twenty first century businesses move at such a quick pace, that any idea that could potentially put a firm ahead of the pack has to be considered and responded to. The job of the innovative HR department is to act as the bridge between management and their employees, in order to encourage innovation and experimentation at even the lowest level of the company.

Some would say it is the responsibility of an innovative HR department to recreate the atmosphere of a cutting edge start-up within even the largest company. Start-ups are the companies that pioneer change within business. The most innovative companies today, such as Uber and Twitter, were originally struggling start-ups looking for the best ways to push their products to the next level. To do this an open environment has to be fostered within the office, leading to more social collaboration between employees.

Success, even small successes, have to be recognised by HR departments in order to keep morale high with a company. The innovative HR department has to recognise, at a very personal level, the people that drive that change within in company.


As well as honouring success, examples of someone breaking the mould, being daring and experimental should also be honoured and recognised. The innovative HR department should not punish failure, because not every experiment is going to work, and instead celebrate the successes. Letting people know that they’re empowered to experiment within the scope of their responsibilities is also very important and will help to breed innovation within a company.

The innovative HR department must also be ahead of the curve when it comes to the use of big data and analytics. Big data offers companies actionable insights that can help a HR department manage a business better. Big data can, for example, tell you how engaged employees are and what can be learnt from the most engaged employees. Symposium events, the sister company of HRreview, will in July hold an event entirely focused on analytics, in response to the growing trend. The company will also consider the important role of social media in recruitment in an event in March.

Big data

Technology, and in particular big data and analytics, are the areas that will define HR in the future. However, as the power and scope of what can be monitored by a HR department grows, it is going to be up to the sector itself to draw best practice lines when it comes to protecting the privacy of employees. The ability of a business to monitor the health of its employees might be an area, in the future, where a line could quite easily be crossed, where a company snoops to deeply into the private lives of it workers. The innovative HR department should know where to draw the line.

However, if what one might consider sensitive information, such as information pertaining to employee’s moods is collected and then used in a creative way to better the mood of those working for the company, then this can only be good and to the benefit of all of those involved? Especially if it involves taking concrete action in response to the information gathered, such as, for example, increasing staffing ratios or providing a staff breakfast in the mornings.

The plain truth of the matter is that as time moves on technology is going to become much more personalised and potentially much more invasive and the innovative HR department is going to have to come up with the best ways to both manage and utilise that.

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Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.