HRD Forum of Vidarbha Industries Association organized a session on “Decoding Design Thinking HR Perspective” recently at VIA, Nagpur.
Dr Abhishek Singh, Assistant Professor at Institute of Management Technology Nagpur. He is a certified Design Thinking expert and provides training and consulting to organizations to develop human (customer)-centric products, services and processes. He explained the Design Thinking (DT) process and various steps involved in it. He informed the participants that the DT concept was popularized by the IDEO and Stanford Design School. As a human-centered problem-solving approach, DT can be used for new product/service development, improving existing product/service and making organisational processes more human centric.
He elaborated the usefulness of DT approach in managing human resources and related processes in organizations. He emphasized that various functions of HR, e.g. recruitment & selection, performance appraisal, training & development, compensation management etc. need to be made employee centric. As per a recent Gallup research study, only 13% employees are engaged in their jobs worldwide. This shows that organizations are mostly focused on structure, processes, systems and policies etc. And somewhere we miss humans in this. Whereas, these are humans who drive structure, processes, policies and systems. DT helps us focus on humans at the centre.
He shared some unique and innovative practices adopted by organizations in this regard. For example, celebrating work anniversaries of employees, moving away from bell curve (used for compensation & performance appraisal), recognising people behind the curtain (family members of employees), investing and focusing on personal growth and development of employees, taking care of employees’ mental health conditions etc. to name a few.
He also gave an example of how Indira Nooyi, former Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo wrote personalized handwritten letters addressing the spouses and family members of the top performing employees from her team to recognise the contributions made by them in the growth of the company. This humane approach takes good organization to the category of Great.
As an iterative problem-solving approach, DT involves 4 steps – EAST – Empathize, Analyse, Solve and Test. Each of these steps involve various tools to go deep into the problem and find the human-centric solutions which fit three lenses of ‘desirability’, ‘feasibility’ and ‘viability’. In the DT approach, you develop products and services ‘with’ customers and not ‘for’ customers, he emphasized.
Earlier, Suresh Pandilwar, Co-Chairman of HRD Forum welcomed Dr. Abhishek Singh with a floral bouquet and in his welcome address informed about activities of the forum and also clarified the concept of design thinking. Neelam Bowade, Convener of HRD Forum made an opening remark and also introduced the guest speaker.
The session was attended by industrialists, HR & IR Professionals, Management students at VIA as well as on virtual platform.