How to apply Design Thinking in the HR area?

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How to apply Design Thinking in the HR area?

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Here on the blog, we have often talked about the importance of the Human Resources area working strategically. And for that, it is important that HR teams change their way of thinking. In this sense, there is a concept that is appearing more and more in HR areas around the world: Design Thinking. In this post, we'll talk a little more about what it is and how it can be applied to HR. Follow us!

What is Design Thinking and how does this methodology work

Design Thinking is a creative methodology that aims to facilitate the resolution of complex company issues. According to this concept, it places the user at the center of the process of creating products and services.

According to Charles Burnette, one of the world's leading experts on the subject, Design Thinking is “a critical and creative thinking process that allows you to organize information and ideas, make decisions, improve situations and acquire knowledge””.

In a more practical way, the methodology is divided into four stages:

  1. Immersion: moment when the team must approach the problem context from different points of view;
  2. Analyze: evaluate and synthesize the collected data;
  3. Ideation: phase in which the team can create innovative ideas based on the information obtained in previous steps;
  4. Prototyping: the last phase is dedicated to applying the ideas created in daily life. It is recommended to create a pilot project to help in the validation of the suggestions and, if the idea works, to later apply it comprehensively.

When talking about Design Thinking, some points are essential to apply the methodology in a given project. It needs to be:

  • Collaborative, since it involves several people in the process;
  • Empathetic, as you need to understand the audience's feelings and values;
  • Receptive, because it needs to be open to new points of view and suggestions;
  • Optimistic, since the concept provides that all challenges can be overcome;
  • Experimental: it is possible to act after being sure that the methodology that will be applied has already been tested.

How the method can help the HR area

Design Thinking and the HR sector have a lot to collaborate with each other. For example, the Human Resources sector is fundamental to the successful implementation of the concept, as it will help teams in all areas to hire people with an aligned profile, ensuring multidisciplinary teams and strengthening culture and innovation.

On the other hand, DT can help when rethinking performance and training assessments, as the methodology impacts the way people work and deliver their work.

As Design Thinking proposes mechanisms to escape the traditional thinking of looking at a certain situation, it is possible to use this methodology in HR to innovate processes, products and services, modernizing the work environment when reflecting on projects based on the experience of each employee.

Benefits and impacts of Design Thinking in the HR area

Thus, the DT creates satisfaction in the work experience, as each one begins to understand its importance and its value for the company. As a result, employees become more engaged, increasing their productivity. This, in turn, in addition to reducing employee turnover, promotes more alignment with the company as a whole, and also generates a better experience for customers.

To give you an idea, a study carried out by Fundação Getúlio Vargas in 2015 suggests that more than 70% of HR managers noticed improvements in companies after applying Design Thinking to the business. These improvements were noticed in the internal climate assessments, leading to an increase in engagement and productivity that we talked about above.

Other positive points that can be generated through the application of the DT methodology are:

  • Optimization of internal processes;
  • Increase in the quality of products and services;
  • More management empathy.

How to apply Design Thinking in the HR area?

First of all, it is necessary that all employees are involved in the implementation of Design Thinking for the methodology to work. In addition, the implementation process needs to be practical and empathetic, so that there is more adherence.

In the case of the HR professional, who is usually in charge of applying the concept, it is interesting to use some tools to collect the data and start the steps that we have described above.

An example is to use an awareness notebook, in which participants write down their daily observations about the project in which the methodology is being applied, or a generative session, in which employees are invited to state their views on the subject, so that they understand what they know and expect from the process.

Do you also believe that Design Thinking can be an interesting methodology for your HR sector? Leave your opinion in the comments!

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