Guest Contributor

The role of HR in organizational innovation

By | Uma Maheswara

Innovation can be summed up in one simple equation.

Innovation = Idea + Leader + Plan + Team.

Although every variable in this equation is integral, the one with the biggest value is ‘Team’.

Innovation is incomplete if you do not have a group of people, collectively collaborating to work on the aspect of implementation. And when it comes to an organization, people form the fundamental pillar that make things happen.

Time and again it has been evident that innovation is a by-product of people being engaged over merely outlining efficient internal processes. Due to the current situation, it has become extremely crucial to nurture a ‘culture of innovation’ at the workplace which has now transformed into working from home. Here’s how Human Resources can help fuel the organizational innovation.

Redefining People Management

Companies globally are undertaking multiple measures to enhance people productivity. Take for example GOOGLE – Labelled amongst top employers, it constantly believes in optimizing its existing talent with a complete people-centric approach. Another case study of a renowned brand that recently came to light emphasized upon how the new wave of transformation across verticals will also need a reformation in workforce planning.

Right from tweaking the hiring process, to bringing about a change in onboarding, to settinga system in place that helps in monitoring overall performance, while supporting with mentoring, and imparting positive feedback. Everything that has worked in the past will have to be redefined keeping in mind the current circumstances.

The best place to start is with internal communications. As a company striving to ensure that its people are equally involved in the processes and decision-making, maintaining transparent and consistent communications are simply a must!

Redesigning Employee Experience

In these uncertain times, with the building pressure of working in isolation, and the constant challenges faced by the fluctuating internet, every employee strives towards being productive,against all odds. Thus, it is only fair that organizations channelize their energies towards looking after their employees’ well-being.

Finding ways to digitalize the existing L&D initiatives in order to encourage learning while working, providing avenues to collaborate digitally, or even digitally powered Employee Assistance Programs with counselling hubs; there is no limit as to how an organization can choose to engage with its work force. From launching a revamped Learning Management System or altering the pre-existing Performance Management System, this is a crucial time for the HR to think ‘out-of-the-box’ for the people and the organization, while keeping an eye on the top line.

A few companies have even tied up with online learning portals to provide a variety of courses at discounted prices. Soft skills that will enhance an employee’s ability to communicate, recreational activities that will help them rejuvenate, or simply pursuing a hobby that will help reinstate their passion to work. Some have even tied up with social media influencers to set up live health and fitness sessions with Zumba.

Reinventing The Wheel

According to research by aUS-based firm, Allied Business Intelligence (ABI), the Virtual Reality market is said to reach $6.3billion by 2022. In another scenario, Gartner predicts that by 2021, about 25% of workers will engage with a virtual employee assistance. This only explains the future dynamics of the Human-Technology relationship.

However, the need of the hour is to build a safety framework that every individual can abide by – Physical welfare, as well as digital security. Companies are investing in robust security systems to ensure ease of access along with stringent compliance towards confidentiality. HR Tech is going to play a major role in the future of innovation across the way organizations operate.

Over the last few years, technology has fuelled organizational growth by helping reinvent the products and services, be it in the arena of retail, finance, automobile, or even entertainment. With the ability to reach out to a larger audience and provide a superior version of customer service, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence have definitely found its way into our everyday functioning. And although the expertise or creating an impactful blend lies with the IT, HR plays a powerful role in bringing the two worlds closer.

This is the perfect time for HR to identify its hidden potential and play the role of a catalyst to inspire an innovative change.



Uma Maheswara SarmaTatipati – Currently, as the Sr Manager, People Operations at Smart Drive Systems, Uma comes with more than 12years of experience in Strategic HR Management in IT/ITES business with a key focus on talent development, employee retention, and optimal utilization of resources. In his professional journey across organizations, Uma has displayed a positive people-centric approach; successfully benchmarking industry best practices.


A pioneer in integrating video analytics with transportation, SmartDrive Systems delivers protection for fleets, saving drivers’ jobs, lowering costs, and unlocking new areas of efficiency. Being a Global Inhouse Centre operating for more than 10 years with over 500 employees, SmartDrive India holds a large share of global support for product tech, project management, supply chain, customer account management, business analytics and 100% video analysis. Driven by innovation, the company is committed to provide equal opportunity and a transparent work culture to foster engagement at work place.   

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