The etymology of the word design gives us two intertwined approaches to engage and manage human resources. A design is a plan or outline, allowing preparation or perspective before the commencement of building and crafting. But design also refers to the visual, to shape or form graphics with artistic skill. Both of these definitions reveal key approaches for optimal internal motivation, engagement, and productivity. Here are crucial points to consider when implementing design for your team.
Design as an Experience
Have you ever entered a building that filled you with awe? Do you notice how you immediately change your behaviour once entering a lecture hall, classroom, or workplace?
Design can influence how you feel and how you act. Design as an experience acknowledges that the environment that your employees spend most of their time in will inadvertently affect their performance and attitude in the workplace. The push for more open-plan offices, the removal of cubicles, natural lighting and décor, are just some examples of designing space to improve the attitudes and behaviours of your employees. While many businesses focus on customer-facing experiences, they often forget there’s value in keeping their employees in vibrant workspaces.
Reinventing the Workplace through Design
HR departments thinking of using design thinking take a holistic approach to the employee experience. Design explores the interactions between people’s behaviour and the world; across products, services and environments, both digital and physical. It can influence not only your feelings but your actions through design with intent.
- Understanding the daily experiences of employees: do you have an accurate understanding of how employees truly feel at work and have you identified areas of improvement?
- Ease of collaboration: how conveniently can your teams share data and communicate across departments?
- Learning and engagement: are you teams adequately trained and are they prepared for future growth?
- Empowering employees to make informed decisions: are your employees autonomous actors or do they struggle with taking initiative? Do you know if your management leaders are micro-managing or whether they enable their teams to work independently?
Implementing Design throughout Operations
Marketing teams drive customer engagement and profitability through campaigns. While it’s vital that businesses ensure that their marketing department is adequately funded, employees are often disregarded in marketing strategies. On-boarding and retaining professional talent are crucial for businesses seeking to stay competitive and productive. If your employees don’t know the value of staying with your company, they’ll start to look for opportunities that appear more beneficial for them.
Graphic design and design principles can be used in training manuals, brochures, demonstration videos, and internal e-learning programs to raise employee morale while also maintaining a functional purpose. Design changes our perception and interaction in the world.