How Sky UK's HR Department has Embraced Design Thinking
At Sky UK, they have embraced Design Thinking to tackle common HR issues. Design Thinking is a methodology that provides a solution-based, human approach to problems. It aims to create multiple ideas during brainstorming, which can then be prototyped and tested in a empathetic way that people can easily understand. For Sky, in the final stage, they test people's reactions and gauge if it 'wows'.
In this short video from the 2019 Happy Workplaces Conference, Tracey Waters explains how they applied Design Thinking to the question 'how might we help people at Sky have a fulfilling career?'
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"If there's one nickable you take today it would be any question that starts with 'how might we...' almost certainly will get a different conversation than if you started it with 'what can we...'," explained Tracey Walters of Sky UK at the 2019 Happy Workplaces Conference.
'How' is action-focused, 'might' is an openness to possibility, 'can' is a capability question, and 'we' is about collaboration. Tracey has found that this opens up the conversation to future possibilities.
Using Design Thinking, at Sky they have been exploring the question 'how might we help people at Sky have a fulfilling career?'
This method uses four different questions:
- 'What is' — this involves talking to people about what this means to them. In this case, what the obstacles have been and what has helped them in their career.
- 'What if' — this involves employees in the brainstorming process and asks them to help come up with ideas.
- 'What wows' — the team then comes up with four of the best ideas, and presents these ideas back to staff. They then watch their reaction — only if they light up and go 'wow, that's a great idea!' does it go onto the next phase of the process.
- 'What works' — in the final phase, the best idea is made into a prototype or a trial for a small number of the team, as a minimum viable product, and then refined and tweaked as time goes on.
"We've done a lot with very little, which makes it so accessible to so many companies and HR teams," explains Tracey.
Resources and related content
- Why a Non-Profit Scrapped Their Appraisals Process — Rather than using an annual appraisal to give staff feedback, embed a coaching culture in your organisation. "You can give effective coaching and feedback regularly, in short discussions, to help people come to their own conclusions on their performance," explains Sophie Bryan. Could you implement this in your HR department?
- 9 Great Companies That Practice Collaborative Hiring — In 2016, the BBC ran a new TV series called 'Who's the Boss?' which allowed a wide range of staff to be involved in deciding who to employ. The process gets away from individual bias, the potential recruits get a much better sense of the business and people feel really involved in the decision.
- 12 Ways in Which Toyota Create a Great Workplace — Henry Stewart visited Toyota and learned about 'kaizen'. Each member of staff is expected to come up with at least two kaizen, or improvements, each month. They are allocated 15 minutes a day to identify and test these.
- Leading in Agile Environments — Happy has partnered with Adventures in Agile to offer this two-day transformational workshop to develop leaders driven by purpose, creativity, curiosity, and empathy.
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This year's conference took place on 30th July via Zoom. We were delighted to welcome James Shaw, a minister in the New Zealand government on putting wellbeing at the heart of policy and Ynzo van Zanten of Tony's Chocolonely on creating a culture of happiness to achieve an important mission (ending slavery in the chocolate industry).
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