HR professionals and managers are the unsung heroes of the business world.
What they do is far greater than just hiring and developing people. They are the ones who hire the right people, give them a good working culture, pay good wages to them, and train them to be exceptionally high-performing professionals. HR managers are the ones who run the business’s engine eternal.
And in today’s highly dynamic and competition-driven world, organisational culture is the most critical facet of a business. The culture of an organisation determines whether the employees will work individually or collaborate. Therefore, a healthy organisational culture that fosters innovation, creativity, and positivity is becoming the top priority of the modern workplace.
- Do you know how an HR leader drives business success?
- How are HR leaders responsible for shaping the organisational culture?
- And what can you do to ensure a healthy and happy workplace?
You can find out the answers to these questions and gain insights or tips about maintaining a healthy work culture by enrolling for an online HR course. Till you decide to enrol in one, let’s help you find the answers.
HR and the Organisational Culture
The organisational culture is what sets the foundation for everything ranging from morale to engagement and productivity. This is why HR managers must seek feedback from the employees and understand the cultural issues at every level of the organisation.
You’ll be amazed as to how much people can open up during feedbacks and the amount of information you’ll gather can help reinvigorate the HR strategy from the ground up. As an HR professional or manager, you can leverage this information to set the foundation for future HR efforts.
Are you striving to achieve better performance, productivity and profits? Then, don’t just understand, but realise the role of HR leaders.
Role of HR Leaders in Shaping the Organisation Culture
Three major roles played by HR professional to achieve the perfect work culture, namely:-
- Champion: HR managers turn executive leaders’ words into policies, ensuring everything runs smoothly and without any glitch.
- Coach: HR managers, as coaches, ensure that the management and employees are on the same page, taking ownership of their responsibilities and contributions towards organisational goals.
- Consultant: HR leaders continually check the culture metrics, including employee engagement, customer outlines, performance indicators, etc., making sure the culture strategy stays on track.
Apart from this, the HR managers also:-
Maintain a Balance Between Culture and the Business’s Strategy
While the top-level management lays down the cultural changes required to be implemented, HR leaders are the ones who measure, analyse and communicate it organisation-wide.
Moreover, HR professionals are the ones who collate and provide the data required to analyse the existing culture and define what it needs to become tomorrow. They also ensure that the changes recommended by the board align with the strategy and are in the best interest of the employees.
Top-Level Management Communicates and Lives by Its Cultural Values
An organisation is only as good as its people. However, the culture of the organisation will decide the behaviour and best practices. And employees learn from their managers about how to lead, motivate, inspire, and get things done. This is why HR leaders are tasked with keeping the top-level management in check.
Moreover, how do you expect the employees to adhere to the cultural values if the top management ignores them? For instance, it’ll be seen as a disconnect if you say that your organisation aims to serve others and put the customer first if all it cares about is earning profits and outranking the competitors. This is why HR leaders need to make sure that the senior executives articulate the company’s purpose and culture clearly and compellingly as well as adhere to it.
Among other things, it is HR’s responsibility to foster a positive workplace culture. And the first step in that direction is to deploy engagement and feedback tools. Employees can use HR to voice their concerns and opinions about the management, company, and the environment. Organisations employ HR to address these issues and maintain a balance between them and the employees. However, it’s not easy being the balancing wheel.
This is where the feedback tools come into play. These tools provide HR with the opportunity to gain insight into current management styles, improve it, and clarify its mission statement.
By collecting feedback, HR identifies the cracks in the culture and ensures it aligns with the organisation’s core values.
Another role that HR plays in shaping the organisational culture is the creator of a globalised workforce. The HR department ensures that people from different background, demographics, and cultures work together to achieve long-term business success.
However, such a workforce often results in conflicts, so HR must step into a positive leadership role. They need to evaluate how each generation and demographic collaborate, enabling HR to address the issues of potential disengagement.
What Can You Do to Keep Conflicts to a Minimum?
- By incorporating programs such as mentorship, HR can ensure each generation and demographic resonates with the current organisational culture. Moreover, these programs also promote team spirit, motivation, and networking, which come in handy in the corporate world.
- Hire right. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook takes potential employees on a long walk into the mountains (a tip borrowed from Steve Jobs) with a breathtaking view and interviews them amid nature.
Lesson: Develop innovative strategies consistent with your organisation’s cultural values to hire the right people on board.
If you strive to learn more about addressing diversity and other HR roles you may be required to undertake, consider enrolling for an online HR course. One such online course you can rely on for expert guidance is the XLRI HR online certificate. Offered in collaboration with Talentedge, this course boasts of an up-to-date and extensive curriculum that is delivered by the eminent faculty of XLRI, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country.
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Attraction and retention of top talent – this is one of the major responsibilities of HR. No business can succeed with a high attrition rate or a disengaged workforce. This is where HR plays a significant role in shaping the organisational culture, so potential candidates are compelled to join and make a good fit for the company culturally.
Another way HR promotes corporate culture is through the content it publishes. Whether it is by way of monthly newsletters, employee recognitions, or employee development and training, these publications give employees an insight into the company’s work culture and send a clear message about what is expected of them.
You can enrol for the XLRI HR online certificate and become a culture champion for your organisation. Or, if you are simply looking to hone your skills and advance your knowledge in the domain, this HR course can help you do that too.
Become Agents of ‘Change’
“You don’t change a culture by talking; you change it by acting.” Mario Moussa
Changes in a workplace occur rapidly and can have a dizzying effect on the workforce, especially if these initiative are not communicated properly or promptly. Some of the changes occurring across the business landscape include technological advancements, operational evolution, management change, or information access. And it is HR’s responsibility to ensure that such changes don’t affect the workplace culture negatively.
Their role as change agents is to drive the employees into action rather than playing defensive and guiding them to embrace and capitalise on the changes that occur. For some employees, especially the millennials, change comes easy. However, in some cases, like with baby boomers, change is hard to accept.
The HR department makes sure that the change is effectively communicated with every member of the organisation and everyone is comfortable accepting it. However, if a member/s are unable or unwilling to accept the change, HR must delve deeper and try to find the reason and provide them with the necessary guidance, training, or whatever they need.
Aligning HR with Organizational Culture
“Culture is not just an aspect of the game. It is the game.” Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
Organisational culture can be a defining point for a company. Why do you think everyone wants to work for Google? Well, of course, it is one of the biggest multinational company in the world. But keeping that aside, the workplace culture of Google is the talk of every business town.
And there’s more to it than just free food and bringing your pet to the office. Google offers its employees the flexibility to work when they like and how they like. In fact, their office is equipped with nap pods for sleeping on the job, video games, ping pong, etc.
You can take a nip or two from Google’s handbook and learn from their unofficial motto, “don’t be evil”.
The XLRI HR online certificate can expose you to several case studies and real-life examples of how and what measures HR professionals are taking to keep their employees engaged and productive at the same time. So enrol for this HR course and get a sneak peek into the world of happy organisation culture.
Also Read : Human Resources: What Drives an Organization
Things You Can Do To Enhance the Culture of Your Organisation
First thing first: assess your company’s current culture carefully. Individual teams often have sub-cultures of their own. For instance, the finance team may stay late every Friday while the purchase team signs off early and hangs out after office hours.
Well, company culture is more than just Friday hangout, so you need to stay informed about your company values, mission and goals. But, where do you start? That’s the question.
Firstly, remember, company culture is not one-size-fits-all. However, there are some effective & creative steps you can take TODAY to improve your organisation’s culture. Let’s cover all the practical, theoretical and boring stuff first and move onto the fun things you can implement at your workplace to enhance your company’s culture.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Stay True to Your Company’s Core Values
Company values are like a North Star; they guide you and inform you about the organisation’s short-term and long-term mission as well as goals. Simply put, they are the principles at the heart of your organisation.
As such, they are not something you just pick up or copy-paste from your website because they sound good. If you want your company’s culture to stick, develop realistic, genuine core values and ensure that everyone stays true to them.
For instance, Apple’s core value is “Think Different”. Steve Jobs gave an inspirational speech about the core values of Apple. But did he just say that for the sake of it? No, he implemented it and embedded this value in his company to curate products that no one ever thought of.
Communicate the Purpose
Millennials today have the desire and need to do meaningful work. First, however, they need to understand why they are working on a project, for whom, and what results the client/management expects them to yield. This is commonly known as “a sense of purpose”, and it seems more important than ever in today’s dynamic workplace.
Studies show that when people believe in what they are doing, they are 4X more motivated, engaged, and fulfilled.
It’s the HR responsibility to help leaders and employees connect and communicate the purpose effectively in order for the associates to have a 360-degree understanding of the business goals.
So what can you do to infuse purpose? Regularly show team members how their work benefits the company, client, and others. Recognise team members for the impact they’ve made on your organisation’s goals. That’s a good place to start.
Transparency = Highly Engaged Employees. It’s a simple formula.
As mentioned earlier, today’s millennial workforce wants to know everything ranging from who got promoted to who is resigning. Obviously, apart from the office tittle-tattle, employees also feel the need to be involved in the company’s bottom line and understand the way it functions.
HR managers must ensure proper communication whether a change is being introduced or an employee is being recognised. After all, trust is the very foundation of great company culture.
An open and honest company culture begins at home.
- Leverage modern communication and collaboration tools to do so.
- Openly share information that you think might motivate employees or recognise the success of teams and individuals.
- Share not just success but also challenges — you hired the best, most competent resources in the talent pool for a reason, let them come up with solutions.
Recognise and Reward Employees’ Valuable Contributions
Companies that emphasise recognising and rewarding their employees tend to have a 31% lower employee turnover.
Source: Reward Gateway
If you would like to see such an impact on your organisation’s attrition rate, well, start recognising and rewarding your employees. It not only decreases employee turnover but also motivates the workforce to perform well.
Are you failing to recognise employees at work? Take help from these tips:-
- Conduct R&Rs as frequently as you can. For example, introduce a weekly newsletter at your organisation to recognise the best performers.
- Make it possible for anyone to recognise anyone on the team because recognition is the most impactful when it comes from all around.
- Make peer recognition a regular practice and infuse it with your organisation’s culture.
Introduce Perks Fun Team-building Activities
Your company culture should not just scream “Work, Work, Work”; it needs to maintain a balance between work and fun.
This is why leaders and managers should take some time out and schedule some fun team-building activities.
For instance, Mark Zuckerberg provides free lunches and a relaxed work environment wherein employees can de-stress without leaving the workplace. This is a luxury not many employees have. Such perks and activities can pay off in employee approval.
Want to learn more about such activities and the benefits you can offer to empower your employees? Enrol for the XLRI HR online certificate. The extensive curriculum of this online HR course encompasses sessions from industry experts and guest lecturers who can give you insight into how they are shaping their organisation’s culture and how you can implement them at your workplace.
Don’t Micromanage; It’s Ineffective
Micromanaging comes to no good. It does very little to inspire trust in your people. You hired them, so you should trust them to manage their responsibilities effectively. Let go of their hand and let them embrace employee autonomy.
Here are a few things you can let go of to make them feel trusted and responsible:-
- Allow employees the right to choose
- Abolish the 40-hour workweek concept
- Establish autonomous work teams
- Create decision-making opportunities for them
- Rein in overzealous bosses and managers
Embracing team autonomy will allow them to feel accountable for their actions and responsible towards their work as they’ll begin to make their own choice and take initiatives.
Today, after spending almost 2 years in a pandemic-ridden world, companies have started to realise the importance of providing added flexibility to their employees. It improves morale and reduces turnover dramatically.
Workplace flexibility can mean many things — from work-from-home opportunities to a much-needed vacation, it all comes under the same umbrella of flexibility. If you are not sure how to introduce a flexible schedule, enrol for an online HR course or read on to discover tips that can help:-
- Try easing into it, introduce “Fun Fri-yays”, and then move to other days.
- Don’t discipline them for being late.
- Have a tough conversation with your team. Make it clear that the employees will be given all the flexibility they wish for, and what’s expected of them so they know anything short of it will not be accepted.
- Provide a healthy work-life balance — allow your employees to schedule doctor appointments or run personal errands during work hours when the need arises.
- Introduce an incentive that could change everything, like a paid family vacation for employee of the year.
Such best practices can not only boost employee morale significantly but also enable them to perform their best every day, which is what you want. So it’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
Walk The Talk
Culture is the key to success for any company. And it is tied to the behaviour of people, the hiring process, perks, etc., which in the end, defines what/who your organisation is and wants to be. Every part of this culture needs to be adhered to or demonstrated by all the leaders.
That’s where it all begins, at the top.
If the leaders of the company are creating an environment of inclusion and positivity, others will follow. What’s more, these values will also reflect in your company’s hiring process. And if you can walk the talk, you can’t expect it from your employees. So set an example for them. Follow the cultural values yourself and ensure everyone else does too.
Give Culture Building the Effort it Deserves
Some things have a greater impact on your organisation than its culture. Building a healthy and positive work culture takes time and energy. It doesn’t happen overnight. Your culture should align with the company’s mission and values; it should resonate with every member of the organisation.
Failing to allocate necessary time, effort, and resources into building a company culture can leave you out of the race for the most successful organisation.
The road to a happy and healthy work culture is not easy; you’ll face several challenges. So let’s try and help you unearth these challenges and ways to overcome them.
Challenges You Might Face While Shaping the Organization Culture
Life is all about change. However, managing this change is never easy.
Culture is an all-encompassing concept, which is why leaders and HR managers have a hard time trying to develop their cultures to be more inclusive and innovative. The rapidly changing environment and the continuously emerging trends don’t make this any easier. However, staying on top of this is the only way to implement change and implement it effectively.
Here are some roadblocks you need to watch out for:-
Resistance to Change
As an HR professional or manager, this is the most common challenge you’ll face. Of course, shaping an organisation’s culture might be more manageable. However, shaping peoples’ mindset and attitude? Well, that’s a whole different story.
More often than not, people have their own way of doing things, and change to them is like skydiving without a parachute, unimaginable and impractical. This is especially the case with baby boomers. They are set in their ways and have been doing things a certain way for such a long time that it has become the norm. This leads to people being blindsided and resistant to change.
In addition to this, people are often resistant to change because they are afraid they might not be able to keep up. Being afraid is natural. After all, no one wants to take responsibility when things go south. These attitudes need to be changed to create an environment of positive change and success.
So throw the fail-fast mentality out the window and do this instead:-
- Start by understanding why people are against change.
- Communicate how these changes will affect the team and, most importantly, what’s in it for them.
- Help them understand why change is necessary for the well-being of the team or organisation.
- Start by making small, gradual changes.
- Give it a kickstart by organising an “idea challenge” wherein you can gather people, ask them for their ideas on how to improve the culture. And the best idea wins. This will also give you an insight into peoples’ attitude towards change.
People spend 8-9 hours each day at work, maybe more. Without a larger purpose, they can easily start giving up and look at the job as just another paycheck. And this brings to light the next challenge – getting people to give their best every day.
Without direction, there’s really no chance of achieving organisational goals, and communication is the key to doing that. Therefore, communicating regularly with the employees, whether it is to seek feedback, share the purpose or simply ask how things are going, is imperative. This makes them feel inclusive.
Out of these points, sharing the purpose is perhaps the most essential one and yet the most overlooked.
Most organisations think that employees should keep their heads down and focus on carrying out their roles and responsibilities. However, organisations need to understand that when the employees are aware of what the organisation is trying to achieve, they tend to work harder as it makes them feel like a part of the bigger picture.
And in the context of trying to curate a healthy culture, people must understand what needs to be done and how their efforts contribute to the organisation’s success.
What can you do to overcome this challenge?
- Start by clarifying your vision and turn that vision into a compelling story.
- Align their actions towards the common goal.
- Make sure your people understand the need to upskill and advance their knowledge.
- Try to learn more about what drives them continually.
- While hiring, don’t just emphasise skill; look for qualities that can contribute to your organisation’s grand vision.
Striving to delve deeper into this concept? The XLRI HR online certificate can be the ideal choice. This HR course from Talentegde can help you gain exposure to ideal communication strategies. And not just that, this course takes into account every aspect of corporate communication from an HR standpoint. So rest assured, you’ll have a 360-degree understanding into how, what, when, and whom to communicate.
Rigid Organisational Structures
The more hierarchical structures there are, the more bottlenecks are created for innovation.
Hierarchy often results in restricting information flow. And often, middle management is responsible for controlling the flow of information to and from the top management. As a result, even if managers hear great ideas from the front line, they are often too busy and rigid that they end up ignoring the conversation altogether.
This gives employees the sense that no one values what they have to say, leading to decreased motivation to share new ideas. And that cannot be good for the future of the organisation.
A brave HR seeks the truth. But not everyone dares to stand up in front of the top management and say no to hierarchy. So what can you do?
- Remove unnecessary hierarchical barriers as much as you can.
- A brilliant idea would be to move decision-making closer to the front-line; this frees up the middle management, allowing them to focus on long-term goals.
- Instil the right amount of freedom and control – give too much, and everything goes to dust; give too less, and everything goes to dust.
Lack of Commitment and Reinforcement
Another challenge HR faces while shaping the organisational culture is a low level of commitment from the middle and top management. If innovation and creativity are seen as just an extracurricular activity, it will kill the peoples’ drive to be creative and think outside of the box. And this will result in stagnancy — the silent killer of an organisation’s success.
Imagine, what if Elon Musk had not promoted innovation at his organisation? Would the world still have access to self-driven cars? Probably not. So yes, a commitment to innovation is key to building a healthy workplace culture.
To get the best possible results, take these steps:-
- Make innovation a part of your teams’ projects and ensure it is tied to the daily routine.
- Introduce simple performance metrics that encourage them to innovate.
- Create contests and reward the most active participants.
- Give credit and appreciation for the great efforts.
“Simply put, culture is a shared way of doing things with devotion and passion.” Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb
However, if not practised effectively, it can lead to a decline in productivity. Just think about all the challenges listed above; if there is a resistance to change, the organisation cannot communicate purpose with its people, there are rigid organisational structures, and no one promotes innovation. What do you think will happen? You’ll start witnessing a major decline in motivation, productivity, and efficiency.
Improving an organisation’s culture is a shared responsibility; you’ll only achieve so much if you are working alone. You need the support of your people, and this is why you need to create better solutions that promote a positive workplace culture.
The XLRI HR online certificate can help you realise the importance of innovation, creativity, and every other ifs and buts of an organisation’s culture. So cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s with an accredited HR course and realign your organisation’s culture.
Finding the Holy Grail: Engagement
Only 19% of employees consider themselves engaged and are planning to stay at their current organisation.
The stats clearly indicate that employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges HR managers and leaders face today. Therefore, companies worldwide are investing millions of dollars in improving employee engagement,
If you are handling remote or dispersed teams, you are in for a much bigger challenge. Silos can be formed in the remote team as they are less likely to know what’s happening within other departments. This results in breaking the connection with the wider organisation, which will ultimately disengage employees, making them unwilling to contribute to the long-term goals.
So you need to keep the spirit’s up and hearts closer to company values and culture.
- Try to connect your employees emotionally by providing them with a greater purpose.
- Ensure all your daily and weekly communications promote cultural values and bridges the divide between teams.
- Make sure each team member realises how their actions benefit them and the company.
Breaking Down Silos
As a business thrives and the organisational structure becomes complex, departments are formed to carry out different functions. However, these departments lead to business silos, a plague on much of the corporate world. The term business silos mean inward-looking and inclined to hold onto information rather than sharing it.
And in times of change, there’s a significantly higher risk of silos forming. It restricts the top and middle management to apprise the front-line of the change and doesn’t allow communication to flow freely throughout the organisation. This, in turn, becomes a barrier to positive organisational change and innovation.
It’s Time to Break Down the Business Silos and Unleash the Expertise Within Your Teams
The ideal way to do this is through the power of reward. And the best reward of all times is, yes, you guessed it right – RECOGNITION. Don’t just rely on recognising the performance or contribution of employees but also provide them with monetary rewards. It significantly boosts motivation and breaks down the silos as the employees know that you are willing to share their success organisation-wide.
A credible online HR course can help you learn all about business silos and curating strategies that will break down the barriers. One such online course that emphasises on business silos is the XLRI HR online certificate. The extensive curriculum of this online course focuses on the A-Z of human resource management, so a well-rounded education is a no-brainer.
High Staff Turnover
For decades, companies have been struggling with high staff turnover. It’s not like people cannot be replaced. However, the cost of replacing them is exorbitant.
For instance, the cost of replacing an employee is equal to 33% of his/her annual salary. And the same for replacing a senior staff is a whopping 400%.
Of course, it is not just about the money; it’s also about the team spirit. Each time someone leaves, a tiny part of the team spirit goes with them. So you need to retain employees. It’s easy to assume that retaining staff is only about offering them more compensation. However, there are other things today’s workforce is looking for, especially millennials.
For instance, you can provide them with:-
- Learning and growth opportunities
- A platform to display their creativity
- Training tailored to their personal goals
- Development opportunities
- Flexible hours
- More paid leaves
- Overtime wages
You might not be able to overcome all the challenges when shaping your organisation’s culture. However, you can try to take the road less travelled and NOT stand in the way of innovation. Or you can try removing these obstacles one at a time.
See the Big Picture: Align All the Way From Top to Bottom
In order to future-proof your organisation with a powerful knowledge-sharing, innovation-driven and healthy culture, you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It will help you identify improvement areas not just in a team but organisation-wide, drive genuine behaviour, and impact the way your organisation treats its people.
So folks, are you ready to change the face of your organisation’s culture? Enrol for the XLRI HR online certificate and give your ideas and strategy the kickstart it needs.