What Is HR’s Role in Corporate Culture?

June 30, 2015 Zuman

Corporate-Culture-Picture-300x163Many human resources managers emphasize the importance of corporate culture. A great culture focuses on shared values, attitudes and beliefs that reflect the goals of the organization. The best hires are well-suited for the existing culture, but it should reflect the people within your company.

Culture is something startup founders stress over. Creating a compelling environment is important for attracting the right employees. In the past, founders would worry about the business operations first and think about culture later, but it’s becoming more important to establish workplace values earlier. A great culture creates engaged employees, which gives a positive impression to customers. However, this has typically been something handled by leaders, rather than human resources. Is that the right approach?

How Should HR Handle Culture?
In general, company leaders and executives establish a culture and HR representatives are tasked with enforcing and maintaining it. However, the HR field has changed dramatically in a relatively short time. As technology has evolved, many traditional HR departments have found themselves losing relevance. Some HR professionals do not have the necessary tech skills to succeed in this field. They need to be able to manage recruitment and payroll software and collaborate with other departments. Because of the changing demands, HR employees need to update their competencies to stay relevant, and influencing culture may make a difference.

Although technology has made some aspects of the job easier, executives expect different things. With the increased priority on culture, HR may be asked to take a more active role in maintaining the culture.

Innovation is a frequently cited cultural value in the tech industry. Companies want to hire people who will deliver new ideas to help the business grow. However, some businesses try to build a good work-life balance into their corporate culture. Employees need time to disconnect from work and focus on their personal lives.

What Makes a Great Culture and What Can HR Do?
Leaders need to communicate their values across the organization. Honesty and transparency are crucial. Many companies share performance metrics across every level so employees feel like they have a role in strategic decisions. It also helps establish accountability at more levels. Transparency encourages employees to share ideas, which enhances collaboration.

Culture is different at every company. In places where collaboration is encouraged, the HR department needs to align itself as a strategic partner. HR can only be involved in culture if the company allows it.

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