In a world where employees are working remotely or adopting the hybrid model, workplace culture has become one of the great topics for businesses seeking to improve their output.
Therefore human resources should be at the heart of any business’s mission to improve its workplace culture: by operating a strategic role, HR can make the difference between a weak and a strong workplace culture.
In November 2021, the number of workers quitting their jobs, in the United Kingdom, hit a record 4.5 million. The pandemic has caused employees across the globe to question their life choices and whether their current career trajectory is what they can see themselves doing long-term. This has provoked a significant rift in workplaces everywhere, causing major instability for business leaders struggling to maintain a positive workplace culture. The role of HR in work culture has never been so important!
In our previous blog, ‘What is workplace culture and why is it important’, we examined the importance of having a positive work environment for organisations seeking to achieve their goals and take their business to the next level. This blog will further discuss HR’s specific role in fostering a positive workplace culture.
Effective communication, throughout every department, should be of paramount importance for any HR professional. There should be a seamless flow of communication from top to bottom, with HR departments setting the example for the rest of the business to follow. Research shows that companies with good communicators leading their business had a 47% higher return to shareholders than firms with fewer influential communicators.
HR departments that spread policies and company directives without prior knowledge may foster a negative feeling throughout the company. Employees may then feel unappreciated and that their role does not matter in the bigger picture of the business.
So HR departments should understand the wants and needs of those in their business. They should try their best to align them with the vision of the upper hierarchy to ensure the company is working in unison.
When an HR organisation gives signals that it is open and willing to hear the concerns of its employees, a positive workplace culture can be fostered. This sense of openness will, in fact, filter throughout the organisation, creating a more transparent workplace. Employees who feel they can confidently approach their HR department will have their issues resolved much quicker.
On the other hand, those employees who do not feel they can reach out to their HR managers will not have their issues dealt with as rapidly and efficiently. This could have severe consequences for the business, as in absenteeism and reduced productivity levels.
Furthermore, HR departments should clearly define what will ensure a positive company culture. They should explain explicitly what that entails, what it means for the executive leaders and the employees, and how a positive company culture can be defined and manifested.
Hire and retain the right people
Employees are the most critical players in shaping company culture. It does not matter if business leaders pontificate the right rhetoric or exceptional operational processes to allow the easy flow of business. If the right people are not there to transform these ideas into results, all these processes are simply a waste of time.
HR’s role in bringing the correct type of individual to a business cannot be underestimated. HR departments hiring the most compatible candidate should be of the highest importance. These decisions could have a severe impact for years to come.
Modern-day businesses are comprised of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and as your organisation continues to grow, so is the diversity of your business. While this can be highly beneficial, this may also bring conflict.
A diverse workforce ensures that not everyone holds the same background, beliefs, interests, and motivations. And this is where conflict can arise. HR professionals need to minimise these conflicts when they do happen so that the company workplace culture is not irreparably damaged.
Setting out appropriate rules and regulations will ensure your workforce knows what behaviours they can and cannot use in the workplace. But rather than being seen as the disciplinary authority, HR professionals should act as mediators for their employees. Instead of dishing out punishments for negative behaviours, HR departments should understand complaints and problems and, consequently, work towards a solution that will benefit the organisation.
Reward and Recognition
Statistics show that when an employee has been recognised for their efforts, they are 63% more likely to stay at their position within the next three to six months.
So, by embedding reward and recognition programmes into the values of an organisation, HR professionals give incentives for their employees to work more effectively and efficiently.
HR departments must be strategic in awarding their employees so that the reward is truly beneficial. For example, if the organisation has a young workforce, plan a work night out or a pizza party to reward them for a business target. If your team is older, reward the best-performing employee with a day off to enjoy some much-needed rest with family and friends.
If you would like to hear more about HR’s role in workplace culture, contact our experts today for more information!