Using culture to strengthen HR

16 Jan

HR is in a strong position to positively impact culture.

People often think of human resources as simply a payroll- and compliance-based part of the organization, but it can be much more than that if managers give the department the right tools. HR ideally should drive culture and create an environment where employees can feel confident coming into the office that they will have a great day. According to Forbes, this means treating culture as a "strategic advantage and competitive weapon." The theory is that when the culture is very good, then people who visit the office will feel the energy and want to be part of it by buying the product or service the company sells.

Part of the means for bringing this about is hiring someone or training people for the skills behind a great culture, which are essentially based on emotional intelligence. They have less to do with knowing compliance rules than with understanding when the vibe at the office is negative and figuring out how to quickly turn that around. To do this, management should have the right tools for changing the cultural barometer. This could range from having parties to discussing recent business proceedings with employees to make sure everyone is on board with various transitions happening in the workplace.

Convincing HR to get on board with culture
It may be difficult to convince those involved in human resources planning of their own importance. Perhaps it would help to remind them that as the new year begins, human resources could take on the additional responsibility of ensuring a quality work environment. Business 2 Community cited that last year was called "the year of the employee" by Deloitte. Even so, managing people so they stay in the workplace and function at a high level is something that still challenges HR, B2C reported, primarily because HR doesn't have control of every step in place.

One way to convince human resources to go along with a plan for expanding the scope of the section's operations is to give it more power to hire and fire employees. On one hand, this could be seen by people in different operational groups as infringing on their own rights to hire whoever they want. At the same time, giving HR a little more power isn't the same as ceding responsibilities for the entire company to human resources. It would really come down to having someone sit in on meetings with potential recruits and give feedback about how they might fit into the current culture. This could be a good way to give HR the tools it needs.

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