How does HR shape company culture?

How does HR shape company culture?

How important is company culture? We’d say that it’s pretty crucial. Positive company cultures can increase productivity, reduce staff turnover, and play a huge part in attracting top talent to your organisation. Can you have a strong company culture without an HR department, though? Probably, if you’re a start up or very small organisation. However, the beating heart of a company’s culture comes from HR activities, even if those activities are not undertaken by a dedicated HR professional. This means that as organisations develop (spoiler – that’s every organisation!) they organically build a framework of company culture.

If your organisation is growing, pivoting, or changing, you’ll feel the need for a strong company culture even more. We look at how you can best utilise your HR department in supporting this, why it’s so important, and how you can make sure that you’ve employed the right HR professionals in your team.  

Defining company culture

At its core, company culture encapsulates the shared values, beliefs, and practices that characterise a business. While many organisations take the time to define their culture in words, much of a company culture is often unspoken. It is the subtle cues picked up on a new employee’s first day, the rituals of daily operations, the habits and nuances of individuals, and the shared experience of teams as they develop. While a certain amount of organic culture is natural and helpful, the key to productive company culture is more deliberate.

Positive company culture

A positive company culture goes beyond industry lingo or management buzzwords.  It’s actually a functional imperative. A culture that fosters trust, collaboration, and innovation is a foundation for employee retention and attraction. It underpins talent development, engagement, and ultimately, operational efficiency. Positive company culture should create a space where people grow and develop, using their organisational knowledge to provide constantly improving services to clients. Long term, everyone wins with positive company culture. 

What makes a positive culture?

It can feel like the concept of a positive company culture is pretty abstract. It’s all very well and good to have ambitions and aims, but how do you get there? This is where HR teams come into play. Ultimately, culture is underpinned by factors such as salaries, benefits, training and assessment. It’s through these things that employees derive satisfaction, autonomy, and self worth. In turn they will invest their creativity, productivity, and motivation into the company. 

At strategic level, HR Directors may focus on encompassing the 5 p’s: purpose, principles, processes, people, and performance. Practically speaking, this means looking at matching with the right suppliers for training and processes, and reflecting the needs of the people within the organisation when developing aspects like benefit provision, and work-day frameworks. 

HR departments

So, clearly HR departments play a multifaceted role in curating and preserving company culture. There are crucial parts of the corporate experience dependent on HR teams, like recruitment, onboarding, performance evaluation, and dispute resolution. By integrating culture into every facet of HR activity, from devising incentive programs to conducting exit interviews, HR teams act as the conduits through which company values are expressed.

Recruitment and retention

The recruitment process for any business is a time when the match between organisation and individual can be established. Depending on the size of the organisation, HR teams may build a growth strategy, devise a system of interview and assessment, or even partake in interviews themselves. Next, they’ll deal with onboarding, initial, and ongoing training. 

Building your team

The integral role that HR holds within organisation development and growth means that it’s crucial to find the right HR talent to join your team. These perfectly matched individuals will diffuse your culture through the rest of the organisation. For this department, possibly more so than any other, using the services of HR specialist recruitment can make the difference. With a wide talent pool and expert eye, a service like ours at HR Talent can help you to source the best, most aligned talent. 

Organisational change

In moments of both crisis and growth, the HR department becomes the backbone of company culture. From mergers to business pivots, HR teams may need to manage redundancies, interim employment, team-building and re-focussing.  For employees, organisational change can be a stressful time. This is where excellent communication skills within HR teams are so very helpful. From updates to newsletters, these small actions can really underpin good company culture. 

Diversity and inclusion

An inclusive culture is a fertile ground for creativity. This is because the more diverse your workforce, the more varied and interesting ideas will be voiced. HR teams’ commitment to cultivating an environment where all voices are not only heard but also valued is a direct reflection of a company’s broader cultural stance. 

Policies and leadership

The increase in technology to automate many daily HR tasks such as payroll and absence means that great HR staff are much more strategic. As part of leadership teams, HR Managers can champion employee well-being, foster morale, and proactively shape an inclusive and dynamic culture. This is through tangible policies, genuine leadership, and a transparent commitment to growth.

Evolving culture

Like any strategic initiative, the effectiveness of company culture must be quantifiable. HR professionals employ a variety of tools from employee surveys to performance metrics, to gauge the strength of culture within the organisation. Used well, this data informs improvements, recalibrations, and growth strategies that keep corporate culture dynamic. HR recruitment specialists are instrumental in building these forward thinking HR teams, from Director and Manager to administrator level. 

Reputation and branding

In an age where corporate reputation matters both for market share and employer brand, HR’s influence is potent. A company renowned for its positive culture becomes popular for desirable talent and a point of pride for existing employees. Here, HR’s role is instrumental in not just crafting a culture but in communicating it effectively, thereby adding to the company’s reputational capital.

The task of the HR department is indeed a complex one within positive company culture.  With strategic foresight and a people-centric ethos, HR professionals are poised to lead organisations into real business productivity. To find out more about how to build the HR team to make a difference for your organisation, get in touch with us at HR Talent.

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