The corporate culture impacts the engagement and involvement of employees positively. That is a fact backed with many theoretical and practical scientific researches. Organizations with a positive and friendly corporate culture are the employers with the low levels of turnover, high loyalty of employees, and they have no issues with the productivity and performance. They can reach their strategic goals without significant issues, and they can plan the business development in the long run. Additionally, the friendly and open corporate culture is a strong differentiator from competitors on the market. Most high performing organizations have a friendly and open corporate culture. They keep things positive. They define reachable (however challenging) goals for departments and employees. The corporate culture should always be visible in long-term HR Goals and Objectives.
It is important to recognize in the beginning that Human Resources is not the only owner of the corporate culture. The full ownership and accountability for the corporate culture belongs to the top and line management of the organization. There is no single person in the team, which owns and sets the corporate culture. However, HR should take over the ownership of the development of the corporate culture. It can influence top management and lead the change management for the organization. The change of the corporate culture is usually the most important task in building a long term successful company.
Human Resources has a substantial impact on the following items which form the corporate culture:
- internal communication;
- management and leadership style;
- HR Policies and Procedures.
The open and honest corporate culture always start with an open and honest communication between the management and employees. Most leaders recognize the crucial importance of the communication with employees, but they lack the confidence to employees. They are worried that the business know how will flow outside the organization. They are worried that competitors have spies in the company. It is the goal for Human Resources to change the view of leaders. They cannot start open communication without having trust to employees. They have to open their minds; at least they have to try. HR has a goal to push the top management to communicate the vision, mission and strategy of the organization. The top management has to stand in front of employees, and they have to discuss the strategy and strategic decisions. Employees have to understand to the strategy because they are asked to execute the plan. Without open communication the execution of the new strategy usually fails, because employees cannot link the strategy to daily actions.
Human Resources influences the management and leadership style in the organization strongly. HR has to lead the development of open and friendly management style in the organization. On the other hand, the friendly management style does not mean that the low performance is tolerated. Many leaders believe that being friendly means being weak. It is not right. The HR Goal is to influence top managers to become friendly and to involve other employees into taking strategic decisions for the organization. They can participate, and they can watch the decision making process.
The friendly management style can be learned to some extent. HR should organize the leadership development courses for managers and employees, which will be built around the open and friendly corporate culture. Managers and employees should define the target corporate culture, and they should be tasked to determine the pathway towards the target corporate culture. The design and development of the corporate culture should be another HR Goal and Objective in the area.
HR has a substantial impact on the corporate culture through its processes and policies. If policies are not straightforward and simple, an open and friendly corporate culture cannot exist. HR has to define simple policies that act as guidelines for employees to follow. Asking for dozens of signatures and implementing many checkpoints kills the friendly company culture. HR has to accept the goals of opening its policies, explaining key principles and accepting that employees can make own decisions.