The concept of work culture can be explained as an energy field that works to determine how people in an organization think, act and view the world around them. It constitutes of the values, beliefs and ideas that control the way the organization will conduct business. For an organization to meet its strategic goal and remain competitive in the market, the management decisions, human resource policies and employee performance need to agree with the corporate culture. As such, the human resource department has an integral role to help the management team in ensuring the maintenance of the corporate culture. This paper will discuss ways through which the human resources can ensure that corporate culture is maintained, how specific human resource functions will impact company culture and the importance of a partnership with the management team in achieving this.
There are many ways in which the human resources can help in maintaining the corporate culture of any given organization. Human resources refer to the people in the organization, a resource that can be highly appreciated in the overall company achievements and profitability. Company values are an integral part of company culture and are probably the single most important issue in market leadership (Sims, 2007, p.267). Together with the vision, mission and strategic goal of the company, values greatly affect and are affected by the work culture instituted in the human resources. People are responsible for the observance of company core values, without which, the values will simply be words hanging on the wall. The company mission sets every activity in the company in a certain direction and forms part of the company culture. The reality of this mission can only be seen in the human resource activities as the inner drive leading to task accomplishment. Again, every company has both short term and long term goals in its strategic planning, a process that takes into consideration the company’s culture. The human resource is however, the major functional part of the goal achievement process, without which goal achievement is a dream to the company. For instance, the employees in an organization may come up with an idea, get the skill and knowledge and under the influence of the beliefs, core values and goals of the company, work towards the achievement of the desired result. In these ways, the human resources will ensure maintenance of the company culture.
With reference to the functions of a human resource professional, there is close relationship between some of these functions and the overall corporate culture. The major functions of a human resource professional which may have a direct impact to the corporate culture include recruitment and selection, training, employee relationships, rewarding of employees, career development and performance appraisal. For instance, the recruitment and selection process forms a major part of the organizational resource strategies which helps it secure the required personnel for the strategic goal achievement (Holbeche, 2009, p.176). The newly recruited personnel can either strengthen or weaken the strict observance of the company culture. This means that recruitment activities need to be responsive to the requirements of the company culture and the changes thereof. Additionally, the selection process needs to asses the prospective employee’s ability to fit to the existing culture as well as contributing to the success of the same. The other important function with respect to company culture is employee training. In this, the employee is taken through a human resource development program over a given time period to acquire the needed skills and knowledge in job performance. At this stage, the company will implant its specific values, beliefs, attitudes and goals into the employee and hence help in maintaining the existing work culture. The training function can also be used to help employees understand the company vision and mission in such a way that the employee can integrate his activities to meet the two. Finally, the performance appraisal and reward system can have a critical impact on the maintenance of the company culture (Holbeche, 2009, p.213). If appraisal is done based on the values, beliefs and goals of the company, then this will sent a signal to all employees to observe these attributes in their efforts to climb the organizational ladder. Since rewards form the integral motivational force of employees, the adoption of any system can either impact the culture of the organization positively or negatively.A partnership between the human resource department and the management team in the process of building and maintaining a work culture in the organization is important. The major roles of the management involve planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, directing, coordinating and motivating. Therefore, it is the role of the management to plan for the organization’s business activities, make staffing decisions, direct on the actions taken, coordinate and control activity and motivate the employees. With reference to the work culture, the management comes up with the company values, vision and mission as well as the ideal human resources needed to shape the company culture into the required form. However, some of these plans and policies made by the management are left out to the human resource department to implement (Mathis & Jackson, 2007, p.39). This is done through the recruitment and selection of employees as well as performance appraisal and rewarding functions. Therefore, in the establishment of a company culture and its maintenance, there is need for a close partnership between the human resource department and the management.
Human resources can ensure maintenance of the company culture through observance of the company core values, mission, vision and directing activity towards goal achievement. Human resource professionals can impact the company culture through the functions of recruitment and selection, training, performance appraisal and rewarding. Finally, there is need for a partnership between the human resource department and the management team in the process of developing and maintaining a work culture.