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HR: Your Culture Gatekeeper

February 27, 2017

Culture-building can seem like a top-down process, with leadership defining and leading its implementation. But it’s actually your human resources (HR) department that’s uniquely positioned to support its development. HR can create boundaries, support cultural initiatives, and encourage positive performance. Here’s how:

>Establishing best practices. Culture communicates strategy and values. HR can reinforce both. When leadership sets guidelines for flexible hours, for example, HR communicates the policy and ensures it gets carried out consistently. 

>Providing support. By knowing your company’s business landscape, HR can serve as a strategic guide—offering leaders a clear picture of risks and opportunities, and coaching teams to success.  

>Drive the process. Culture can’t be left to chance. To foster accountability in cultural practices, HR can establish and guide hiring or benefits processes, as well as perform assessments that show leaders how initiatives are working. 

Getting Started

Companies that promote positive culture are among the best performing, as happy employees are productive employees who impact your bottom line. For examples, look no further than culture leaders like Google, Facebook, or Zappos.

Here’s a helpful tip: Build cultural guidelines that cater to 95% of your employees. It’d be natural to focus on activating the 5% of employees who won’t follow rules. But you’ll create a more positive culture by offering greater autonomy to the majority of employees who are motivated and compliant.