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Changing Corporate Culture As an HR Leader

Good things happen when an organization’s culture is based on a strong, shared set of values.

First, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employees know how management expects them to respond to any situation. Second, they believe the expected response is the right one. Finally, they know they will be rewarded for representing the organization’s values and beliefs.

In most companies, HR departments generally seek to build and maintain a unified organizational culture by recruiting applicants who share the company’s beliefs. According to SHRM, human resources should also develop orientation, training and performance management programs that outline and reinforce the company’s core values and ensure proper compensation and recognition for employees who represent those values.

The Importance of Corporate Culture

SHRM cites several reasons why an organization’s culture is important:

  • It helps define appropriate behavior.
  • It sets the context for everything an organization does.
  • The organization’s values focus on the company and its goals, not on individuals.
  • Leaders model the culture, communicating the company’s cultural identity to current and future employees.

Shaping Organizational Culture

One of the most important jobs of an HR manager is to shape an organization’s culture to be both effective and sustainable.

Forbes offers several tips on how HR managers can shape an organization’s culture so employees look forward to coming to work every day.

  • HR managers understand the current culture and work with executives to improve it.
  • HR managers develop a clear vision of their organization’s culture, identify how leaders can be role models, and outline how employees can have an impact.
  • HR managers get buy-in from prospective employees before they are hired.
  • Leaders demonstrate the core culture to help define the organization.
  • HR professionals are well-positioned to have the most impact and are therefore the best advocates of an organization’s culture.

Managing Organizational Culture

HR can foster a culture of high performance by ensuring culture management is a core focus of the organization’s competitive effort, suggests SHRM. The means to achieve this include reinforcing organizational values and ensuring ethics are defined, understood and practiced. They must also define roles and responsibilities, and how employees are held accountable. HR should also provide continuous learning and training, institute award and recognition systems, and encourage empowerment.

Business professionals who want to learn more about the concept of corporate culture and who seek advancement in the HR field can pursue online degree programs like the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resource Development at Pittsburg State University. It is ideal for the candidate with a job and family responsibilities. Students can complete this affordable program in as few as 12 months.

Learn more about Pittsburg State University’s MBA in HR Development online program.


SHRM: Understanding and Developing Organizational Culture

Forbes: 15 Effective Ways HR Can Help Create a Sustainable Company Culture


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