Research has also showed that positive work cultures can better translate into productivity. As evident, the benefits of having a healthy work culture is extensive.
Designing a collaborative physical environment, hiring right, fostering communications, preventing burn out, discouraging micromanagement, and encouraging managers to connect with their staff are some ways Human Resources (HR) can contribute towards crafting a healthy work culture. HR is a business supporting function that goes above the basics of hiring and managing payroll and can lay out the premise of developing a vibrant culture through its rules and regulations.
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Design a collaborative physical environment
Creating opportunities for face-to-face interactions amongst colleagues is a great way to spark conversations and collaborations. HR can help to design the workplace to increase collisions, which refers to chance encounters amongst employees. This need not be an expensive endeavor, and can be as simple as strategically placing more pillows in the lounge area to create a relaxing vibe to spark casual and spontaneous conversations. Having more shared spaces to facilitate impromptu discussion is helpful as well.
In the event that there are no pantries or other common spaces within the office, which can be common for budding SMEs, HR can still implement simple networking sessions such as a lunch roulette. In essence, a small lunch reimbursement amount can be provided to employees who have lunch with someone outside of the department once a month. By catalysing internal networking, HR can help to build a healthy work culture.
Hiring someone of the right fit will help to steer the company culture in the right direction from the inception. Competencies and experience should not be the sole factors, and other aspects such as personality and traits should also be examined. By having employees whose personal mission is aligned with the firm’s, a better culture can be cultivated. Hiring someone based on a culture fit, in particular, will ensure that they last long and is valuable to the company.
During the screening stages, HR can incorporate open-ended questions about values and teamwork to find out more about the candidate. HR can also liaise with the hiring department to find out what they are looking for to complete or balance out the team.
To ensure alignment in understanding amongst colleagues, HR can spearhead information sharing by providing communication or collaboration platforms. Internal tools such as Slack, Yammer, and HipChat as well as project management tools like Jira, and Trello are just some examples. This serves as motivation to urge employees to stay connected and collaborate across departments. With better communication, crises can be averted, and firm performance can improve.
Of course, such platforms, along with other HR tools, can gradually eat into revenue. Securing business loans can be a headache for SMEs that are just starting out. In such instances, business financing tools such as P2P lending can be considered.
Burnout is often a result of poor work culture as opposed to the individual and can result in underperformance in the long run. HR is able to play an active role by sending out insightful wellness-related articles via regular e-mails to staff. Reiterating the importance of employee welfare will help to shape the company culture slowly.
Let us face it, micromanagement is an extremely damaging habit. It can spur from the lack of trust or inexperience of managers. Thankfully, HR can encourage workplace autonomy through training for managers. These sessions can educate new managers how to delegate work, let go of control, set weekly progress update meetings instead of micromanaging, and more.
According to Deloitte, there is a strong correlation between employees who claim to feel happy and valued at work and those who say that their company has a strong culture. By keeping micromanagement at bay, employees will be less bogged by procedures, be motivated to make decisions, and have greater satisfaction. All these are key ingredients in a healthy workplace culture.
Encourage managers to connect with their staff
Building a culture that acknowledges good employees is one fundamental way of achieving a positive workplace culture. HR can spur this by having a performance management system that encourages managers to give candid feedback often, as opposed to a formal feedback once a year during the annual performance appraisal. This manager-staff interaction not only deepens engagement, but also improves overall firm performance when employees are more aware of what to do through feedback.
HR plays a crucial role in identifying the root source of negativity in the workplace. Through active communication, a safe whistleblowing system, and other policing methods in place, HR is a powerful tool in shaping a healthy culture. To further your knowledge, try read our top 10 books on managing workplace culture.
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