Impact of culture on human resource management

Impact of culture on human resource management

In the most basic explanation, culture would mean the ideas, beliefs, perceptions, mindset, customs, and social behavior of an individual or society. So how an individual adjusts and responds to an environment or a social situation is directly connected with their thoughts and understanding of relationships as per their cultural learnings.

Let’s understand why culture became a topic of discussion on the corporate level. As we grow to be global business entities, we open room for workforce diversity. This is where culture impacts human resources management tremendously. Situations are comparatively easy to handle when dealing with people of similar mindsets, but retaining and managing a diverse workforce is altogether a different scenario. The biggest challenge for HR managers is respecting the workforce’s individualism while still keeping them bound to organizational culture.

Below, we will discuss  the cultural impact on human resource management in three different phases:

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Obtaining a workforce

Bias while hiring

Bias while hiring is often observed at conscious and unconscious levels. When we try to go deep into this discussion, we understand that it’s innate to be drawn toward a person who has the same mindset as ours or who holds similar educational qualifications or experience superior to our knowledge. Irrespective of human resource ethics, it is observed that biases lead to approx. 38-40% wrong hires, which increases the financial constraints and an extreme labor turnover.

Being open to diversity

Resistance to diversity can be a continuation of the topic mentioned above that revolves around conscious bias. Many recruiters emphasize hiring people with an identical understanding to make it easy to manage and organize plans. But the corporate world is evolving, and there is a significant requirement for expertise and innovative visions. It has become mandatory to embrace workforce diversity to ensure healthy business success.

Quick tips:

Being dynamic and open to changes is a personal call, but it is a topic of concern when it affects a company’s growth and workforce. To combat the issue of bias while hiring, an employer can implement video interview software for their business.

Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) removes any scope of bias. Video interviews help you avoid personal interactions between the candidates and recruiters at the initial stage. There is no scope left for partiality, and you get a chance to hire the best candidates based explicitly on their performance.

Retaining a workforce

Rewards and appreciation

Regular rewards and appreciation are a must-have when aiming at workforce wellness. While you deal with people who have different beliefs and customs, it is expected that they have different likings. It becomes crucial for HR to continuously keep themselves updated about the information and analysis of an individual personality. What might interest one person may not interest another. This would lay a burden on the human resource department and team leaders to keep each employee motivated and appreciated at work and reward them with something that is in accordance with their taste.

Work cultures

When you integrate people with different social understandings, you will likely face differences of opinion when joining them all together. While some people in your workforce are open to social opportunities or events, some might appreciate remote working or separate workstations to perform their duties better. Also, while most employees actively participate in outdoor corporate social responsibilities, some might want to assist while organizing office festivals. Understanding human behaviors according to their social adaptability is a challenge. Of course, there could be numerous situations when employees don’t have a choice, but they might prefer being understood when they do. Any employee who fails to stay acknowledged or respected at an individual level often loses interest and loyalty to the organization.

Managing a workforce

Resolving conflicts with a specific set of human resource policies

When we talk about problem-solving, we primarily focus on the perceptions and ideas of an individual. No specific set of policies can convince every individual’s say in a situation. This difference of opinion brings a lot of disagreements, and therefore as human resource personnel. You might want to reconsider the standard set of rules to resolve an issue. It is mandatory to revise the policies every few months according to the extent of diversity in your workforce. An intelligent blend of strict work ethics and open-end solutions is the most preferred way to help you maintain a peaceful work environment.

Maintaining team spirit

As we go into a detailed back-and-forth about the influence of culture, this doesn’t seem to affect only the human resource department. Team leaders are an equal party to the situation. Whenever there is a deviation from typical work protocol, we must consider that team leaders are the first ones to acknowledge or inform. When people of diverse cultures work together, they have different ways of performing tasks or handling their duties. The greatest challenge for the HR and team leaders is to acknowledge and resolve any dispute arising in the team. A team that is unwilling to cooperate or reject an individual’s opinions or ideas will harm the work spirit and, ultimately, the growth of a business.

We enforce a common phenomenon focusing on the negative consequence whenever we talk about impact. Let us now highlight some positive effects of culture on human resource management.

Mutual respect

Once we start dealing with people with various familiarities and values unlike ours, we realize the concept and logic. This enhances the scope of knowledge and creates a positive and respectful work culture. Ultimately, more mutual respect and understanding lead to fewer conflicts and burdens on human resource management.

A new perspective to a situation

People with different backgrounds and work cultures have different perceptions of a situation. This means that there might be a lot of easy solutions and ideas that can help smooth the functioning of a business. A person with more venture or traditional knowledge of a specific domain could give a unique solution that others can’t think of.

Personal growth

Cultural diversity is a by-product of extreme globalization. Many employees across the globe aren’t familiar with or used to working with people of different cultures. This opportunity helps employees focus on personal growth and learn about various cultures, views, and adaptability. When an employee evolves more at a professional and personal level, they are less likely to reach out to human resource management to seek solutions.

Wrapping up:

A cultural difference in the organization can impact the human resources practices and sometimes lead to challenges and significant improvements. But as we know, HR is a field of great work and accountabilities, and they are competent in handling all the challenges. A slight molding of policies and a few other changes is enough for them to implement these new points of view effectively.