Several Areas in Which HR Can Affect Organizational Culture Positively or Negatively

Organizational culture is more than a buzz phrase. It’s the “proper way to think, act and behave within an organization,” according to in a July 2005 post. Managers make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s potential fit with the organizational culture; employees base a decision to leave on whether that culture fits their needs. By virtue of its reach and its principal goal to achieve a productive workforce, HR department functions can have positive or negative impact on the corporate culture.

Also Read: HRCI Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)

Employee Relations

Employee relations is an HR discipline that can affect the organization depending on the way HR staff interacts with the company’s workers and leadership. The goal of employee relations is simple: to strengthen the employer-employee relationship. How HR manages employee relations issues can affect the organizational culture, good or bad. Swiftly addressing and resolving workplace issues, fostering open and candid communication between leadership and staff and reinforcing that HR is an advocate for both the company and the employees are ways to positively affect organizational culture.


Your organizational culture may become fodder for job seekers throughout the online and offline community if HR develops an ineffective compensation structure. Compensation and benefits are important tools for attracting and retaining talent. If you aren’t paying workers competitively or if there are deep divisions between executive and staff pay practices, it can have a negative impact on the organizational culture. On the other hand, if your HR compensation strategy includes rewarding employees for their contributions, paying fair wages and providing comprehensive benefits, these affect the culture in a positive way.

Workplace Safety

Employers have an obligation to provide workers with a safe, hazard-free work environment. Training on effective safety measures, evacuation plans and responses to workplace incidents is essential to ensure employees’ safety and well-being. The absence of workplace safety policies and procedures results in an environment where employees may feel threatened, which in turn, negatively affects productivity and your organizational culture.

Effective Leadership

In addition to HR, supervisors and managers sustain a positive organizational culture through effective leadership. Delegating responsibility based on employees’ skills and interests and recognizing employees’ contributions to the department and the organization are tenets of effective leadership. Supervisors and managers who communicate openly with their employees, provide constructive feedback and coach workers are fundamental to a positive workplace culture. HR provides leadership skills training to supervisors and managers to ensure that they’re capable of managing their department functions and their employees.

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