The Impact of Organizational Culture on Human Resource Management

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Block & Quayle is a limited Company specializing in gardening supplies, plants and DIY home improvement equipment’s. The outfit is based in the United Kingdom, founded by David Quayle and Richard Block in 1969. Over years and since its inception, the company has established robust work diversity regarding language, age, organizational culture, and management. The firm’s different framework and structure have enabled the company increase its creativity and productivity regarding a motivated and energized teamwork from the employees. Hogarth and Barth (2014) noted that Block & Quayle management focuses more on employee advancement, improvement and direct participation in decision making. Since its inception and growth, the company has paid more focus on recruiting aged persons instead of younger employees. According to the company management, hiring older employee’s assists in getting a more motivated and dedicated workforce than younger personalities (Zwick, 2015). The company has a unique aspect of managing its human resource department by establishing a robust and reliable workforce. Hogarth and Barth (2014) asserted that Block & Quayle has worked around the clock to develop a unique culture that has helped drive its employee turnover than any other company in the United Kingdom. The paper seeks to shed light on the type of culture institutionalised in B&Q Company and its effect on human resource management and development.

Culture

Organization culture or generally “culture” of an organization refers to a set of an established system of values, beliefs, morals, norms, and manner of carrying out its business that remains unique and unlike any other company or organization. According to Seago (2016), organization culture remains the only maintainable or viable point an organization or company can make a difference in other organizations. While organizations can copy and try out each other’s strategy, management or operations, no organization can imitate or copy another’s culture (Longman et al., 2018).

The Significance of Building Culture in the Workplace

Most organizations often take an inactive attitude towards culture. Many a time, they assume it’s something beyond their control or that they do not have to gain control over. Such outfits have or develop the assumption that it will sort/work out itself. Maitland and Thomson (2014) acclaimed that culture is a way in which an organization or management can set it apart from other competitors by bringing in the right people, mindset, talent, and customers. In reference to Storey (2016) and Alvesson and Sveningsson (2015), with the growing awareness amongst consumers due to advanced technology and internet expansion, consumers prefer companies or organizations that share values. Often the players prefer having a feeling of working for the company or being part of the company. Culture develops identity where an organization makes a brand name by securing an edge over rivals (Malfabon et al., 2015).

Analysis of B & Q Culture

B & Q has a dynamic HR department credited for maintaining a unique culture through policies and strategies aimed at fostering and strengthening the workforce. Additionally, the department is focused on supporting its cultural framework by working collaboratively with employees towards achieving its goals and the company’s fundamental values. One outstanding feature of B&Q culture is its approach to its operations and system. The department has a close-knit link with the line manager, a framework that enables it implement some of its values, policies, and strategies aimed at protecting and keeping the traditional company’s culture. For example, the organization takes pride in its unique identity of involving employees in decision-making at every level (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2015). By employing older employees, the organization focuses more on product improvement than on taking pride in undertaking a given product completion. Older employees within B&Q exhibit a sense of accomplishment in improving the end product (Hogarth & Barth, 2014). At the same time, older employees often put forth good ideas aimed at organizational development and improvement. As a cultural and management strategy, hiring older employees cuts costs, thus giving the organization an edge on profit maximization.

The company’s distinctive approach to recruitment and retaining of employees has posed a technical challenge to the organization’s approach to management, promotion, training, and customer relations (Hogarth & Barth, 2014). As one of a kind, the firm’s way of governance has had to face the uphill task of working with a different workforce who need and require particular attention and training with the aim of retaining and getting the best out of their effort. At the same time, the organization's culture towards employing physically challenged persons has brought forth a particular need to develop a framework that accommodates their unique needs (Aarons et al., 2015). At the same time, B & Q‘s leadership structure has had to face the challenge of involving the workforce in a direct leadership position to accommodate them in all levels of the company’s leadership structure. Hogarth and Barth (2014) adduced that leadership and management are thus faced with the need to have interests of the organization at heart with particular emphasis on meeting their distinctive needs while at the same time steering them towards achieving their individual goals in their respective positions of operation and involvement.

Approach to Management and Leadership to Creating a Learning Environment that is Supported by Leaders and Managers

Due to its diverse workforce that involves a unique combination of employees, the management and especially the HR unit in B & Q is keen to apply a flexible approach to leading and managing its affairs. Amanchukwu et al., (2015) explained that the top leadership has taken a servant leader approach to work with employees, a strategy that has helped the company’s diverse workforce in achieving its goals, maintaining its culture, and standing out as the leading company with the most different personnel. The company’s leadership has created a robust management system that gives employees a strong say towards contribution regarding the company management. All employees of B & Q are free to have an audience with the top company’s leadership. At the same time, employees are allowed to put across their views and opinions towards management of the company business and operations (Foster & Harris, 2005). Another important factor towards the company leadership and management style of B & Q originating from the HR department is the enactment of policies aimed at making the diverse workforce feels at ease, safe and as part of the entire company. The HR department has put in places strategic measures aimed at fostering loyalty and trust in equal measure, an attribute that has seen evolution of a dedicated and motivated workforce (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). The employees easily identify with the organization at a personal level due to the high level of trust and commitment arising from its top leadership flowing to the lowest level of personnel.

Over years, top management and the HR department have had to balance the delicate servant leadership model to conform to the unique demands of its diverse workforce. The senior leaders of B & Q rarely accord themselves comfort at the expense of the employees. The company culture and way of operation empathises on having leaders working along and side by side in significant company’s activities. Due to the unique employee’s demands, leaders are mandated to stand with them to guide, show, direct, and help them achieve their objectives (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). The initiative has resulted in building up a strong workforce dedicated to realization of the company goals and vision. Employees are always in a continuous learning environment with their leaders standing by as their instructors and guides. Leadership, learning, and management are closely knit within the company’s management and daily operations. Due to the firm’s unique strategy of recruitment where the firm gives priority to old society members, women and the physically challenged, the company has a cultural practice of deriving talent from the employees by way of training drilling and coaching them in their tasks, duties, and responsibilities (Schein, 2015). Talented employees are provided with responsibilities that go hand in hand with the company’s objectives. The HR department retains and manages gifted employees by way of learning, motivation, compensation, career development, and strategic employee planning. Highly talented employees are assigned specific duties and responsibilities in line with their skills and attributes (Foster & Harris, 2005).

According to the human resource department and general management, employees undertake tasks that are defined and aligned to their specialization and interaction (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). The human resource department further encourages horizontal communication approach with employees by giving workers the freedom and pleasure to talk to anyone in any capacity. In essence and as an essential aspect of the organization, employees at B&Q share attention to the time factor, an element that has seen improved creation and development of dominant culture (Dekker, 2016). The human resource department has established an elaborate and organic structure, though not highly specialized; it enables employees undertake various tasks with the aim of accomplishing a group assignment. At the same time, jobs might not be intricate but may be redefined and adjusted through employee interaction. The organization has in place an informal type of power and control that come with few responsibilities. At the same time, control tasks and knowledge are strategically placed all over the organization. According to Amanchukwu et al., (2015), such an approach helps employees appreciate the organization's network with keen attention to broadening leadership and responsibilities.

Besides the organizations’ reputation for its diverse employment of older people, B&Q has undertaken an aggressive approach to working with disability groups within and around the country (Hogarth & Barth, 2014). In the year 2008, it became one of the companies in the top 50 grouping where women preferred working and topped the list of “top employers for families list.” According to Chitrakar (2017), the organization made the much sought after achievement due to its diverse employment approach, an initiative it has done over years ultimately becoming part of its reputation ever since it was established in 1969. In its first two stores, the company only had employees over 50 years.

The business environment constitutes an essential element of an organizations reputation and success. To form a favorable business environment, B&Q has aggressively worked on its culture in a unique way aimed at completing a well-organized approach in the current lively and dynamic environment. As an element that exists in both inside and outside the boundaries of a business organization, it is vital to pay close attention to its establishment and existence (Chemers, 2014). B&Q has over years taken a keen step in creating a positive environment that improves on its endurance and success rate. Generating a high customer return rate has often been the company’s focus by paying close attention to consumer’s feedback, concern, and both complaints and uploads. B&Q has established a robust and flexible culture towards change with employees urged to maintain a flexible and dynamic approach to handling its consumers and other stakeholders (Hogarth & Barth, 2014). The target has been achieved through adopting an open attitude towards change and open arms strategy where B&Q gives customers an open and welcoming approach. The company experienced positive growth in the early and mid-eighties, an increase attributed to tapping into the outstanding market structures of the early and mid-eighties. B&Q dynamic and enthusiastic work-force has developed a strategic approach to making employees feel at home and connect with the business at a personal level. Hogarth and Barth (2014) explained that the norm is a cultural feat within the organization that has positively impacted on its human resource management approach to working and managing the employees flexible and openly.

Effect on Organization’s Approach to Human Resource Management and Development

As the heart of the organization employee management, B&Q’s unique culture has had an outstanding impact on its initiatives, operations, and overall positive relations with the employees. First, Bratton and Gold (2017) explained that the company’s cultural outlook and services have had a positive effect on the human resource management and development by enabling it set practical policies that have positive and influential value on employee behavior especially through customer behavior and satisfaction. The company’s culture towards diversity in employment has further pushed the human resource initiatives towards respecting diversity as an essential tool to an organizations success and development rate (Bolden, 2016). The understanding that comes along with appreciating diversity as a critical aspect of success has further set positive trends to conform to its environmental factors that align towards meeting its cultural trends. For example, B & Q has lowered its standards on hiring to meet the organization’s culture of hiring old employees and women.

On the other hand, diversity has had a substantial effect on the relationship between human resource management and employees. Indeed, it is no doubt that relations at B&Q have over years taken a casual approach with informal settings and fun loving attitude. The HR department has over years been forced to adjust its policies depending on the standards in the workplace. For example, Hogarth and Barth (2014) noted that the HR has set up systems that address empathy and concern for other employees. Older members of the society are known to have numerous health issues; it is no different with employees at B&Q. With increased health complications and concern from among employees, the HR department has designed essential health policies that keep pace and address any health complication from among the employees. The Hr department has also put in place a particular health policy that addresses immediate employee needs regarding positive good and robust health at the workplace.

Focus on older employees and its strategic diversity method has posted a challenge for the organization since it has portrayed it as discriminative regarding hiring younger graduates (Hogarth & Barth, 2014). The factor has had a negative connotation on its positive reputation with younger potential customers ignoring or avoiding the company altogether (Miner, 2015). Although this is only to a small extent, the HR department has had to initiate strategic measures to prevent public outrage towards its diverse culture of recruitment. The human resource department has thus been forced to work collaboratively with the marketing department to call on its employees to stand in as ambassadors of the company to influence younger members of the customer base to buy from it (Bolman & Deal, 2017). The human resource department on its part regarding communication has been forced to come up with strategic measures towards communication styles. Communicating with a 60 or 70-year-old is no mean task; it is different from interacting with a younger generation who are quick to learn, fast to understand and enthusiastic about connecting and relating concepts (Manroop & Harrison, 2015). The HR department has thus formulated policies that guide communication with the aim of improving and promoting healthy relations at the workplace. The policies further aim at encouraging interaction between employees and HR.

Recommendations

B & Q is determined to retain its culture, build on its operation on its unique values and behaviors with a particular emphasis on tapping the distinctive aspect of its employees. However, the firm can achieve its primary goals while retaining its culture by way of improving its leadership framework, strategic objectives that aim at involving the employees at all levels of operations. B&Q can achieve this by initiating a SMART strategic approach to managing its services while at the same time, fostering extensive management that involves all company stakeholders while at the same time building on necessary management structures to support its operations and its diverse workforce (Girma, 2016).

Specific

The Company needs to develop a specific approach to diversifying its workforce beyond the old and physically challenged. To further augment its culture, the company should have a strategy that includes other unique features such as voluntary and support based workforce from young employees who would help old age employees at their duties and responsibilities.

Measurable

The new approaches and strategies should be quantifiable by way of developing a scale upon which the company can determine its impact. By involving younger volunteers, the company should have a method of determining their positive input regarding increased sales or improving performance of older employees

Achievable

The plan of involving younger employees should be feasible with a high success rate. For instance, if it should be a way of getting younger volunteers to help older employees towards meeting their goals, which has to be a realistic plan anchored on strategic goals (Hogarth & Barth, 2014).

Realistic & Timely

The plan needs to be convincing enough with a high chance of success. At the same time, the method of involving younger volunteers should be be set at the right time with a high probability of steering the company in the right direction towards meeting set goals.

Conclusion

Organization culture forms an essential aspect of B&Q organization. The concept describes and sets the firm’s organizational behavior, human relations, leadership strategy, and practical approach. Culture is a way of life within an organization that entails a well-established kind of behavior and tendency among the employee and leaders. Research has unravelled that t takes time to build a formidable culture within an organization. However, once established, organization culture forms the guide, central compass and policy changer within the organization. While leadership positions and general management may change, organization culture is not an aspect or feature that can quickly change. Thus, it describes the totality and entity of the outfit, forms the central guiding principle of the organization and helps the management draft policies, strategies, management and leadership style at all levels. B&Q has successfully established and retained a distinctive culture that has defined its operations, helped it expand its services to various sectors in addition to achieving remarkable success both within its operations and its public relations. Undoubtedly, with concerted efforts, B&Q is set to maximize on its culture to tap the best skills from employees, expand its operations, and achieve success in its business operations.

Bibliography

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Alvesson, M. and Sveningsson, S., 2015. Changing organizational culture: Cultural change work in progress. Routledge.

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Chitrakar, R., 2017. Organization Culture and Learned Helplessness. Journal of HR, Organizational Behaviour & Entrepreneurship Development, 1(1), pp.17-20.

Dekker, S., 2016. Just culture: Balancing safety and accountability. CRC Press.

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Seago, J., 2016. Toxic leaders, toxic culture: internal auditors can identify unhealthy behaviors that may undermine the organization. Internal Auditor, 73(3), pp.28-34.

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January 19, 2024
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