What is a People and Culture Manager?


As companies pivot, adapt, and evolve in response to rapid technological advancements and shifting market demands, the human element remains paramount. Now, more than ever, organizations need dedicated professionals who can navigate these tumultuous waters, keeping the well-being and development of their people at the forefront. Enter the role of the People and Culture Manager. 

According to a recent study, while leaders recognize the importance of developing talent, strategic thinking, leading change, decision-making, and influencing others as crucial skills for the future, a mere 29% of companies provide training for these competencies. It's a stark reminder of the gap between recognition and action – and the pressing need for experts dedicated to bridging it.

So, as we venture deeper into this transformative era, one has to wonder: is your organization equipped with the right human-centric strategies and leadership to thrive

What is a People and Culture Manager (PCM)?

Imagine an orchestra, where each musician plays their unique part, but it's the conductor who ensures they're all in harmony. That's the role of a People and Culture Manager  in an organization.
They're not just about implementing new strategies or tools; their primary focus is on the people, relationships, and values that form the company's heartbeat.

Gallup research suggests that companies with highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. The PCM plays a pivotal role here, weaving together the diverse talents and aspirations within an organization, creating a culture where everyone feels connected and valued.

Why is a PCM so Crucial?

In a world where over 77% of adults consider a company's culture before even applying (as per Glassdoor), the culture isn't just an internal matter—it directly impacts attraction and retention of top talent. A PCM ensures that the company isn't just a place to work but a place to grow, belong, and innovate.

Moreover, with the World Health Organization highlighting the economic impact of mental health challenges, a PCM’s role in shaping a supportive, inclusive, and empathetic workplace becomes even more vital.

They're the guardians of a culture that prioritizes well-being alongside productivity.

And let's not forget the power of diversity. With McKinsey's studies underscoring the financial benefits of diverse teams, People and Culture Manager’s influence ensures that the company culture is not just diverse in numbers but genuinely inclusive in spirit.

In a nutshell, a People and Culture Manager (PCM) isn't just about navigating change; they're about ensuring that the heart of the organization—its people and values—remains vibrant, inclusive, and forward-looking.

Do You Need a People and Culture Manager?

While growth and innovation are the aims, they often come with the need for refined human strategies and a stronger culture foundation. Let's dive into some indicators that signal your organization might greatly benefit from a People and Culture Manager (PCM):

1. Rapid Industry Changes

Just as in nature, adaptation is the key to survival in business. If your industry is in the throes of swift change, ensuring your team can pivot, adapt, and thrive is crucial. This is more than just skills; it's about mindset, morale, and motivation.

2. Scaling Business Operations: 

Approaching or surpassing that 50-employee threshold? As noted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, organizational complexities mount as you grow. A PCM can help you navigate this growth, ensuring that your culture scales harmoniously alongside your operations.

3. Introduction of New Technologies: 

New tools and technologies aren't just about software or hardware; they bring with them new ways of working, thinking, and collaborating. A PCM ensures that these transitions are smooth, and that team members feel confident, rather than overwhelmed.

4. A Need for Cultural Transformation: 

Remember, only about one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their roles, according to Gallup. If there's a palpable need to revitalize the spirit and energy of your workplace, a PCM can be the catalyst for this transformation.

5. Diversification of Business Models: 

Entering new markets? Expanding your product lines? Such diversifications often require fresh team structures, roles, and dynamics. A PCM ensures that through these shifts, the core values and culture of your organization remain intact.

6. Challenges in Keeping Up with Market Demands: 

If market demands are evolving faster than your team's skills or morale, it's a sign. The cost of employee turnover, as highlighted by SHRM, can be considerable, both financially and culturally. A PCM can craft strategies that not only keep up with the market but also ensure your team feels valued, supported, and ready for the challenges ahead.

In essence, a People and Culture Manager isn't just an HR role; it's the heart and soul of your organization's adaptive and growth strategies. If these indicators resonate with your current scenario, it might be time to consider integrating a PCM into your team's fabric.

The Difference: HR Professionals vs. People and Culture Manager

At a glance, the roles of Human Resources (HR) professionals and a People and Culture Manager (PCM) might seem overlapping, but their focuses, while interconnected, are distinct.

HR Professionals: 

Traditionally, HR has been the backbone of an organization's administrative and functional needs. They handle essential tasks ranging from recruitment, payroll, and benefits administration to compliance with labor laws and dispute resolution. Their primary role is ensuring that the organization runs smoothly and adheres to legal standards. HR is often the go-to for issues related to policies, employment contracts, and other functional necessities.

People and Culture Manager (PCM): 

While a PCM will likely be well-versed in many of the functional areas that HR covers, their primary focus is broader and more strategic. A PCM dives deep into the nuances of an organization's culture, ensuring it's both vibrant and aligned with business goals. They're attuned to the emotional and motivational pulse of the company, crafting initiatives that enhance team cohesion, employee engagement, and overall workplace satisfaction. Their role is about proactive culture-shaping rather than just reactive problem-solving. In essence, while HR ensures the organization functions, a PCM ensures it flourishes.

It's worth noting that both roles are crucial. Think of HR as the solid foundation upon which a company is built, while the PCM is the architect ensuring that as the structure grows, it remains a place where people feel valued, inspired, and aligned with a shared vision. The two roles, working in harmony, create an environment where both the business and its people can thrive.

Let’s compare:  Hiring a Workplace Culture Consultant vs. An Internal PCM

As businesses strive to sculpt their organizational ethos, the choice between an external Workplace Culture Consultant and an internal People and Culture Manager is crucial. Here are the compelling benefits of opting for an external consultant:

1. Flexibility: 

The dynamic nature of business means your needs might oscillate between short-term projects and long-term strategies. An external consultant offers the agility to cater to these changing requirements, be it for project-specific tasks or more extended collaborations.

2. Diverse Expertise: 

Leveraging an external consultant means you're not just relying on the experience of a single individual. Instead, you're tapping into a broader network of knowledge and experience, a confluence of diverse perspectives that bring comprehensive solutions.

3. Rapid Onboarding: 

Time is often of the essence. Engaging with a consultant bypasses the often elongated and resource-intensive hiring processes of internal hires. With a consultant, you can achieve quicker implementations and faster organizational transformations.

4. Customized Services: 

Each organization is a unique entity with its set of challenges and industry nuances. A Workplace Culture Consultant, with varied experiences across sectors, crafts solutions tailored meticulously to resonate with your specific needs.

5. Bold Objectivity: 

A fresh, external perspective can often see the forest for the trees. Consultants possess the candidness to speak truth to power, unfettered by internal office politics or the risk of ruffling feathers. They can cut through the noise, providing frank and unbiased insights that might be challenging for internal employees.

6. Accelerated Transformation: 

An external perspective isn't just a bonus—it's a catalyst.  According to Gartner, 45% of CEOs plan a culture change in the next three years, mostly around people and social responsibilities, accountability, and adaptability​.

7. Cost-Efficient Leadership: 

Financial wisdom is pivotal in today's age. Opting for an external consultant can lead to substantial cost savings, potentially up to 60%, a fact underscored by Bain & Company.

In the nuanced journey of shaping organizational culture, a Workplace Culture Consultant emerges as both a guide and strategist. The value is not just in the expertise but in the external perspective, ready to drive transformative change devoid of internal biases.

In Conclusion

Businesses need more than just reactive measures; they require a transformative vision, one that sees beyond immediate challenges and crafts a path towards a brighter, more inclusive future. The role of a People and Culture Manager – be it internal or an external consultant – is pivotal in navigating these shifting sands. They don't just help in adapting to change, they steer the organization towards meaningful evolution, ensuring humanity remains at the core.

Harnessing the expertise of a Workplace Culture Consultant, particularly one that embodies the essence of transformation and enlightenment, can be the guiding force your organization seeks. They offer a combination of visionary insights and grounded strategies, ensuring that the journey is as thrilling as the destination.

If you're contemplating the next step in your organization's growth journey and cultural transformation, consider this: The magic lies not just in adaptation but in visionary evolution. And for that, you need a partner who sees the broader picture, understands the intricacies, and has the expertise to guide you.

Ready to unlock the latent potential within your organization and usher in a transformative era? Reach out to The Get Go.

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Workplace Culture Consultant

Captain of The Get Go

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