Every company has its own culture

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Human Resources in workplace 1

Every company has a department or a person who deals with employing other people. This is called Human Resources. People who work in Human Resources are responsible for seeking the sufficient employee for the company as well as dealing with contacting job references and employee benefits. ("What is Human Resources?" n.d.) The company that the author worked was founded by a New Zealander, whose name is Martin Brown in 1999. It is a searching engine company for wines. Consequently, there are two aspects are considered the most important when they employ people, knowledge about wine, and IT technology. There are three kinds of jobs in the company, programmers, wine specialists and administrative managers. However, the administrative managers need to be wine specialists as well because their main job is to check the information and reply the customers' requests. The author had an interview with the manager, who mentioned the way that they choose employee is to ask them to sit a test as well as to be interviewed. The reason is to check how much relevant knowledge they have. If the employee is a wine specialist, sixty percent of professional knowledge is acceptable. If that is a programmer, the manager's request is higher. The reason why an interview is required is because, although the manager does admit it is too short to know one person, this is the way to avoid the employee cheating. In addition, it is not important to hold a university degree to apply for a job in this company. However, the way of thinking is very important. It means the manager wants an employee to think as a university graduate does.

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Another very important reason for interviewing the employee is to find out whether the employee really fits in this company. For this point, the leader gave the author an example. He once interviewed a lady from Wellington. The lady held a very high university qualification and had excellent professional knowledge about wines. The leader wanted to admit her but she declined, because she thought the office was too quiet. This was not the one that she preferred.

Leadership does not only refer to someone's position in control of a group of people, but also the quality or methods that make a person be a good leader. "Leadership is a central concern of all the social sciences and most of the humanities." (Marturano & Gosling, 2008) A good leader should know the staff very well. Also, he or she should know how to make the staff feel enjoyable when they work. It refers to many things. For example, in the author's company, the door of the leader's office was always open. This means if anyone in the company has a suggestion, he or she can come straight to the office to discuss it. This is absolutely a very good way to collect their imaginations. The leader liked to say he knew everything in this company. Normally we said it as a joke, but it proved that the leader knew everyone's personality and everything they did in the workplace. Another aspect which is related to that everyone can give their suggestions is that everyone is equal in the company. It does not seem to have higher or lower status. Consequently, as the leader said, in the company, there was no bully, which is a very common phenomenon in workplaces.

Another aspect was that because the website of Wine-searcher has a huge database, many people were divided into different parts to create and finish a new piece of data. Every part has a manager. Every Friday, all the managers sat in a meeting to report their news, problems. Interestingly, what the leader did was only sitting over there to listen to the remarks. He rarely told them what they should do or how to solve the problems.

The author thinks this is an excellent strategy because probably a leader does not specialize in certain field as the manager does. He should not teach them what to do. If in a company, the boss is everything, the company will not be a team.

Gender

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In the contemporary society, women have played a more and more important role in workplaces. There is a five per cent increase of women working since 1980. Meanwhile, the number of women as managers has increased 19 %.(Powell & Graves, 2003) However, they have also faced a lot of different challenges. As in Wine-searcher, everyone did different parts of the job for one project, the differences were not very apparent. Because of this, the leader did not mention that a lot. Yet, he did answer two questions asked by the author. If a male and a female working in the company fell in love, the leader could not stop them. However, they were not allowed to influence their jobs negatively because of their romance.

Being pregnant is an essential issue for the employed women, so the second answer was if they were pregnant, when they came back to work, they would be guaranteed to do the same job as they used to do.

Organizational Strategy

The word, strategy, means a plan and approaches to achieve a particular goal. When it is combined with an organization or a company, normally it refers to a unique character of that company. Their purposes, without a doubt, are generally to make profits.

When people use Wine-searcher, they can search wines for free. However, if they want a better service, they need to apply for a membership and pay some money. This is a very common way how a website make benefit. As a database, numerous wine merchants are collected into it freely. However, there will be a specific person who contacts these merchants, telling them they have been collected by Wine-searcher, the NO.1 wine search engine in the world. If the merchants do not want themselves to be shown on the website, the person will inform the administrator to delete them.

As mentioned above, Wine-searcher is the NO.1 wine search engine in the world. Actually the staffs are proud of being regarded as "Wine Google". However, when it was founded in 1999, there were only less than ten employees and it could only display the prices of wines. Now there are 35 employees and apart from the prices, it also illustrates extra information as their motto indicates: information, location and price.

Another difference is that they are more accurate than they used to be. For example, when people search for wines, sometimes they spell the name wrongly. If it happened before, it would display "no results found". However, now, it will correct their mistake automatically and give them the results.

The leader also foresaw Wine-searcher's prospect in five years. He said they wanted to be NO.1 for everything about wine. Their aim is to let people ignore Google. They wanted people to go to Wine-searcher directly for anything about wine.

Like every company does, Wine-searcher also has many competitors. The leader claimed there were approximately 100 companies doing the same job. However, there were 3 to 4 Wine-searcher's main competitors such as Smooth, Globe Wine Stocks and Wine Zap. The leader of Wine-searcher always paid attention to them because they were indeed threats to Wine-searcher. Also, Wine-searcher kept learning from them. For instance, Global Wine Stocks advertised that they were better than Wine-searcher. Then the leader of Wine-searcher checked why they thought they were better, whether Wine-searcher had any problems or disadvantages. This is, in the author's opinion, a positive competition because as the leader said: No comparison, no improvement.

Organizational culture

The staffs in Wine-searcher were from all over the world. The leader coped with this problem very properly. He mixed the workers' seats. He never made all Chinese people sit together or French people sit together. Otherwise, they would always speak their own languages. Also, he mixed their seats according to different departments that they belong to. For example, a programmer would sit together with a wine specialist. The only reason for mixing their seats was to make them communicate as well as learn from each other. Furthermore, it was encouraged that they asked each other questions because they could become familiar in a short time.

Instead of that they should have got paid every Friday, they had a social activity to taste wines every Friday afternoon and, they got paid monthly. The reason why they attended such a social activity was to relax, and it was praise for one-week job that they did.

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The leader also introduced the staffs' holiday and legal leaves. Under the New Zealand law, everyone can have a 4-week paid holiday after they work for the company for 12 months, plus the New Zealand public holidays. Other legal leaves include 3 days paid bereavement leave, 5 days paid sick leave. If women get pregnant, they are allowed to take a one-year leave and the government pays part of the money.

Comparison with workplace 2

The author used to work in a nationally-owned factory in China. The factory belongs to the Equipment Department of the Chinese Army. Here the author will discuss the similarities as well as differences.

Similarities: The workplace 2 also has two types of employees, the permanent and the temporary one. The permanent employees have a higher standard of welfare and they do have the same legal leaves as the New Zealanders do. They get paid monthly. As long as the permanent employees do not break the law and factory's rules, the boss are not allowed to dismiss them.

Like Wine-searcher, the factory contains many departments and each one has a leader. Every Monday morning the leaders sit in a meeting to report their news.

Another similarity is that the product in Workplace 2 is also divided into different departments. It is like a chain. If one part arises certain problem, the whole project will be influenced.

Differences: The status in workplace 2 is not equal. This is the most important point. Because of that, it brings a lot of problems. Firstly, the workers do not give their suggestions to their leaders. Sometimes they do, but they talk to the leaders in a very indirect way. Secondly, bully is very common in workplace 2. It can be often heard the leaders saying "Don't leave until you finish your job." Or even "Go home if you don't want to work here." It is discouraged to hear that. However, that is how the people do in workplace 2.

Another difference is in workplace 2, interview cannot be found. The new workers are probably recommended by someone in power, or they may have certain relationship with someone who works in the factory. Honestly, this is an unwritten rule. Normally people do not talk about it but everybody knows it.

The people in workplace 2 often work overloaded because they get paid according to the quantity of products that they make. From every November to the next May, the whole factory becomes very busy. As a result, they have to work during every weekend, even some public holidays.

Reflection

Perhaps the author is not fit for Wine-searcher because as mentioned before, the office was very quiet. Sometimes it made the author feel depressed. Every day the job was exactly the same. There were few chances to communicate with someone during the working time. All the contents written above came from the interview. However, this is the company's culture. People need to perceive the meaning of company fit.