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From nine to five, working people are spending times in the workplace so that the workplace is the major part of contemporary people's life. As being important, industrialized society is concerned about multilateral workplace issues, regarding an optimum work environment for maximizing the productivity. Accordingly, the optimum work environment is important to both employers and employees. How a company is dealing with the issues is closely correlated to the satisfaction of employees. Eventually, an active attitude of the corporate towards workplace issues is also increasing the productivity. I would like to investigate in two workplaces based on my direct experience: one is in New Zealand and the other is in Korea. In terms of categories, I also define the gist of the four chosen issues: organizational culture, human resource policies, health and safety policies and communication in the organization at the beginning of this essay.
It is widely known that Microsoft or Google have their distinctive corporate culture as an effective and highly productive model. Like this, all surroundings, which are concrete and abstract, of those companies might be explained as organizational culture. The gist of organizational culture is "what holds an organization together?" (Brown, 2009). Some of the organizations have very explicit culture from an outside view while some are very complicate to explain of it. Moreover, organizational culture can be differently perceived depending on your stance that is inside or outside of view. It can also be recognized as 'Company image' which is simply from a company logo to sponsorship or community volunteering. All of that can be the organizational culture. Just as every country has its own culture, every corporate has the different culture.
Human Resource policies
Even though the work site operating system and office equipment have been developed enormously with high-technology, human resources are an essential asset of the company. Human's resourcefulness cannot be substituted with any other corporate assets. Accordingly, to establish the efficient policies of human resources is to invest in the most significant value in the company. According to Fountaine (2010), human resource plan consists of the 4 prime sub-structures: work system, performance and compensation system, learning system and support system. That is, human resource policies are a development strategy of the company about the people working in and for the company.
Health and Safety policies
Health and safety policies are a kind of maintenance plan of the company asset. It includes not only the health issue of employers but also the safety of the environment around the workplace. The company establishes the policies preserving the employer's sanities and reducing the workplace hazard. The aim of the health policies are for the physical and psychological well-being of employers: typical physical problems are Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Additionally, a pervasive psychological problem in the workplace is bullying, which hinder the productive accomplishment. Along with the health policies, the goal of the safety policies are aware of the workplace risks and eliminate the potential and immediate risks ergonomically.
In the workplace there are numerous series of process for opinion gathering and decision making. It can be processed through emails or face-to-face meetings. Communication in the workplace can be understood as how effectively people are sharing the information. That is, it demonstrates a message flow, which moves in two interactive ways, from what the speaker is telling to how the listener understands effectively. For example, in view of formality, "How long does the internal communication take from a subordinate to an executive in a company?" In addition to the form of communication, communication clarification over the company is another aspect to consider. Whether it is misunderstood or ignored and whether it is a collaborative or belligerent tone of voice are inclined to affect the communication in the organization.
Workplace in New Zealand
Marina View School (MVS) is an educational organization where I had work experience and an animated workplace as I have seen in New Zealand. The organizational structure is flattened and open for outside. When I ask for the work experience, they welcomed me without hesitation. There was no status gap depending on the position, deeply embedded in New Zealand culture and the circumstances are very cozy and friendly. The organization is open attitude to public and encourages the people who want to get involved to community.
As explaining the procedure and routine, firstly, I arranged my timetable by myself. That means I have to find what I can do and where I am going to, which is totally opposite in what I thought. I have met many teachers and ask for joining their class. My regular task was helping the teacher and students. I participated in helping students who are relatively far behind the class in reading and writing. What I enjoyed the most was a Korean gate class. It is an extra curriculum activity to teach Korean. Main activities were singing Korean song together and practice the basic words and greeting
The Organizational belief of MVS is "learning for life". The attitudes are to promote autonomous work environment including a teaching and learning process. They are also a strong supporter of multiculturalism. They respect each other and try to know about different culture and try to widen the students' perception and knowledge. For instance, they have a sister school in Korea and every two years a group of interchange students visit the other countries. This is a culture share and attempts to be a global citizen.
As it mentions human resource policies, the teachers set their annual teaching plan and achievement goal. A regular complement evaluation has been done by the team leader and school managing team. Above all, all the teachers use individual laptops that the government provided. In view of Health and safety policies, all staffs must have a first aid certificate to react any emergent situation. There were many public health posters about preventing contagious germs. There were a maternity leave and sick leave, which are strongly regulated by law. Communication in MVS is effective and time-saving. They use several medium for interaction. Among the teachers, group emails for urgent notice and a bulletin board for the day's specific things were used in the school. All staffs' meeting was held on every Friday's morning tea time
Workplace in Korea
Almost fifteen years ago, when I was a junior in the university, I worked in a finance company, what is called Nara Investment Bank (NIB), in Korea. The company traded with a sort of saving bonds and short term bonds such as CD and CMA. The majority of the clients were corporate and other financing company. The organization structure was a typical hierarchical company and office work environment. The atmosphere was very quiet and every men staff wore a formal suit and women staffs wore uniforms. There was a male-dominant workplace. Some of bank tellers were women but high status position like manager and CEO was all men. Financing job is a promising white collar profession over the world so all the Nara Company staffs were high-educated men and women of talent. My role was to deliver a large sum of checks and bankbooks between the company and clients.
The organizational culture of NIB was highly achievement based and less bonding with a local community. Their top priority was maximizing the profit and increasing the clients. Furthermore, they were proud of the company and their self as a high social status and salary and a promising white collar occupation. However, I felt that there existed a glass ceiling in the company in related to different educational background and different province human relation. The overall attitude was that the boss expect to their subordinates to be peremptory, just exactly the same with the country culture. They had a regular social gathering at night such as dinner meeting and Friday night drinking.
As one of the Human resource policies, monetary incentives are well provided but maternal leave or sick leave is not that easy to use. Punctuality is a barometer of evaluation of a staff behavior. At that moment, there were no official Health and safety policies in the company because of lack of recognition. A typical communication system in the NIB was a regular meeting every morning. That was for the notice of daily schedule and significant event. However, most of the information was confidential so it looks a close and solid organization.
Comparison & Reflection
One is a primary school. National educational organization is not -for-profit organization.
The other one is a financing company. There is a fast moving industry and all that matter is monetary value. Therefore, their organization culture is hugely different. For the discovery learning, the school encourages a self motivated activity and restrain from standardization. However, the financing company is likely to make strategies following the possible situation. In other words, the school asks me 'what I am able to do' while the financing company want me to do 'what they want to do'. That implies the differences in ways of thinking and perceiving to people and tasks. That is, what is the top priority of the organization? Is it an individual human or collective company? The answer is culture. Like the distance between two countries, cultural backgrounds are different: egalitarian versus class society and organization. Last but at least, I think that the most difference is a view toward world. In New Zealand, due to an isolated location,
Worldwide view narrow view towards the society
My view is likely to be superficial because I just have experienced a short period of time
Culture is everything and workplaces can be a miniature of the culture, reflecting of the society. Because people is a part of culture denominator
workplace circumstances is different depending on where it is located.
Culture is a kind of root of the characteristics of them. As subcultures of the workplace,
confidence and familiarity with New Zealand workplace culture very slightly.
Unless I try to getting involved the culture, I am not able to
Aware off the workplace issues
A Congenial work environment ubiquitous concern
concised version of the culture