Organizational Culture Analysis: The Home Depot
BUS 610: Organizational Behavior
Organizational Culture Analysis: The Home Depot
Culture whether it be business, social, educational, or other has its own symbols or artifacts that influence or guide our behaviors. As stated by Hofstede et al. in Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind, Artifacts are observable to those inside and outside of the culture and can be grouped into categories of practices, symbols, heroes, and rituals” (as cited by Mindbrandt et al., 2014, p. 14). Throughout this paper I will describe the culture of The Home Depot. This description shall include observable artifacts, espoused values, enacted values and how each impact the values and culture of The Home Depot.
The Home Depot corporate website states, “Our values are the fabric of the Company’s unique culture and are central to our success” . The Home Depot has eight core values that guide its organization as it strives to build a strong culture; as well as, a strong organization. These eight core values are composed of excellent customer service, taking care of our people, building strong relationships, respect for all people, entrepreneurial spirit, doing the right thing, giving back, and creating shareholder value .
The core value of taking care of our people is one demonstrated through the Homer Fund. The Homer Fund is a fund in which employees can contribute money, this money is then used to assist employees in their time of need whether it be a donation of money for food or to cover funeral costs. This is a core value that I have had the opportunity to not only witness the use of it but also was able to see how it helped a fellow co-worker.
The core value of excellent customer service is one that Home Depot takes very seriously. “For us, customer service begins by investing in our associates, in their training and in their success” (MarketLine, 2015, p 29). Every time that a customer has a purchase whether it be online, in store, tool rentals, or tool repair the customer is provided with the option of completing a survey in which they can not only provide feedback on their overall experience but also individualized experience based on the department they shopped in or the associate that assisted them. These surveys are reviewed on a weekly basis and are reviewed by the district manager, store manager, and department heads; in addition, to copies of the survey feedback statements being printed out and displayed in the break room. This not only gives associates a chance to read how customers feel about the service they provide, but if a particular associate is positively viewed or commented on that is also seen which can boost morale. Furthermore associates can be rewarded Home Awards, an observable artifact, which “are apron badges with a monetary reward that are often awarded when customers praise an associate by name in our customer service surveys”.
Another core value, giving back, in one I have witnessed and participated in through home improvements on veteran houses to the clean-up following a tornado in 2014. According to Home Depot Incorporated’s 2015 company profile report, “With $1.5 million funding from Home Depot Foundation, volunteer assistance from the company’s associate-led volunteer force, and technical assistance from Habitat for Humanity International, the program aims to provide habitat affiliates across the country with the resources to repair the homes of near 100 veterans and their families”(MarketLine, p 7).
“We have to continue to simplify life for our store associates so they can focus on the customer, provide them the tools to be effective, empower them through learning programs, and reward them when they succeed”. By providing great customer service the organization can increase their market value, as increased satisfaction is usually followed by increased sales. The Home Depot has an employee stock purchase plan in which employees can buy stock with a 15% discount, further giving their employees a stake, or ownership, in the organization. “In FY 2013, Home Depot repurchased a total of $8.5 billion, or 111 million shares, of outstanding stock to return value to shareholders” (Erksine et al., 2015, p. 176).
The core values building strong relationships, respect for all people, and doing the right thing are enacted values. Enacted values are “the values and norms exhibited as employee and managerial behaviors” (Baack, 2012, 2.1). An example or manifestation of enacted values are norms. Norms are rules that guide the actions and behaviors of employees and organizations. Perhaps the most common or most well-known norm in terms of The Home Depot culture is the orange apron as well as the orange box displaying the company name. As an employee of Home Depot I am required to wear my orange apron while on the clock, and am also required and expected to uphold the core values to the best of my ability. The core values of doing the right thing and respect for all people are enacted values as they guide the behaviors of the employees, emphasizing and directing employees to act with integrity when interacting with both internal and external customers. Through ethical practices and integrity the organization is one of trust, respect, reliability, and strength. By strengthening the relationship and trust the community has in the organization not only is a strong relationship built but also a stronger sense of community, of involvement within that community.
Throughout this paper I have described the culture of The Home Depot. This description included observable artifacts, espoused values, enacted values and how each impact the values and culture of The Home Depot.
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