How Global Mobility Managers, Not Just HR, Can Help with Employee Relations

A crucial mistake businesses make is to solely rely on HR representatives and global mobility leaders to improve employee relations. Although managers and senior leaders are trained to be mindful of how they interact with colleagues and team members, to what extent do they involve themselves in creating a safe workspace culture for their employees?

Almost two years in, companies have managed to adapt to the new normal, constantly looking for new methods on how to achieve business continuity while maintaining good employee relations in the middle of a health crisis. 

However, businesses have different perspectives on how they view their organization resulting in different methods on how they stabilize employee relations. 

A few months back, the CEO of a high-profile company was placed under the spotlight for challenging the idea that “companies are families.” The dangers of ‘family thinking’, he said, are that it becomes incredibly hard to let poor performers go.”

So how do managers strike the balance between making employees comfortable while maintaining professionalism in the workplace?

They can start by identifying what type of organizational culture is the right fit for their company and assessing the advantages and disadvantages of adopting one.

According to Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn from the University of Michigan, the four most common types of organizational culture are Adhocracy, Clan, Market and Hierarchy.

Clan Culture

The clan culture is most popular among small businesses, start-ups, and family-run businesses. In contrast to Tobias Lütke’a sentiments, the clan culture leans toward family-like characteristics. It aims to nurture interpersonal relationships within an organization — prioritizing commonality and collaboration within its workforce. 

Companies like Google, Zappos and Team Lemonade are thought to adopt this type of culture.


Implementing a more horizontal organizational structure breaks down barriers resulting in strong, tight-knit bonds within the workforce. As relationships flourish within teams, feedback and ideation are easily communicated among members. 

Leaders in the clan culture are considered approachable mentors who turn to their team members for collaboration. They often go to great lengths to make each team member feel valued, noticed, and supported resulting in a happier workforce.


The clan culture can be difficult to adopt in larger businesses where authoritative leadership is considered an essential leadership quality to steer businesses in the right direction. Leaders who exert too much effort in maintaining close-knit friendships within the workforce can find it difficult to exude authority and make effective but unpopular decisions for the company.

Adhocracy Culture

This company culture thrives in fast-paced environments. Adhocracy culture embodies a highly dynamic and innovative workforce who takes risks and normally doesn’t conform to the status quo. 

Leaders in this particular culture are viewed as innovators, disrupting the norms of decision-making and business planning. They value flexibility and creativity, often encouraging their employees to come up with new ideas and methods to improve the business.

Tech companies like Facebook, Apple, and Tesla are known to be risk-takers and innovators.


Companies who adopt this type of organizational culture presumably possess overachievers in their workforce. Giving value to bright and creative minds, leaders in this culture are open to receiving new ideas from their team members regardless of what position an employee holds. Employees in this culture are highly motivated individuals, striving for professional progression. 


A workforce composed of highly motivated individuals doesn’t come without its cons. A company culture that rewards individuals who bring something new to the table can cause employees to experience excessive stress and anxiety due to the highly competitive tendencies of their peers. The fear of being outdone by colleagues can affect employee productivity in the long run.

Market Culture

Known to be the most aggressive type of culture, market culture is driven by deadlines, results, and performance. Companies within this culture expect their workforce to excel with profit always in mind. That’s why leaders in this culture create highly competitive working environments, emphasizing achieving concrete results.

General Electric under former CEO Jack Welch was known to have led the company with this type of culture according to a Meetly article.


Intense focus on results provides enterprises better chances of business success. It forces leaders to bring the best out of their team members, pushing them to achieve and make outstanding contributions to maximizing profit for the company.

Moreover, companies with this culture encourage continuous professional development for their workforce, providing tools to equip them for better working performance.


Employees in companies with this culture are more prone to experience burnout. Constantly expected to get things done exceptionally within narrow time-frames can cause a company’s workforce to feel exhausted both mentally and physically. It results in productivity issues and higher employee turnover rates.

Hierarchy culture

Process and procedures are the foundation of hierarchy culture. It emphasized levels of rank and their corresponding responsibilities. Leaders in this culture facilitate their employees’ adherence to specific processes within their scope of work. A great deal of supervision is often involved to maintain set business processes.

Government organizations are commonly known to implement the hierarchy culture.


The hierarchy culture provides clearly defined roles and responsibilities to prevent inefficiency in the workplace. The value of the chain of command aids employees to avoid confusion on who reports to who. Respect to policy, guidelines, and procedures gives employees a sense of security as well.


Unlike the adhocracy culture, hierarchy culture gives little-to-no room for creativity. A deep-rooted love for tradition can prevent the company from adapting to the rapid changes in the business world. 

The culture also inhibits the ability of lower-level employees to initiate and make sound decisions of their own, leaving career progress a difficult concept to grab within this type of culture.