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A high-performance culture is a set of values, beliefs and behaviors that enable an organisation to achieve excellent results and a high level of growth.
High-performance cultures establish effective performance processes and prioritise them at all levels of the organisation, creating a working environment most conducive to growth. By expressing your company culture through your people processes, HR departments can consistently achieve excellent and support employees on their professional journeys.
Strategies of businesses with a high-performance culture
It is easy to assume that your business has already achieved a high-performance culture, but there are a few telling factors if you want to be sure. Many of them share some common strategies.
Leaders acquire talents who are not only professionally excellent but also are good fits for your company culture. Research has proven that low performers could lower workplace morale, so talent acquisition should consider soft skills like time management, adaptability, and leadership.
An environment that encourages open communication fosters confidence and engagement. Employees are comfortable asking questions from leadership and suggesting ideas.
High performers share the company’s mission and vision. They understand their purpose, leading to smarter goals and less turnover.
A productive workplace encourages learning and development. Investing in your employees’ growth builds confidence and encourages them to keep exceeding.
Employees share their feedback on high-level decisions and work independently. Such requires a high level of trust from leaders that your employees are well-equipped and empowered to perform at their best. Leaders should delegate tasks effectively to make their workers feel empowered.
Excellent employees are appreciated both publicly and privately. This boosts their morale and motivation because they know they are valued, and their work is recognised. Genuine acts of appreciation significantly impact an employee’s well-being, job satisfaction, productivity, and morale.
Developing a high-performance culture at work
Cultivating a high-performance culture is important to grow your business for these reasons.
It sets you apart
Businesses are constantly competing for attention, especially in highly competitive industries and with the digital space being vast enough to accommodate all of them. This is why being distinctive and memorable benefits your company.
Due to the digital age, information is readily available online. Businesses have access to strategies, processes, and tools for further improvement. It is also easier for them to acquire the necessary resources to succeed. However, a lot of companies stop there.
A great strategy means nothing if your employees cannot execute it well. Here, high-performing employees and a good working environment will give you a competitive advantage. High performers are comfortable innovating and solving problems creatively, both of which can help you stand out among your competitors.
Positive culture boosts work performance
Building a culture where employees feel valued, empowered, and inspired can greatly improve your company’s performance.
Research has proven that satisfied employees are 12% more productive than the average worker. They demonstrate more creativity and exceed expectations. Meanwhile, disheartened employees are 10% less productive and more likely to make mistakes. They are not interested in reaching goals and being a good worker.
Consistently reaching goals can motivate and engage a high-performing employee. Therefore, businesses with high employee engagement reportedly achieve higher productivity, higher customer loyalty, lower turnover, and higher profitability. However, only 15% of employees are actively engaged in their workplace, highlighting the importance of engagement activities for business growth.
A high-performance culture benefits both the small and big picture when it comes to overall performance.
Learning engages employees
Continuous learning and development have led to better focus and higher employee engagement. Investing in skill-building and knowledge-sharing helps your employees be better equipped and more confident at work.
The world changes quickly, and employees should have the opportunity and resources to grow. Investing in the learning and development of your employees will benefit them and your business, because they get to utilise their learnings in their daily employee tasks.
Do not forget to include technical (hard) skills and soft skills. Technical skills are dependent on your industry. This includes skills such as project management, journalism, and programming. Soft skills are interpersonal characteristics that describe how you work. Soft skills can comprise time management, communication, and leadership.
Businesses should prioritise learning to keep up with global trends and the changes in ever-evolving industries. Harvard Business Report found that 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors believe that employees will need to either hone their current skills or acquire new ones annually to maintain a competitive advantage in the global job market.
With a dedication to continuous learning and development, workers will be more confident, highly competent, and up to date.
Efficiency is highly influenced by the work environment
According to research, economic stress can lead to absenteeism at work. Absenteeism, in turn, affects innovation and work performance. But what causes stress in the workplace?
Physical: Noise, lack of necessary resource, or physical discomfort (i.e., from a rigid chair)
Social: Lack of communication, fear of losing the job, decreased satisfaction, or feeling unsafe
Meanwhile, a healthy and positive work environment can boost efficiency. This means that teams support each other, communicate well, and collaborate effectively. The work environment begins the moment an employee joins your team.
During training, your company’s goals and vision should be clear and relevant to their own goals. Seasoned employees should also be welcoming to new hires, willing to answer questions, and accommodating to a diverse range of personalities.
Morale is high when there are authentic connections, trust, and regular appreciation from their colleagues. A good working environment is free of negative behaviour like fear, harassment, and bullying. Employees are respectful and accommodating with each other. Meanwhile, leaders communicate instructions, processes, and feedback well to their team.
A simple way to improve the work environment and create an enjoyable atmosphere is by holding social events like holiday parties and regular game nights.
High performers attract more high performers
Excellent talents want to work for a company that invests in its employees. When choosing the right company to work for, employees seek flexibility, outcome-based measurement, and diversity.
Flexible work and independent work go hand-in-hand. Working remotely and with little supervision also attracts high-performing employees. They thrive on regular feedback as opposed to yearly reports.
Having the best people onboard encourages more high performers to join your business and increases employee retention. Inversely, low performers can impede and even drive away high performers.
When a team has low and high performers together, the high performer will have to pick up the slack. If this goes on for too long, either or both employees end up leaving because of unequal workload.
A company known for successful employees and a productive workplace is attractive to a high performer. This is why having the best people on board is key to a high-performance culture.
Employees want to see the bigger picture
Effective leaders know how to empower employees with relevant information. A high-performance culture involves sharing information, such as goals, strategic directions, and new knowledge, with everyone. These resources should not be limited to leaders.
Employees want to understand their purpose and place in the bigger picture. They know the company’s vision and where they fit in that vision. The goals of a company should be relevant to that of the employees. Meanwhile, employees whose personal values are compatible with the companies are five times more engaged than those who are not.
This way, workers take ownership over projects to reach their goals. They understand their importance and how they contribute to the company’s overall success.
Workplaces are changing
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses globally. In 2020, many companies converted their workplaces to a remote version.
Office meetings were on Zoom or Google Meet, and work was mainly done at home. This was a radical change. But since then, some businesses have opened up, though many choose to maintain their remote or flexible workspaces.
The global talent shortage is predicted to influence employers to maintain flexible work models, especially since many people look for flexibility from potential employers. This includes flexible work hours and remote or hybrid set-ups.
Employees also look for outcome-based measurement as opposed to output-based. Instead of traditional performance metrics, they want to see employee performance assessed in terms of impact and value.
Leaders should be prepared to meet employees’ expectations to progress in an ever-changing landscape. A business with a high-performance culture is more equipped to deal with innovations and impactful trends than other businesses. This can be a significant advantage, especially because the future is unpredictable.
How to develop a high-performance culture at work
Now that we know the value of high-performance work culture, let us go through the steps to developing it.
Determine what needs to change
Analyse the current processes and work environment to determine what is holding your business back. This could be in the form of an inefficient organisational hierarchy, conflicting goals, or a confusing workflow.
Be diligent and pay attention to even trivial details. Involve your employees in this process and listen closely to their feedback. They probably have first-hand experience of what is preventing them from meeting their goals and objectives.
Changing culture involves everyone in the company. Leaders should be at the forefront of refining how things go within the organisation, whether it’s the tone of the meetings or the people’s behaviours that contribute to an environment. They should closely observe and adjust their words and demeanour to best manage the team.
Clearly explain what will be changing, how it will affect each employee, and who to ask questions. This step needs everyone on board and sharing the same vision.
The refinement process will look different for every company. One might realise that most of the employees have poor computer skills. In this case, the CEO can invest in an IT development course for everyone.
Another might notice that the interior design of the office is too bleak, therefore decreasing morale and lowering productivity. They could then work on a better floor plan and more conducive lighting.
Developing a high-performance culture is a continuous process. During the initial changes, there can be increased motivation and better efficiency. There will be a need to reassess and re-evaluate as time goes on.
Continue to assess and improve your corporate culture because, at the end of the day, this will help your company grow alongside your people.
A high-performance culture aims to optimise your processes while providing your employees with what they need to excel. Developing a high-performance culture does not happen overnight, but you can achieve it faster with strong dedication and committed leaders. Your company proves its dedication to employees and growth by focusing on work culture.
While all businesses strive for efficiency and maximum output, it should not be at the expense of employees’ mental health and well-being. Companies should strive to build a healthy workplace that can provide areas for growth while taking care of their employees.
Gestaldt Consultants, Partners and Thought Leaders.
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