Performance culture is all about maximising employee morale and productivity at your workplace. Here’s how you can introduce a high-performing work culture that keeps you and your colleagues energised and ready-to-go.
Your company culture is a reflection of your brand’s values and should ideally be one that empowers your staff and encourages quality performance. That said, this is not always the case.
Studies suggest that while 92% of CEOs believe they run an empathetic organisation, 50% of their employees still feel undervalued within their respective companies, revealing a clear disconnect between the bottom line and senior management. This rings especially true within big hierarchies.
A secure and supportive workspace is fundamental to the cohesion of any functioning organisation. Read on to understand what a high-performance culture is and how to implement it.
What is High-Performance Culture?
A high-performance culture is a set of beneficial behaviours designed to drive productivity and garner positive results consistently over time.
It doesn’t grow organically. Rather, it requires a systematic approach to managing the performance of individuals and teams within the organisation, which takes time, effort, and commitment – not to mention strong leadership. But, done right, and it can give companies a potent competitive advantage.
Why is Performance Culture Important?
High-performing employees are like a successful sports team: collaborative yet competitive. Not only are they self-motivated to give their best and drive performance, but they’re also inspired to motivate everyone else on the team to similarly surpass expectations and deliver consistent results.
With an effective high-performance culture in place, you can avoid attrition costs and reap the numerous benefits of having a driven, high-calibre team.
8 Benefits of a High-Performance Culture
• Increased productivity
• Increased profitability
• Improved learning and development
• Improved leadership capabilities across the organisation
• Increased communication and collaboration
• Greater employee satisfaction, motivation, and engagement
• Accelerated implementation of change
• Higher creativity which leads to more innovation
How to Create a High-Performance Culture
Here are five actionable steps you can take to build a high-performance culture and a supportive workplace:
1. Communicate Company Values & Expectations Clearly
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
Communication is the lifeblood of any organisation, and it’s up to management to set the right example. After all, if you don’t follow your own rules, then why should your team?
• Clearly define company goals and expectations on a regular basis.
• Speak in specifics to avoid confusion. Miscommunication can seriously hurt relationships, and impede progress.
• Be transparent about the company’s goals, opportunities, and challenges. This will help to build trust.
• Listen actively. Effective communication is a two-way street.
• Give everyone a voice by encouraging open feedback (and implement changes based on them).
• Tailor your communication style depending on the recipient for best results.
• Respond with empathy.
• Practice open body language/non-verbal communication.
• Choose your medium carefully. Not all communication channels are made equal.
As a leader, it is essential that your actions match your communication. If you want to foster an environment of open communication within your workplace, you need to lead the charge. Put the above tips into action and watch as your colleagues follow suit. In no time, your working relationships are sure to improve, boosting both company morale and productivity.
2. Place Emphasis on Continuous Employee Growth
It’s important that you recognise and acknowledge that your employees have personal aspirations and career goals. In a recent report from Deloitte, it was found that companies that promoted a continuous learning culture within their organisations experienced a substantial increase in both productivity and innovation.
Top organisations such as Salesforce and Unilever have been at the forefront of driving learning and development initiatives among employees. For example, Unilever, a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company, has implemented a tuition reimbursement programme that encourages its employees to pursue continuous education across a range of disciplines, paving a path for self-development and career progression. This, however, requires substantial investment from organisations, which is not always possible, especially with smaller-scale firms.
Alternatively, you can hold an informal discussion with your employees to understand their ideal career path and, as an organisation, figure out how you can help to support their personal growth and development. To motivate them further, job responsibilities can be redesigned to align with employee expectations. Simple measures like these can be easily adopted to increase engagement and demonstrate empathy towards your staff.
3. Create Employee-Centric Policies
While supervision is highly encouraged, unnecessary micromanagement is not. While this might be a tough pill for some to swallow, consider that your constant efforts in overseeing their progress may actually be doing more harm than good. Employees that feel like they are not being granted enough autonomy in their workplace often become disengaged and dissatisfied over time, impeding both productivity and quality of work.
Grant employees more accountability by allowing them to have a higher degree of control over their responsibilities. An example of this would be to implement flexible working hours and permitting them to set their own work schedules. A variety of autonomy preferences exist, so discuss with your employees to see what would be the best fit for all parties involved.
4. Adopt the Right Behaviours & Practices
Before implementing a culture change, it’s crucial that you really understand what works for your organisation. Oftentimes, companies get carried away with implementing tried-and-tested practices. However, if these practices don’t fill the existing gaps within your organisation, the new policies will be ineffective, wasting both your time and resources.
To better understand your company, conduct an internal evaluation to determine the inefficiencies within your ecosystem and why current practices are not yet yielding the desired results. You can also initiate an anonymous feedback system for all stakeholders to help identify limitations so that redemptive measures that encourage the right behaviours can be integrated into the company culture accordingly.
5. Implement Data-Driven Pay Scales
Salary negotiations never make for an easy conversation. Most organisations resort to subjective information like performance appraisals when determining an employee’s pay scale. However, this can often lead to controversial discussions on bias if staff feel that their compensation is inadequate compared to their peers. This can only foster adverse feelings among employees, leading to an overall decline in employee motivation.
Instead, you can establish a data-based compensation system to decisively compute an employee’s exact contributions and output, thereby obtaining objective information that can ensure commensurate pay.
It’s undeniable that employees are integral to the well-functioning of any company. Adopt these measures to ensure that all of you are working in a conducive environment where support and encouragement are key.