Organizations that foster and experience a high-performance culture do consistently well in terms of revenue, growth, and quality. This blog will take you through what this is and why this is important.
All organizations have their own work culture. It could be purpose-driven, customer-centric, Ad Hoc, innovation-based, and more. Whatever primary work culture your organization follows, it should encourage employees to perform better, stay more focused, and exceed expectations. All these help make the culture high performing.
A high-performance culture needs efforts from both sides – the management and the employees – to develop. When the right efforts are put in, the organization will be one of the best places for people to work. Retention rates would improve, and productivity would increase organically.
What is work culture?
Work culture is the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours at the workplace that make up the generic atmosphere of the space. A work culture can be healthy, positive, and highly productive. Conversely, work culture can also be highly demanding, negative, stressful, or constricting. Work culture would be an aggregation of what your employees feel when they think about work.
What is a high-performance culture?
A high-performance culture is a workplace atmosphere where employees are highly productive and motivated, and their work pays off for themselves and the organization. As the name indicates, this is an environment where employees perform really well, consistently. The organization gives them all that’s needed to facilitate high performance.
Creating a high-performance culture takes considerable effort. However, once such a culture is created, it helps employees achieve goals and create values seamlessly. Such an environment consistently helps organizations grow and move up the industry ladder, too.
Features of a high-performance culture
For you to be convinced that a high-performance culture is what your organization needs, you need to know the features of such a setting.
- A high-performance culture fosters team building rather than focusing only on individual achievements.
- A workplace with high-performance culture has shared goals and works with clear direction.
- Healthy, constructive conflicts are allowed and encouraged in workplaces with high-performing cultures.
- Rewards and recognition play a very important role in this culture. R&R programs are real-time, effective, consistent, and supported by high-end tools and technology.
- Agility is one of the most important features of a high-performance culture. Employees are constantly learning, unlearning, and agile when it comes to skills and knowledge.
- A high-performance culture is backed by strong and transparent leadership.
- Innovation is at an all-time high here. Such high-performance culture encourages out-of-box solutions and creative ideas.
If you think all these would make a strategic difference to your workplace, you should change the existing workplace culture too.
Steps to create a high-performance culture
So, the next question is how to create a high-performance culture in your workplace? What should organizations do to facilitate optimal performance and make it a norm? We bring you five important steps to creating a high-performing culture.
Focus on effective goal setting and ways to track progress
Goal setting is something all organizations do. However, places that facilitate a high-performance culture take goal setting very seriously and systematically. They have tools to create the right goals and track them periodically. Such organizations also constantly ensure individual goals are aligned with organizational goals, so everything is aligned and in place.
Goals are the end results for every organization. If goals aren’t being made or met, then neither the organization nor the employees will move forward.
PossibleWorks’ Objectives and Key Results (OKR) tools have helped organizations streamline their goal-setting process, create and compare individual and team objectives, and track key results.
In a high-performance culture, the employees know what exactly they are working towards and what is expected of them. Such clarity will help the employees stride forward with confidence.
Set up a platform for open and transparent communication
This is really important for organizations to create and sustain high-performance culture at the workplace. Employees expect transparency and react better when managers are open to discussions. When the organization’s culture is based on openness and transparency, it becomes easier to set goals, discuss potential problems, and move forward as a team.
Information has to flow top-bottom, bottom-up, and horizontally to be effective. Similarly, constructive and positive feedback that helps employees improve their performance and focuses on their career development is a critical element for a high-performance culture.
Work on your reward and recognition processes
Another vital step your organization can (and must) use to develop a high-performance culture at work is a rewards and recognition program. All organizations, small or big, must have their own R&R system in place. How consistent, timely, and fulfilling your rewards and recognition processes are, matters the most.
Make sure you recognize the right behaviour or skill right away. Recognition needs to happen in real-time and organization-wide. Ensure there is a common platform for peers to recognize one another. Did you know that PossibleWorks’ R&R tool helps create tools that facilitate easy peer recognition?
We have successfully implemented gamification into the R&R processes for Astro, one of our clients. We identified KPIs that the teams had to focus on, and there were weekly, and monthly challenges, badges, and prizes offered regularly. The brand ended up meeting targets easily, and the gamification process also improved employee engagement.
Ask for feedback and take them seriously
Let’s say your management is doing all it can to foster a high-performance culture. What would happen when the employees show nil interest? Or if they feel that there are other basic issues to be changed before they are expected to show high performance. That’s why it is essential to ask for feedback and take the feedback seriously.
The employees should be able to send anonymous feedback, walk into the manager’s cabin and offer feedback or discuss how they feel during a team meeting. Whichever mode they take, employees must feel encouraged to provide feedback and be thanked for their feedback.
The next step is to take action on the feedback. Organizations are not always expected to provide a solution or make changes based on what the employees feel. However, they need to follow up on the feedback. The employees have to be informed why the feedback cannot be accepted or thanked if changes are made. Such a constructive atmosphere will help employees give back their best to the organization, and this will build a high-performance organic culture.
Invest in employee experience
What does employee experience mean? From the minute an employee gets into an office cab to the time they step out, everything they encounter matters and adds to the employee’s experience. Here are some ways to improve the employee experience to foster a high-performance culture.
- Invest in the right digital tools and technology needed for employees to do their jobs well.
- Make sure the workspace is well-done and comfortable. Invest in sound-proof barriers and private cabins to help employees work better.
- Offer food and beverage if possible. Employees who are well-nourished focus better.
- Offer other benefits that add value to employees
We have a separate blog on employee experience if you would like to read that next.
A high-performance culture is something that adds immense value to the organization and its employees. Such a culture attracts top talents and sees incredible growth over the years. However, achieving such a status is not easy. It takes years of effort from the organization to create a culture that fosters high performance.
Start by analyzing your current workplace culture and discuss with the employees what changes they wish the workplace had. Make sure you have the time and resources to start working on the current cultural scenario and slowly bring in small yet focused changes. A high-performance culture relies heavily on the employees. Therefore, ensure they are in sync with the process and ready to embrace changes.
Are you using the right technology for your Recognition programs?