From improved productivity to increased morale, building a high performance culture can benefit your entire organization. But it’s not just about more ping-pong tables or a dog-friendly office.
A high performance workplace culture requires strong collaboration and optimal tools for achieving business goals. Learn how to foster these behaviors and norms by focusing on these five key areas:
1. Invest in Employee Development
Providing growth opportunities helps employees acquire new knowledge and skills that benefit the company. It also encourages innovation, as employees are more likely to bring in creative ideas when they feel empowered and supported by their managers.
High-performing organizations focus on employee development because they know the benefits of having happy, engaged employees that are highly productive and loyal. Leaders in these companies set the tone and culture through their actions, so it’s important to hire and train leaders who can support a high-performance workplace.
Additionally, managers should regularly engage in one-on-one conversations with their employees to ensure that clear expectations are being met at an individual level. This allows managers to understand career goals and provide learning opportunities that align with those goals. It’s also a great way to identify roadblocks and challenges. Finally, technology can be an essential tool in the effort to create a high-performance culture because it enables teams to work together effectively and efficiently. It helps them stay on track with project goals, avoid time-wasting meetings, and deliver consistent, quality customer service.
2. Encourage Feedback
In a high-performing culture, everyone feels empowered to collaborate and share ideas. They can build upon the strengths of others and create a more holistic team approach. This can boost productivity, and a collaborative mindset can also lead to innovation that fuels business growth.
The best leaders are both cheerleader and coach, encouraging employees to give their all. They set clear goals and provide honest feedback. They know that every employee’s unique skills and experiences mean that they can work differently to achieve the same result.
Encourage teams to communicate directly with each other, so that praise doesn’t have to go through you (you don’t want to be a feedback bottleneck). This can help build stronger relationships between peers and allow more feedback to be shared than what might happen in a formal review process.
Increasingly, employees are seeking flexibility in the workplace. They’re looking for a “win-win” arrangement, so they can feel empowered to be creative and contribute their best efforts. It’s important that senior leadership demonstrates this on a regular basis. This helps to set the tone for the entire organization.
3. Encourage Collaboration
Creating a high-performance workplace culture requires that employees feel engaged, supported, and recognized for their work. This is largely because people who feel connected to their work are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs and contribute to the overall success of the organization.
The way to create a sense of connection is through open communication and collaboration. This can be done through weekly one-to-ones, company-wide meetings (in person or virtual), and team meetings that encourage cross-functional collaboration.
It is also important to provide room and resources for growth. When managers communicate regularly and outline growth opportunities, they help create an environment that is ripe for innovation and high performance.
It is also critical that organizations encourage accountability. For example, senior teams should set inspiring goals that encourage high-performance behaviors. It is also important to track employee progress toward these goals and reward them for their achievements. Tools like ThoughtExchange can help with this by providing a forum for discussion that allows for ideas to be shared and rated based on merit. It also has built-in anti-bias technology to ensure that all ideas are treated equally, regardless of who is sharing them.
4. Provide Flexibility
A high-performance culture provides employees with flexibility to best complete their work. When employees feel that they can rely on their managers to give them the freedom to do their jobs and not be second-guessed, they become highly engaged in their roles and are likely to continue doing a good job regardless of where or when they work.
While giving employees the flexibility they want is a big hurdle for some managers, there are ways to do so without sacrificing productivity. This involves ensuring that employees are clear on objectives and deadlines and encouraging them to use tools like ThoughtExchange to share ideas that can be rated and voted on by the team.
It’s also important to make sure that teams are aware of when they’re being overly flexible and provide too little structure or discipline. This could cause morale to drop, which can lead to a loss of motivation and poor performance. To avoid this, teams can use time-tracking software to help monitor progress and set measurable goals that are aligned with the company’s overall objectives.
5. Encourage Accountability
People who believe their work positively impacts the company will be more likely to hold themselves accountable. For example, individuals can help themselves be more accountable for meeting project deadlines if they have scheduled goal markers in addition to the final project completion date and a way to check-in on those milestones.
Similarly, employees will be more likely to be accountable for attending team meetings and working on collaborative projects if they have regular opportunities to provide and receive feedback. Managers can foster this accountability through frequent one-on-one conversations with their direct reports and other managers.
Creating a high-performance workplace culture isn’t easy, but it can be done. By aligning employee personal goals with company values, encouraging collaboration and empowering employees to take risks, businesses can create a work environment that is energized and innovative. The result will be more productive, enthusiastic, and engaged employees who are less likely to leave for greener pastures. And that’s a win for everyone!