As leaders we all aspire to have high-performing employees. Having employees we can trust to execute on projects (without having to micromanage them) takes the weight off our shoulders, and enables us to achieve things that bring us closer to our company vision.
In order to build a high performance culture, the key is to look beyond just trying to find high performing employees, but to instead embed values and behaviours into the organisation that create an environment where high-performance is purely part of the makeup and DNA of the organisation.
Here we’ve distilled high-performance cultures down into 5 key elements. As you’re reading through the list, ask yourself, where do you as a leader and your company stack up?
Strong leadership is the number one critical success factor for any company looking to build the high-performance culture that it will need to be successful in the future.
It is a leader’s role to create and communicate a compelling vision and set of values for an organisation, inspire others to buy into the vision and ultimately lead their team by example.
Without a commitment and dedication to doing this from leaders within an organisation, it’s virtually impossible to embed the remaining four drivers of performance into a business.
Ever been in a situation as a leader, where you’ve planned to make progress on a project in a meeting with your team, only to check back in a couple of weeks later and find out that no real progress has been made?
In high-performance culture this rarely happens. Why? Because people have a sense of ownership and accountability for the work they are doing and take responsibility for pushing projects forward.
In order to create this sense of accountability their needs to be ownership at every level of the business. As opposed to leaders and managers merely giving orders that their team are required to follow, employees should report up to their leaders – letting them know what needs to be achieved.
Most employees want to contribute and feel a sense of autonomy – so get out of their way and let them.
We cannot underestimate the influence of trust-based relationships on the overall culture of an organisation.
Smart organisations put building genuine connection and human relationships at the forefront of their culture. Doing so creates an environment of camaraderie, trust and care – where people genuinely look forward to coming into work and contributing.
No one wants to let their mates down, so your team are more likely to go the extra mile for the company if they feel personally connected with their colleagues, leaders and the overarching vision.
High-performance is underpinned by employees having a growth mindset. Leaders should regularly ask themselves the question; “How many of my team are genuinely coming into work today thinking about how they can grow the business, or how many of them are coming in thinking that they will do what they did yesterday, which is to maintain the business?”
Most organisations who first ask this question are faced with the reality that the majority of their employees are operating in a mindset of “maintain”, whereas growth is about innovation.
It is about challenging the status quo, looking for new ways to do things and aiming to achieve outstanding business growth, regardless of the trading environment in which you are operating.
High performance teams are results driven – each employee owns the results and therefore the journey required to achieve them.
While a focus on results should never override the level of care you have for your employees and their wellbeing, ensuring that each person has clarity and of ownership for their work will allow your culture and ultimately your organisation to flourish.
Individual team members should report their results and achievements to their leaders, and be celebrated for their successes – particularly in the context of how their work contributes to the vision of the business at large.
Looking for more insights on building a high-performance team? Don’t leave without reading these articles.