Creating a High Performance Culture
Creating a high performance culture can be challenging, particularly when there is uncertainty of where to begin. An important first step is determining what changes need to be made to your current practices. Once you have reached an understanding of your organisational values, you will have a foundation on which to build in new practices that will allow you to construct a culture of high performance. Part of the assessment stage should include defining the behaviours that will contribute to developing a high performance culture. It is important that what you choose to outline as high performance behaviours are relevant to your company. No two organisations are alike, and as such, will have differing needs.
Understanding at All Levels
Adapting to these new behaviours is where we begin to see challenges arise. Workplace behaviour is driven by what people think they can and should do. Changing workplace behaviour will be successful when people’s mindsets change as well. You must address the underlying causes and reasoning behind those behaviours that you wish to see changed, and reframe them to align with your values.
One way of doing this is to create an environment where employees at every level of your organisation have a clear understanding of how their role contributes to the company’s overall success. This allows individuals to see the direct impact their work makes towards achieving goals. In terms of workplace culture, this provides a sense of purpose and the acknowledgement that their work is important.
Expectations and Feedback
Under circumstances where specific goal setting may not be applicable, another approach will be to set clear expectations of what is to be achieved. Where goals can be measured objectively in terms of achieved or not achieved, behavioural expectations are about everyday actions. It is important that feedback be given regularly in order to monitor how successfully these kinds of expectations are being met. It is for similar reasons that typical methods of ‘performance review’ do not provide accurate accountancy of the work being done. Consistently high performers prefer to receive regular feedback from their managers and will often request feedback on the work they are doing.
Research continues to show that regularly given feedback is effective for performance management, future performance, and people’s attitudes towards their jobs. When leading high performance teams, by providing immediate feedback – whether positive or negative – you allow the team to make adjustments to their work before it is completed. If something does need to be changed it can be, saving both their time and yours on it having to be repeated. As a result they are able to create higher quality work more effectively. This is just one of the many advantages of culture change on performance.
It can be advantageous to include focused training of these new behaviours when developing high performers. Through high performance team training, you are able to coach the behaviours you wish to shape the culture of your organisation. This also provides them with the skills they need to assist with their overall development that will lead to even greater performance later on.
In building and leading high performing teams it is important to remember that development is a continual process. By offering leadership training opportunities to your high potential employees, you are actively investing not only in their development but in the growth tom the company as well. Leading high performance teams is an exercise in trust. Much of their productivity is self-sufficient, which is why demonstrating support in this way can have such a lasting impact. By participating in their development you encourage and incentivise their continued achievements.
The impact that culture change has on attitudes and performance cannot be disregarded. A high performance culture is one that is driven by the desire of each member of an organisation to achieve new levels of success. By setting clear goals and expectations and providing support for employee development we start to see strong improvements in overall performance as well.
What ideas do you have when it comes to creating high performance teams?
About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.
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