Now that you understand the 5 pillars of a successful, high-performance company, it’s time to dig into the details. Here, we’ll discuss the 9 steps you can take towards building a high-performance culture in your organization. The key steps are as follows:
1. Continuous (online) feedback
The days of annual performance of reviews and feedback are gone. Today’s managers recognize that the annual review is an outdated metric for determining employee performance.
Instead of focusing on yearly, quarterly, or even monthly feedback, your goal should be to provide continuous feedback to employees. Online tools make this easier than ever before.
You can give feedback to employees based on their performance on a particular project, or in a certain situation. This real-time feedback allows employees to understand where they are excelling now – and in which areas they could improve.
In turn, this allows your employees to grow, and understand how they can perform to their utmost ability in your organization.
2. Goal setting (both personal and organizational goals)
Without a goal, you’re not going anywhere. Goals are like a roadmap – without a goal, you don’t know where you are.
This is why both personal and organizational goals are important. Each of your employees should have a personal goal – and as an organization, your company should have a long-term goal.
Setting clear, reasonable, and achievable goals helps both managers and employees focus on an objective. And when you achieve these objectives, everyone will feel good – and know that their performance is improving.
3. Focus on strengths
When you’re trying to improve as a company, it’s easy to focus on the weaknesses of your organization, or of individual employees.
But high-performance cultures are not bred from negativity. If you focus on your employees weaknesses, and try to make them understand where they are failing, they will become sullen and resentful. They will feel as if they’re being attacked – and will react negatively.
So don’t focus on weaknesses within your organization. Focus on where you excel – and try to build up your employees by talking about how well they’re doing in their strongest areas.
Then, you can temper this positive feedback with some critical advice about weaknesses or areas of improvement.
But no matter what, ensure that your workers have the tools they need to excel in their areas of strength – and to improve themselves in aspects of their work that may be somewhat lacking.
4. Training and coaching for everyone, not only for the top-talent
Investing only in your top talent is a mistake. The fact of the matter is that your highest-performing employees probably don’t need that much coaching or training! Everyone can benefit from more hands-on training, of course – but your best employees are likely already doing fine on their own.
So, make sure that you educate all of your employees on how to become better workers and give them the tools they need to do so. Would you rather have your top 5 workers become 10% more effective, or have your bottom 50 workers become 10% more effective?
By providing the same tools and educational opportunities to all of your employees, you can improve your business performance dramatically. So don’t just focus on the top performers. Make sure that each and every employee at your company has the opportunity to improve themself as a worker, and as a person.
5. Peer feedback and coaching
Getting feedback from management and executives can be scary and nerve-wracking for employees, even if you give them feedback with the best intentions.
Because peer feedback is delivered in a much more low-risk environment, it’s often a much better way for employees to learn about their strengths and weaknesses.
Peer feedback and coaching are both great tools for building a high-performance company. Your workers feel comfortable around their peers and colleagues – so they can connect with one another on a personal level and help each other improve.
Consider implementing a mentorship program, where a high-performance employee mentors and coaches a lower-performance employee. Both employees can give each other feedback and will get a deeper understanding both of their strengths or the areas in which they can improve.
6. Information sharing
As an executive or manager, it’s easy to be cagey with information related to the performance of the company, or its future. But being open with your employees is a much better choice, even if you’re not always sharing good news.
Sharing information freely with your workers fosters a culture of openness – and even if your company is struggling, employees will appreciate that you are being honest about the challenges that face them.
In fact, they may redouble their efforts in order to help the company – which is unlikely to happen if they don’t have complete information about how well it’s performing.
So, don’t keep your employees in the dark about what’s happening with your company. Share information openly and freely – when it’s both good and bad. Your employees will appreciate the honesty and will have a better idea of how they can help your company.
7. Employee engagement
Engaged employees are happy employees. Disengaged employees are less productive and profitable – it’s estimated that disengaged employees cost employers more than $550 billion a year in lost productivity.
Turnover rates are often also much higher for disengaged employees, which results in a less effective organization, and much higher HR costs.
Therefore, focusing on employee engagement is a major key to success when building a high-performance organization. You can increase employee engagement by:
● Offering competitive salaries and benefits
● Laying out clear opportunities for advancement and career improvement
● Clearly defining what’s expected of employees
● Having long-term goals that will help to motivate workers
● Asking for feedback on management performance
● Offering training and employee development courses
● Creating employee recognition and reward programs
These are just a few examples. You should seek to boost employee engagement as much as you can. If you do, your business is sure to benefit.
8. Frequent conversations with managers
It may be a cliche, but an “open-door” policy is still the best way to make sure managers and employees can see eye-to-eye on important business issues. Your employees and managers should be encouraged to talk with each other – frequently and honestly.
Without regular interaction between managers and workers, an atmosphere of resentment or misunderstanding can occur – which will negatively impact your business. Managers will be frustrated by misbehaving or poorly-performing employees. And employees won’t understand what’s being asked of them, or know how to perform up to expectations.
So make it a priority to encourage open conversation with managers. This is a critical factor in developing a positive, high-performing workplace.
9. Celebrate successes and milestones
Business successes and milestones should be celebrated at your company. Whether a single employee meets their sales goal or another performance metric, or your entire company achieves a milestone – such as a certain amount of profit for the year – it should be announced and recognized.
Goals and objectives are great, of course – but unless there is some kind of system in place to announce and recognize corporate goals, they will feel unimportant and immaterial.
You can reward individual successes and milestones by providing bonuses, time off, or other benefits to employees. When there is a real, tangible reward given for a high performance, employees will be motivated to continue operating at maximum efficiency.
By the same token, celebrating corporate goals as a company is the best way to motivate your entire workforce as a team.
Recognize how everyone on your team contributed, and consider having a special event such as a half-day, employee outing, or even a corporate picnic to celebrate the achievement of your goal.
Building a high-performance culture at your workplace is not easy. It takes time, effort, and often quite a bit of money. You may have to overhaul your feedback systems, hire (and let go of) quite a few people, and spend a lot of resources on improving your corporate culture and individual employee performance.
But in the end, it’s well-worth the investment of both time and energy. Once you have built a workplace culture and a management structure that rewards high performance employees and fosters a positive atmosphere of continuous improvement, the results are incredible.
Your company will benefit from higher efficiency and better financial performance, fantastic customer satisfaction rates, and engaged, dedicated employees.
You will also be able to improve your products and services more effectively, set long term goals, and develop a corporate strategy that will help prepare you for long-term success.
So don’t wait another second. Get started today. With this comprehensive blog post, you’ll have all of the tools that you need to begin fostering a high-performance workplace culture.