“Right”... This seems to be the word that best defines a high performance workplace. With each employee (the right ones) engaged in the right projects, using the right techniques and technology to deliver results that are…well… beyond just right. At the right time, of course.
And while doing that, people working in such a high-performance culture invest high levels of trust in one another.
They feel confident (aka they’re given the right amount of freedom) enough to make the right changes and collaborate… more than just right.
So, what’s the “recipe” for high performance in the workplace? What ingredients should you pour into it?
Let’s find out.
What Is a High-Performance Workplace?
You can identify high performing workplaces by (at least) 6 main characteristics:
- The employees are highly productive
- They’re more satisfied with their jobs
- The company focuses on employee development
- … and on innovation
- Employee retention is higher
- There’s an inclusive and supportive culture
In short, a high performing workplace creates the right setting for the employees to feel trusted, empowered, and motivated to do their best work.
Benefits of High-Performance Workplaces
Employees Look Forward to Going to Work
Happy employees lead to boosted productivity. And to better retention.
In other words, a high-performance culture sets itself apart from a low performing one by its employees with high morale.
Employees who enjoy what they spend 40 hours a week doing.
Who are given clear goals and specific rewards once they reach them. Who’re part of high-performing teams that trust each other and encourage one another to expand what they think they're capable of.
And whatever’s beneficial for your staff’s mental health, what strengthens their sense of purpose and their self-esteem will strongly influence the overall business performance, too.
Organizations Are More Effective
Achieving high performance at the workplace means that each individual is in a position perfectly suited for his/her skills and experience.
Each employee is confident in his/her capacity to carry out his tasks and meet his responsibilities. And reach the goals traced out for him.
With everyone doing exactly what they’re most capable of and trusted to make the right decisions or dare suggest changes, too, managers don’t need to waste time on menial tasks.
There’s no time wasted on mismatching jobs (and responsibilities) and employees.
In other words, a high performing organization will make proper use of each employee's experience and capabilities.
Teams Are More Cohesive, More Collaborative
And I know what you might be thinking:
“But doesn’t a high performance workplace — with its high pressure and ruthless competition — lead to negative relationships between team members?”
On the contrary.
High performing workplaces instill a sense of shared goals. Each individual adds his own share of effort so that the team, as a whole, then the company, can reach its target.
And, most of all, everyone on the team supports the others in reaching the company’s goals.
Employees Are More Productive
Why? Because a high-performance company will focus on building each employee’s strengths within a group.
Defining team roles and linking them strategically to each individual’s skills, strengths, and weaknesses help such companies make the most out of their staff’s capabilities.
And boost productivity in the workplace.
Organizations Are Better Prepared for Expansion
A high-performance culture is better equipped for a scenario where — due to increased sales or bigger media exposure — the company has the chance to expand. Rapidly.
It provides a both robust and ideally flexible structure to support a sudden expansion… swiftly.
How to Cultivate a High-Performance Culture in Your Workplace
Now that you have your list of clear benefits you might ask yourself:
“OK, and where do I start? What can I do, exactly, to build such a culture based on high performance in my workplace?”
Here are 4 specific actions you can take right away:
- Evaluate your current workplace culture: identify and make an inventory of both the positive and the negative aspects of how you’re doing today in terms of workplace culture.
- Seek employee input: since a high-performance culture is built on values like cooperation, compassion, and employee encouragement, you’ll want to know, firsthand, what your staff needs.
It’s only when you’ve identified those needs and met them that you can actually start building a high performance workplace.
- Revisit your company values: update them if needed, make them clear to everyone in the company, and work towards turning them into a shared system of values. Those strengths and values will make the solid base of your company’s mission statement.
The one that’ll help you foster that sense of community that’s so present in a high-performance culture. And which will make decision-making, at all levels, a lot smoother.
- Encourage and reward collaboration: high performing teams are those that collaborate effortlessly and effectively. So you’ll want to provide them with just the right setting for teamwork and collaboration. Special workplace activities (team building, happy hours) here included.
And you’ll want to give your employees the right amount of autonomy they need to solve problems together. Instead of intervening and micromanaging them every single time.
6 Tips for Building a High-Performing Workforce
Hiring and Onboarding
First of all, make sure you have the outcomes you expect from each new employee clearly defined.
Next, ensure that your job descriptions are detailed enough and that they list, clearly, the performance responsibilities of each role.
And definitely not least: you’ll want to run a comprehensive background check and set your findings against the company’s own core values.
Make sure the selected candidates fit your company culture.
Once you’ve onboarded your new employees, set realistic goals and clear directions for them.
In other words, make sure that everyone knows what they’re expected to do and why.
How do you provide the “WHY”?
Communicate your company vision clearly and link your objectives to this vision. Then, align your employees' goals to these objectives.
With roles and responsibilities clearly defined you’ll avoid the risk of having multiple people working on the same task.
And with proper training, enough time allocated to each task and the right resources put at your employees’ disposal, you’ll create the perfect setting for them to do their work on time. Efficiently.
It all starts with providing clear goals and directions…
Listening to Employee Feedback
What do your employees need to improve their work performances?
What are their roadblocks? What’s stopping them from:
- cooperating (more) effectively with their colleagues
- growing more confident in taking decisions on their own and making changes
- reaching (and even outreaching) their goals
Listen to them. Take notes. Take action accordingly.
Continuous Learning and Development
If you want to build a high performance workplace you want to make sure your employees have access to proper training so they can:
- learn new skills
- build on the skills they already have
- grow at par with the technology used in the company
This way, you’ll grow an autonomous workforce confident enough in its capabilities to carry out its performance responsibilities. And even go beyond them.
Rewards and Recognition
You’ll want to motivate your employees to strive and do their best work. To give them continuous feedback, credit, and recognition for their progress. For the high employee performance.
You'll want to encourage them to look for (innovative) process improvements. Constantly.
Build a culture of employee recognition — yes, financial rewards here included — and you’ll reap clear benefits like:
- Increased engagement
- Higher productivity
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Lower turnover
All deriving from a high-performance, highly motivated workforce.
Focus on Employee Retention
How? By giving your staff the tools and freedom to achieve the company’s goals.
For it’s empowered employees that make a high performance workforce.
And as you communicate, openly, the company’s values, as you offer leadership development, and adopt a more engaging management style, you’ll succeed:
- Building a highly-intuitive, productive, high performance workforce
- Retaining your top performing employees
Technology for High Performance Workplaces
How can (the right) tech boost and maintain high performance at work?
- It facilitates communication and collaboration (that fuels high performance in the workplace): in this respect, YAROOMS, the workplace experience platform, provides your employees with precisely those collaboration and visibility tools they need to improve their performance as a team
- It facilitates agility: technology enables high performing organizations to make decisions fast, grow highly adaptive to consumer change, and, overall, perform better
- It drives productivity and employee engagement: providing the much-needed data on employee-manager relationships, technology can help you better understand how to improve those critical relationships to drive employee performance. While a workplace experience platform like YAROOMS simplifies office sharing for everyone, taking down communication barriers and providing employees the tools and attributes they need to be their most productive versions at work. Each day.
- It helps save time and improve efficiency: for instance, an office booking software like YAROOMS updates office availability in real time. This way, it helps you and your employees save the time you’d waste trying to overcome administrative barriers and to get more efficient.
- It simplifies performance management: technology helps companies assess performance in a 360-degree, holistic manner, and identify better ways for employees to grow within the company
- It enables flexibility and maximizes employee autonomy: take YAROOMS, for example, a hybrid work planning software that makes hybrid work planning so simple while maintaining the staff’s autonomy to schedule their own time, space in the office, and resources they need to achieve high employee performance.
And high performance is all about employee empowerment, remember?
Final Thoughts: How Important Is High Performance in Your Workplace?
No, it’s not a rhetorical question.
If your answer is “Very important” you’ll want to go beyond formulating this goal over and over during your C-level meetings, onboarding processes, and company meetings.
And to start taking specific actions to build high performance in your workplace.
The first action to take? Evaluate and assess how well your workplace’s equipped for high-performance today:
- Are your employees aware of the “Big Picture”? Of the purpose of your organization?
- Have you defined inspiring goals that challenge your employees to reach a high level of performance?
- Are your employees empowered to make decisions, suggest changes, and achieve their best work?
- What’s the level of collaboration among them?
- Are innovation and experimentation encouraged, and rewarded in your organization?
- Do your employees get feedback regularly?
Now, with the answers to these questions at hand, you’re ready for the next step.