How to Create a High Performance Culture – The Million Dollar Question for Every Business
Since a young age, I have always been fascinated by the way in which companies function. My years of employment span across a variety of organisations – from the Irish bar I worked in on my J1 in the States, to my family owned business (shoes!) to the large corporates I have worked in – the principals are all the same. It is funny how some employees can quickly align to a common set of practices that help add significant value, while others can struggle with this. How do some organizations get it so right whilst others seem to be constantly behind the curve?
Culture is so important for the following reasons
– It influences the type of employees in the organization and whether they stay or leave.
– It establishes a set of norms that govern the efficiency of the workplace.
– It creates a perception of your brand in the marketplace.
A significant problem can be structuring your business to get the best results out of each employee whilst dealing with a diverse set of different personality types. How can leaders create a high performance culture that will suit everyone?
I recently hosted a lunch and invited 12 leaders from different organisationas to explore this question, and the truth is, there is no right or wrong answer, different things work for different organisations. But I was keen to learn what worked for their businesses or indeed what hasn’t worked. Here are some of the things we discussed:
- Clearly define your vision within the company & never stop communicating. This gets people’s buy in and makes your team feel a part of something.
- The values that your company stand for are imperative, you must demonstrate within the culture.
- Communicate future plans – The majority of employees want to be a part of an exciting future and to feel a part of growth plans. To create meaningful targets that will motivate staff these must connect with the ambitions of the business. Employees become detached when they don’t understand the roles they play in company success. Employees should be able to visualise where their work feeds into wider company strategy.
- Set Big Targets – Employees tend to advance to the standard set for them. High expectations about your staff can be positive but there is a fine line between setting ambitious targets, which can invigorate an organisation, and setting overly ambitious targets, which can have a negative effect on moral.
- Create Accountability – A workplace in which employees are engaged without being accountable is unsustainable. Just like in everyday life, if no one was accountable for their actions, the world we live in would be a pretty scary place! Accountability is critical to all business operations.
- With a company like Mason Alexander, who are constantly growing and as a result changing, we have found that there is definitely a need to let go of the existing behaviours and practices that are no longer serving the organisation’s future. Try new things, be open to change and don’t fear the unknown! What’s the worst that can happen?
- Last point but by no means least is Trust. Companies are, at their core, a group of people working towards the same goal. It is in our nature to form teams to accomplish goals together. These teams are more effective when the members trust each other. Trust will do wonderful things to your business from help with morale, empower people, increase loyalty, decrease stress and helps overcome resistance to change.
If you don’t have a high performance culture in your business – these key points would be a good place to start.
Please feel free to get in touch to discuss this topic further or indeed if you are looking for any other market insights.
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