Performance Culture: What Is It and How Do You Create It?

A performance culture means that your company emphasizes maintaining team members who are focused on achieving measurable results.

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Performance Culture: What Is It and How Do You Create It?

There’s a great deal of emphasis on a company’s culture and how it affects employee morale and business goals. A high-performance culture offers up some impressive results, such as increased employee engagement, a clear vision for the company, better decision making, and open communication.

How, though, do companies attain this high-performance focused culture goal? What are the characteristics of such a culture, and what drives it? Here are those answers, along with some smart ways upper management can foster a high-performance culture.

What is a performance culture?

A performance culture means that your company focuses on maintaining team members who dedicate themselves to achieving measurable results from their initiatives. The basis for a performance culture workplace is that, by hiring and fostering employees who are motivated and dedicated to performing at a high level, the efforts will directly impact a company’s growth and success.

The basis for a performance culture workplace is that, by hiring and fostering employees who are motivated and dedicated to performing at a high level, the efforts will directly impact a company’s growth and success.

Why do companies need a high-performance culture?

There are 3 main ways high performing cultures create successful outcomes in the workplace.

Retains employees longer

Yes, a high performance culture may place greater expectations on employees. However, it also typically takes steps to empower employees — like offering leadership development. It also often creates a highly-intuitive, productive physical environment that keeps employees happy, thriving, and staying.

Greater financial rewards

A high-performance culture nurtures your employees’ successes. They, in turn, strive to do their best. This type of high-performance workplace is more productive and more creative, which results in getting more done and thinking of new ways to gain business. Over time, this organizational culture is able to:

  • Achieve higher efficiency
  • Shape your brand identity
  • Increase sales
  • Be directly responsible for increasing profits

Improves the customer experience

If your A-players are the ones shaping your company culture, your business will benefit from highly motivated, engaged employees. And so will your customers. By exhibiting a positive behavior like open communication, customer issues are addressed more quickly. This increases customer satisfaction and builds trusting customer/vendor relationships.

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What drives a performance culture?

A high-performance company culture doesn’t just happen. It takes a clear vision, a strong management style, and empowered employees.

Clear vision

A company needs to define what it’s trying to accomplish and the path to getting there. Otherwise, how do you know if you’re performing well or not? A clear mission statement and a deep understanding of the company’s values are integral to forging a high-performance organizational culture.

Strong management style

A management style that leads by example, fosters open communication, invites transparent feedback, and encourages better performance helps create high performers out of the employees.

A company’s culture is set by the example the leaders make of themselves. That’s why you can address a toxic culture by removing upper management. A management style that leads by example, fosters open communication, invites transparent feedback, and encourages better performance helps create high performers out of the employees. This, and performance management initiatives, lay the foundation of a performance-focused culture.

Empowered employees

A company that gives their employees the tools and freedom to own their positions empowers them to accomplish many goals for the organization. Open communication about the organization’s values and a nurturing, engaging management style are key to developing positive employee behaviors. If upper management gets wind that employees are losing morale or not feeling empowered, they must address it right away to protect their company culture.

What are the characteristics of a high-performance culture?

If you look at companies with performance-focused cultures, you’ll most likely see three common components.

Effective communication

Knowledge is power. It’s difficult to achieve efficiency and work together toward goals when team members are on different pages, or unsure what page they should even be on. Ongoing communication is crucial. It keeps teams connected and allows them to understand the company initiatives. Open communication is a crucial part of every high-performance workplace.

Common purpose

This sounds simple, but focusing on a common goal gets elusive over time. Even if business goals align across departments, individuals can still veer off into their own specific projects that don’t line up with company initiatives. In a high-performing culture, you’ll see every employee knowing and buying into their role in the organization’s goals. That way, they can set goals for themselves that move the needle toward positive organization-wide business outcomes.

Investments in employee development

As we mentioned in the point above, a high-performer today may not be one in 2, 3, or 5 years if left as they are. Companies that want to build a strong, high-performance team culture will never stop looking for ways to build their employees’ skill sets, instill the organization’s values, and reward productive behavior. The return on investment (ROI) for these initiatives will be loyal, dedicated employees who are motivated and engaged, and little turnover.

Get started and follow through

Creating a performance-focused culture takes a plan and consistent follow through. To make it work, leadership can’t resort to old tactics that take away employees’ empowerment or decrease their morale. By understanding the benefits of a high performance workplace, what drives company culture, and the aspects that make up such a culture, leadership can measurably enhance the current culture for the good of the company and its employees.

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