How to Build a High Performance Workplace

High Performance Workplace

We’ve all heard of high performance workplaces. Organisations such as Google, Canva and Cisco almost immediately spring to mind. But what is it that sets these businesses apart? And how can you replicate this “high performance” in your own business? Read on to find out.

What is a high performance workplace?

A high performance workplace is difficult to describe, and often varies between businesses and industries. However, high performance workplaces tend to share the following characteristics:

  • High productivity 
  • A focus on employee development
  • Increased employee retention
  • High levels of job satisfaction
  • Significant focus on innovation
  • Inclusive and supportive culture

A high performance workplace enables employees to be as effective and productive as possible. Often, creating this kind of environment can have positive impacts on a business’s bottom line.

How can I create a high performance workplace?

Leadership

Undoubtedly, managers play a significant role in driving this change. To implement a high performance workplace into an existing business, there will likely need to be a shift in culture. Managers have to drive this change through both their words and actions. They need to be both accessible and visible. One way this can be done is by transiting from a “boss” to a coach. Managers are the closest to understanding employees’ everyday realities. As such, they are often best equipped to identify employee development opportunities. In your business, you may opt to incorporate a structured feedback process to enable this development. By doing this, you are able to avoid the common pitfall of micromanagement and promote trust and morale. 

Mission, Values & Goals

In order to best engage your employees, it is important that they derive meaning and purpose from the work they are doing. The easiest way to action this objective, is to set a clear mission statement and communicate company values. This will allow employees to feel empowered, accountable and comfortable in their workplace. Similarly, you may want to consider setting goals for your employees. This will create a fair process for performance review, whilst also motivating the employee in question.

Communication & Collaboration

Undoubtedly, all of the recommended changes in this article need to be clearly communicated to employees if actioned. However, the need for communication goes far beyond just this. High performance workplaces avoid information silos by promoting multidisciplinary teams. This ensures a collaborative approach is taken to resolving problems and identifying opportunities for the business. Furthermore, a business should have structured, accessible methods of communication for all employees. Such structure may be achieved through set weekly meetings, or through messaging platforms such as Slack. 

Diversity

There is overwhelming evidence to support the notion that diversity improves the bottom line. This diversity may refer to age, gender, culture, race, or ethnicity. Employing a diverse workforce will better equip your business to meet the needs of diverse consumers. Similarly, many companies are transitioning to cognitive diversity. This refers to employing individuals who have different thinking styles and perspectives. 

Flexible Workplaces

In a modern context, there is a certain expectation amongst employees for flexible work arrangements. This has become increasingly apparent as Covid-19 has reimagined the modern work experience. Not only can this be a means to reduce costs, but flexible arrangements have been shown to boost productivity, creativity, and staff retention. Moreover, this flexibility can promote staff wellbeing by reducing the risk of fatigue and burnout. It can also lead to improved staff retention.

Ultimately, there are many changes that can be made to a business to ensure high performance. The suggestions listed above, however, are a great place to start.

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