6 traits that define a high-performance culture

Every organization wants employees to support each other through challenging situations, work toward a shared goal, and drive innovation and creativity. But this kind of collaboration and success doesn’t materialize from thin air. High performance comes from fostering an organizational culture that encourages independence, problem-solving, teamwork, and continuous learning. It’s about driving genuine motivation rather than pushing to meet metrics.

Building a high-performance culture

When it comes to establishing this high-performance culture, no one size fits all. However, we’ve compiled some of the most common characteristics that can help facilitate the motivation, support, and collaboration your employees need to perform at their very best. By consistently implementing these measures and managing your employees well, high performance will emerge naturally.

1. Common purpose and goals

It’s important for employees to feel unified by a common purpose where their actions are guided by organizational values. In high-performing organizations, every employee is aware of how their work benefits the larger community, which in turn helps them to set smart goals that lead to success. 

2. Empowerment

Organizations with a high-performance culture empower their employees to make decisions, solve critical problems, and attain organizational goals on their own. Managers provide guidance and support rather than micromanaging their teams, and the opinions of all employees are valued when making business decisions.

3. Growth mindset 

Employees want to feel as though they can grow within their roles. Without this support, there’s less of a reason to feel invested in the organization they work for. Implementing continuous learning and development programs allows employees to improve their skills, solve more problems, and feel more accomplished.

4. Open and effective communication

Open communication helps employees stay on the same page, collaborate, and work more effectively. Communication tools are available to keep teams connected no matter where they work from, and C-level leaders interact with their employees regularly to keep them updated on important business outcomes.

5. Agility and security

Employees in high-performance organizations are highly adaptable. They tend not to be afraid of taking calculated risks, seeing every setback as an opportunity instead. This comes from knowing that they are allowed to make mistakes without unfair consequences. Failure is treated as a learning opportunity at all levels of management.

6. Effective performance reviews

In high-performance organizations, HR managers collaborate with team managers to organize regular performance reviews. These reviews are designed to provide feedback, mentor employees, and help them understand their contribution to their organization. They are also a two-way street where employees can give feedback about their managers.

When people think about a company driving “high performance,” it’s easy to imagine a relentless focus on metrics. But ultimately, that drains employees and increases turnover. Performance comes from genuine motivation and creating an uplifting work environment that enables employees to be the best at whatever work they do. There are several benefits to fostering a high-performance culture, but its sustainability depends entirely on your people management strategies. Read more about the top 6 characteristics of a high-performance culture in our HR Knowledge Hive.


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