The successful leader recognizes the importance of building a positive and high performance-driven corporate culture. They focus on values that support the successful delivery of the business. They understand that the behavioral and emotional background drives all decisions and processes in the organization, both formally and informally. It brings discipline without any need for written policies and procedures officially. It reduces bureaucracy. Moreover, it determines a risk-taking attitude, and it forms the future of the business.
A winning business formula is always about outperforming all existing and potential competitors. That is why Human Resources has to act as a gatekeeper that makes sure that cultivating a high-performance corporate culture is always on the regular agenda of the leadership team.
Let us make it clear from the beginning. HR leaders are the most critical persons when we talk about the change or shift of the culture in the company. They form it, and everyone follows the pattern they see in Human Resources. The HR employees are not just a part of the game; they act as role models.
The high-performance corporate culture is a strong competitive advantage. That is the reason why Human Resources challenges the leadership team how to improve behaviors and decision making the organization. Changing practices and introducing updated values are the best methods for shifting patterns in the company and how to make it focused on the performance rather than habits. So how to build a high-performance corporate culture?
How does success look like?
People love stories. They do not like long presentations; they prefer to hear a story from their leaders. You can fall in love with an attractive vision; you cannot be in love with the double-digit profit growth. The leadership team has to spend the time to construct an engaging story that will turn into a huge success. The introduction of high-performance culture starts with an attractive vision of the winning business. It is also about the team. The idea is so appealing that everyone wants to be a part of the success.
The team has to focus on two critical components in the story:
- Articulation of the strategic intent;
- Explaining core values;
When we talk about the business, we usually speak the finance. We do not talk about our clients, their needs and how we are helping them to be successful. However, the corporate culture is not about the financial results; they are a product of it.
A great story indicates what kind of the change is crucial to be successful. All employees need to hear and understand how the organization will change itself. They have to see it as the opportunity for their personal growth. Moreover, they have to accept that the new story contains a requirement to adjust for them, as well.
Next, the leadership team has to spend time defining the success. The team has to draw a map with significant milestones. The journey is long, and landmarks make it easier to recognize that the business is on track. They have to describe the failure so that the company can avoid it by identifying a danger early.
Focus on employee engagement
Employee engagement and high performance always come together. Leaders cannot improve the employee productivity without having satisfied and engaged employees. They have to create such an environment that supports employees in reaching challenging targets.
The leadership team needs to focus on characteristics of the high-performance corporate culture. Such a company is full of confident employees who believe they can and will achieve difficult and highly challenging targets. They collaborate with other employees to share successes. Execution is the king in the organization. All obstacles can be solved. No formal policies are required, and nobody hides behind processes and procedures.
Employees know what the critical milestones in any significant project are. Then they do not look for excuses, because they clearly understand where the business is heading. They can familiarize with the business vision, and they can engage with it. In such a case, they actively search for a solution that will make the business successful. They know how the company can outperform its direct competitors.
Great storytelling becomes the essential leadership competency. Influencing and engaging others is a core value of modern leaders. They always have a story with a great storyline and clear landmarks and milestones. Such a story involves and includes employees and makes them a part of the narrative.
Employee Engagement cannot be improved by presenting charts, tables, and long documents. Nobody feels emotionally impressed and influenced by the Annual Report. However, employees get energized by the story that unites everyone in the company. It is the way how they build a high-performance corporate culture.
A new culture offers excellent opportunities through the development of new skills and competencies. Sure, some employees will not accept the need to learn and change, but most employees will take this as a great chance to increase the market value. Most companies love employees who know how to turn the organization and themselves.
Key elements of the successful high-performance corporate culture
Balancing all four critical elements of the high-performance culture is essential. Not having them in the balance can create a mess and chaos in the organization.
The four foundations are:
Most organizations express the importance of the employee empowerment. In reality, they keep most decisions at the top level of the business. The leadership does not dare to delegate responsibilities and authority down the line.
Giving a fair amount of freedom and empowerment needs to be accompanied by autonomy. Employees have to understand the strategic story so that they make the right autonomous decisions. It is a basis of the productive business. Employees have a mandate to make the best decisions for external and internal clients.
The high-performance Corporate Culture is about fast decision making. All Rules and Procedures need to be kept at a viable minimum that does not allow chaos to spread across the organization. Employees have to be empowered to find the way. They have to be autonomous, and they should form a diverse team to mix different ideas and approaches.
Honesty and Fair Performance Management
Each great story translates into the set of key performance indicators and measures. The leadership team has to define KPIs and how employees can recognize they are on the right track.
Moreover, they have to make clear rules for recognizing the high performance of each in the company. The team is responsible for introducing fair and consistent measurement of the performance. It is highly discouraging when employees see they are not evaluated fairly.
A high-performance management system supports employees in identifying weak spots of the organization. They can target and solve the most painful issues that make the business competitive.
The measurement helps to identify weak spots in the organization. A dedicated group can act early and improve the performance.
Last but not least, honesty in performance evaluation is a must. The leadership team has to provide honest feedback to all employees. It has to explain all successes and failures. All the errors are an excellent opportunity to learn. They cannot hide failures, and they have to apply the same rules and principles to everyone in the business.