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High-Performance Culture: What Is It and How to Create It

January 26, 2024

12 minread

byCasey Clark

Casey Clark
Casey Clark

Senior Business Advisor

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

As a business partner, he helps his clients get a holistic view of their financial health by slowing down to talk about numbers. Then, he breaks down even complex problems into one or two elements to help them break through their barriers of growth.

When was the last time you considered your company culture? High-performance cultures don’t develop overnight. One of the most important factors in creating this type of physical or virtual environment is by valuing the growth of your employees. But what’s the point? According to research, high-performance cultures can lead to 11% greater profitability and two times employee retention. 

What Is High-Performance Culture?

High-performance culture means there are set behaviors and norms established at your company that lead to enhanced results. This is achieved through establishing an environment that is conducive to employee growth and empowering employees to achieve efficiency and quality in everything that they do. As a result of higher employee performance, a high-performance culture is made.

Companies that are able to achieve a truly high-performing culture can help to improve performance and achieve better financial and non-financial results including higher employee engagement, competitiveness, innovation, and more. 

Benefits of High-Performance Cultures

As we mentioned above, the organizational culture at your company comes with many benefits. Employees who work in this type of environment are more motivated, productive, and engaged in their roles. Meeting key performance indicators is easier when your organization’s culture matters and you’re striving to achieve a high-performance work culture. The agility of your company will accelerate as your core values and company values are on display. Moreover, the retention rates at your company are far more likely to improve as employee engagement is high and they feel empowered and satisfied in their roles. 

Here are only some ways that having a high-performance organization can benefit you. 

  • Better employee engagement: Your long-term business success hinges on high-performing employees who feel motivated to show up daily and do their best. When employee perceptions align with supporting business goals, it helps employees feel motivated to do their best work and achieve success on behalf of your company.
  • Increased innovation, creativity, and productivity: When employees working feel more motivated to be part of the company’s success, it allows them to tap into their more creative and innovative sides in addition to being more productive. This can even lead to a new strategic vision for your company.
  • A deeper sense of belonging: In a high-performance culture, employees feel as though they truly belong at the company, a factor that directly contributes to better results for the company.
  • More honest feedback and communication: Honesty and transparency within your company can directly lead to inspiring employees to say what’s on their minds. Even though this feedback culture sounds intimidating, it can allow for stronger cross-communication and an increase in company performance.
  • Financial benefit: In a high-performance workplace, the above factors will all result in increased profits for your company. Not only will you see earnings benefits from a high-performance culture, but you will also improve your overall organizational health, meeting your strategic objectives along the way.

5 Main Characteristics of High-Performance Culture

creating a high performance culture

If you’re looking to achieve a high-performance culture within your organization, and you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some essential characteristics of creating a performance culture that can set you up for success.

1. Strong and Future-Minded Leaders

Creating an effective leadership system is one of the main parts of establishing a high-performance culture. After all, the leaders and overall leadership style at your organization have a significant impact on the culture and employee experience. It’s important that you find leaders who buy into your company’s values and offer an inclusive and motivational environment in which employees can thrive. According to a study, inclusive leaders result in 90% more innovation, 50% more productivity, and result in 54% lower turnover.

Beyond creating an inclusive work environment, future-minded leaders can deliver amazing results. They are able to factor into the future and establish high-performing teams that are engaged, motivated, agile, and resilient.

2. Empowered and Engaged Employees

When there are strong leaders, your employee engagement and empowerment automatically increase. Whether you’re working in a virtual or physical environment, it’s important that new ideas are welcomed and that teams encourage open communication. Employee empowerment is one of the key characteristics of longevity at your organization, and the last thing you want is to establish a toxic workplace that doesn’t align with your organization’s values. As employees grow in their skills and receive feedback to help them improve, it can measurably enhance your company’s performance.

3. Strong Values 

Another characteristic that drives performance in high-performance cultures is having organizational alignment regarding values. In order for your employees to feel as though they have purpose and drive, these values need to be ingrained into your culture and structure, so the expectations are clear. Consider if your core values are present in your company, including in your senior leadership and upper management. How does your culture reflect and embody the meaning of these values, and do your employees understand how their contributions play a role? McKinsey reports that 85% of executives feel a sense of purpose in their work, while only 15% of frontline leaders and employees feel the same. Make it clear that there’s a link between the daily efforts and the overall purpose of the organization.

4. Ongoing Development

In a high-performance culture, the ongoing development of employees is prioritized. This helps open up learning pathways for employees regarding employee growth and development, helping to develop a sense of connection and belonging to the organization. Don’t hesitate to invest in these types of learning opportunities for your employees to help them feel empowered to achieve peak performance and hit their employee goals.

5. Agility

Another characteristic of a high-performance culture is agility. Businesses and markets are constantly changing and evolving, and your team needs to be able to adapt along the way. High-performing cultures have a change mindset that allows them to achieve customer satisfaction regardless of the industry.

Scale Your Business Through a Performance Culture

Scale Your Business Through a Performance Culture

Scale Through a Performance Culture

How to Create a High-Performance Culture

high performance culture means

Now that we’ve outlined the key characteristics of a high-performance culture, we’ve outlined some helpful steps to achieve high performance in your workplace.

1. Communicate Your Core Values and Purpose 

The best leaders are the ones who are committed to developing a high-performance culture by working to establish the core values of your company. Not only will they communicate these values, but they’ll also show their direct reports day in and day out how these values are implemented on a practical value. This can lead to high performance at every level in your organization.

2. Empower Employees

At the end of the day, all of your employees are human beings who are looking to have a positive experience and make the most of their careers. Employees should be able to trust their leaders and know that they are making decisions that will benefit them, but they should also feel as though they’re looped in on important decisions. Ultimately, trust is very important in this process and can lead to better employee development.

3. Foster Innovation and Experimentation

One way to build trust is through open communication. You should work to establish an open workplace culture that welcomes innovation and experimentation regardless of the topic of discussion. The best leaders are able to ensure that there’s a smooth flow of communication at every level of the organization.

4. Encourage Open Communication and Feedback

Another key step in creating a high-performance culture is to encourage feedback. Leaders and employees alike should feel empowered to be honest about how they are feeling in regard to the company culture, their workload, employee development, etc. When employees feel as though their voices are heard, they feel a sense of loyalty to the company.

5. Develop Inclusive Leaders

Inclusivity is key to a high-performance culture. All of your leadership development should revolve around inclusivity and ensuring that all voices are heard and valued. When this starts from the leadership team, it trickles down into all of your employees and it can help foster a company culture that’s well-rounded and built on respect.

How Cultivate Advisors Can Help

inspire a high performance culture

As you can see, the benefits of establishing an effective performance culture are widespread. If you’re struggling to achieve a high-performance culture, and you aren’t sure where to begin, rest assured that our experienced team at Cultivate Advisors is here to help. We pride ourselves on offering leadership management consulting for teams in all industries and of all sizes, helping your company to achieve peak performance. Please contact us if you’re interested in scheduling an initial phone call! 

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