Your organisation’s performance culture is dependent on how each individual within your team behaves every day. It’s the behaviours that drive how and why things get done. It’s what comes before ‘that’s how we do things around here’. So let me ask you — do you know your performance culture? Are you sure?
Culture has been a buzzword for a while now and workplaces are buying ping-pong tables, discounting gym memberships and having Friday afternoon drinks to improve their company’s culture. But is this really enough?
The Value of a Good Culture
Organisations with strong cultures have an employee turnover rate of 14% compared to organisations with poor cultures with a 48% average turnover rate. In addition, better workplace culture leads to higher engagement and productivity. In essence happy employees = productive employees = happy customers. The reason is simple; happy employees are willing to go above the minimum requirements to get the job done.
Our Top Five Tips to High Performance Culture:
1. Make sure it’s genuine
The website Young Entrepreneur defines the five characteristics of a transparent workplace as communication, honesty, regular feedback, respect and admitting wrong. All of which contribute to a workplace of trust. In a trusting and transparent workplace it is easier to identify and deal with arising problems, learn from mistakes and align employees towards common goals.
A transparent environment is one of authenticity and now more than ever employees prefer working for organisations that operate authentically by values that they identify with rather than organisations offering a bigger pay cheque.
Transparency and trust within the workspace also leads to greater trust with customers as your staff perform better when they feel that they are a part of an authentic culture.
2. Focus on strengths
Workplace culture has a tendency to focus on improving their employee’s weaknesses in attempt to mould well-rounded individuals with no deficits. Whilst they approach this with the best intentions — it’s actually ok to be hopeless at something. Research published by the Canadian Psychological Association found that organisational support for strengths use promoted better job performance. It also identified that due to our biological wiring we tend to focus on the negatives and that employees may actually need help identifying their strengths, which can only be done provided you follow our first tip. When employees capitalise on their strong points, they operate with authenticity, feel energised, feel that they add greater value and can flourish in the workspace.
Encourage your employees to be reflective and self-aware. People who are in tune with themselves and what they need to be effective are invaluable to your workplace.
3. Cater to everyone
This is a simple but an important point. Ensure that your workplace caters to each employees needs and requirements. I was in a lecture recently where a dog was next to me and a baby was at the front of the class — I was stoked (and not just because I was having a cuddle with the dog). I was so happy that the lecture recognised that the attendants had different needs and that if they hadn’t been met, they couldn’t have attended. Catering to a diverse range of needs and requirements is critical for an effective workplace — recognise that one employee, who prefers quiet needs to be separated from the one who thrives off collaboration and noise. A workplace that caters to a wide range of needs is a compassionate workplace and compassionate workplace’s have happier and healthier employees.
4. Recognise that burnout doesn't help anymore
Your workplace culture is your company’s immune system and if you have employees burning out due to high stress, high workload and little time for creativity, you aren’t helping anyone. Harvard Business Review eloquently outlines that burnout is a problem with the company, not the person and a workplace culture that works employees into the ground results in low productivity, low engagement and often losing the best employees.
5. Ditch the annual performance review
The annual performance review isn’t fun for anyone and in the spirit of an agile, high performing workplace, ‘annual anything’ just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s time that all managers move to ongoing and meaningful conversations with employees so that problems can be addressed quickly and efficiently and to ensure that your employees feel valued and heard. Ongoing feedback and conversations with employees results in coaching style leadership and keeps your employees engaged, helps them learn new skills and establishes stronger relationships.