How To Drive Performance: Achieving A High-Performance Culture
Do you ever wonder if there are any insights on how to drive performance by purposefully motivating employees? Haven’t we all? As the celebrations for our 10th-year anniversary continue, this time, we analyze one of eLearning Industry’s most impactful value yet: driving performance. You see, here at eLI, our people drive performance daily because we’ve focused on making it one of our core company values. Sure, there are many ways to do this. But money isn’t everything. For example, when talking about high-performance culture, some organizations are driving employees through fierce competition. However, others follow a more people-centric approach to ensure a team-based atmosphere where successes are celebrated as a team effort. And let’s not forget that flexibility, wellness, and purpose are also on the top of employee wish lists.
Motivating your employees is a delicate challenge. By implementing it purposefully, you can go beyond the annual employee performance review. Improving employee performance is not just about jotting a few notes in someone’s personnel file. And we all know that success doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve learned that having a strong company culture helps drive performance. And we have an award to prove it. For more, you can read all about it here: eLearning Industry Is Named Best Workplace Hellas.
Driving employee performance is just like getting in shape. So, managers and CEOs must bolster employee motivation and performance levels to get results. This article will focus on how to drive performance in a few easy steps. Plus, we’ll explain what a high-performance culture is. By following proven best practices from eLI’s culture-shaping project, hopefully, other organizations will manage to do the same for their teams.
What Is A High-Performance Culture?
Simply put, a high-performance organizational culture is built on certain accepted behaviors (and norms) that leaders encourage and facilitate using optimal tools and processes. That way, employees can create value and also achieve business goals.
Company culture matters, and there is hard evidence pointing to this. Companies that showcase a positive company culture can get many favorable outcomes. For example, we’ve noticed increased innovation and better employee retention regarding our team.
To build a positive culture, you need a shared sense of purpose. If you have a culture of recognition, you’re one step closer to having happier employees. Also, having a responsive work environment doesn’t hurt. And focusing on cultural fit is critical. For example, it is essential to design interview questions that gauge how well a candidate fits your organization and company values. The goal should be to have every new worker enhance the company culture rather than detract from it.
Also, think about the substantial advantage of marketing when you have a strong culture. Wouldn’t you choose to do business with companies that are doing good in the world? There are many examples like these in our niche. Of course, we’re talking about CSR. Check the Most Socially Responsible Companies In The eLearning Space list to get a better idea. All the companies on the above list have something in common: they care. And that’s what good company culture is all about: putting employees first.
These eLearning leaders are committed to their social and environmental responsibilities by having a robust company culture.
Let’s see how you can be one of them!
Characteristics And Benefits Of High-Performance Culture
Maslow put it wisely in his theory. Based on his idea, motivation happens when a person attempts to fulfill one of the five basic needs: physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization. You see, according to Maslow, the above needs can create internal pressures which have the power to influence a person’s behavior. Care to learn more? You’ll enjoy reading this: The Impact Of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs In eLearning.
So, now that you’ve got a general idea down, let’s take a look here are the benefits and characteristics of high-performance culture:
1. Strong Leaders
By having a high-performance culture, you can drive performance through leadership. And, as we all know, that’s how you build team performance. Your leaders are the ones who will set the tone and communicate goals. In fact, they are the ones that can directly impact employee performance. So, how leaders drive goal execution is a catalyst for their team’s performance. Your leaders can make or break your high-performance work culture by setting the bar for performance through their behaviors and actions. Hence, it is essential that leaders also exhibit enthusiasm for any accomplishment. Especially when it is related to challenging goals, they are the ones who can demonstrate how the team can overcome hurdles.
Leaders of high-performance teams have the power to inspire and motivate employees. So, every member is going to do their best. They are there to cheer but also to coach. Thus creating a safe environment where every employee feels engaged and has the motivation to do more. While setting goals and giving feedback are vital, leaders in a high-performance culture are excellent communicators. They can give clear, measurable, and action-oriented goals. And above all, they communicate with empathy. That way, they manage to build trust and encourage employees to reach their full potential.
2. Empowered And Engaged Employees
Individuals that belong to a high-performance culture can make key decisions. Plus, they have the freedom to own those decisions, thus making them feel more engaged in the projects they work on. When employees feel empowered to take action and solve a problem or find an opportunity, companies can grow faster. Of course, to use their good judgment, your employees must have the necessary skills and knowledge when making decisions. But giving them the freedom to make such choices is vital to keeping them engaged, as they’ll strive to increase performance and show you what they can do.
What’s great about high-performance cultures is the fact that they utilize two-way feedback mechanisms. First off, they offer training that promotes idea generation. Secondly, leadership encourages employees to take ownership. Not only during their everyday performance of their roles, but also by giving them the opportunity to lead projects individually. Lastly, high achievers will always “go the extra mile” as long as you empower them to take risks and make decisions.
3. Continuous Learning And Employee Development
The wind of change blows every day and in every direction. So, high-performance organizations understand that implementing some of the best upskilling and reskilling programs is critical for sustaining long-term performance. Don’t just focus on occasionally introducing off-the-shelf training. What the most successful organizations do is constantly evaluate their employee development needs. By doing so, they can identify what needs to be done for ongoing growth and learning. That’s essential, considering that employee development leads to company growth. These two go hand in hand in a high-performance culture.
Also, such companies focus on adding leadership development to their pipeline. That way, they can create a deep bench of leadership succession, thus managing to fuel the organization for the years to come. If you want to do the same for your organization, please take a look at the best leadership training programs that can harness the talent and passion of your high-potential employees.
Organizations with a high-performance culture approach change as an opportunity. And this happens no matter the industry. So, feel free to rethink your strategy. Maybe you need to reinvent jobs and work practices. Or perhaps some of your internal processes need to change to achieve results. By planning and embracing change, you can undoubtedly evoke innovation for your business. And with the right plan, you can transform your culture.
All you have to do is invest in your employees and their abilities.
Business Culture Examples That Drive Performance: How eLearning Industry Does It
Investing in your teams is one of the best things you can do if you want to create a high-performance culture. At least, that’s what we’ve been doing here at eLearning Industry. When we started planning out our culture-shaping project, we knew that we had to focus on employee satisfaction. And the way to do that is to show employees that we actually care.
First off, we had to ensure that all team members had a shared purpose. For eLearning Industry, that is the democratization of eLearning. Then, we aligned employee goals to company goals, and boom! Our team members ultimately feel empowered to do what they know at their full capacity; and beyond. Of course, our CEO, C. Pappas, is leading the way, and so are all the managers at the company. We like to focus on giving managers the confidence and knowledge to coach their teams. Hence, all team members are equipped with the right tools to drive performance and bring the business forward.
The above has helped us change mindsets and improve performance.
A Story From An eLI Team Member On Having High-Performance Culture
Working for eLearning Industry has been a fantastic experience so far. Not only does the company motivate and train team members, but they reinforce our learning by equipping us with the right tools to develop on the job. Checking performance doesn’t feel like a burden; we have an “all for one and one for all” mentality—very much like the famous three musketeers.
I’ve seen in action the long game of building a strong culture here at eLI. We’ve gone through numerous workshops and training courses that support the process. And you get that they’re all about the love for learning from the very moment you step foot in the office. They hire “A” players, and they have created accountability and rewards.
Frankly, I’m glad that the company is crystal clear on making sure they bring on people who are the best fit for eLI’s company values. Plus, they always ask for our opinion! Being part of a conscientious and people-centric company is truly a blessing.
4 Incredibly Useful Tips To Drive High Team Performance
Now that you know all about the benefits and the characteristics of a high-performance culture, I bet you’re wondering what this looks like. Below, you can find several examples and tips.
1. Consider Having A Shared Purpose And Goals
When talking about an organization that has a high-performance culture, one common thing you’ll notice is the fact that all employees feel they share a common purpose. They are team players who contribute towards both team and organizational goals with all they’ve got. But to make it happen, the critical step is to help employees comprehend how their work feeds into the bigger picture. Meaning it should be clear how their efforts fit within the team’s goals and in what ways they add value to achieving company goals.
The above is very important if you want to ensure accountability within the team. It’s like a chain. If one ring breaks, then it simply doesn’t work.
2. Focus On Growth Mindset
The employees at your company should know that you can support them in their career path. By giving them what they need to grow in their roles, you increase their job satisfaction and trust in the organization. Companies that further support employees to achieve both professional ambitions and personal goals manage to retain top talent and scale fast.
So, if you’re dreaming of building a high-performance culture, prioritizing continuous learning should be at the top of your checklist. And, of course, don’t neglect to provide managers with leadership development opportunities along the way. When focusing on key team members, you ensure they help develop and refine their people management skills and upskilling. Most importantly, they will be more capable of bringing out the best in the people they lead.
3. Establish Psychological Safety
Fearing feedback is one of the significant issues that many organizations are facing. Not to mention that you might find employees that shy away from sharing ideas and expressing concerns. You see, people are afraid of negative repercussions for their actions. Or many simply fear being ridiculed by managers or other team members. Why is this happening so often? It’s all about the lack of psychological safety.
So, if you want your company to have a high-performance culture, you first need to ensure that all employees feel psychologically safe. Empower your team members to ask questions and challenge ideas. Let them know they can voice concerns and that it’s OK to make mistakes. The key ingredient in creating a high-performance culture is to model the right behaviors. By having managers create good levels of psychological safety within their teams, you only get to win. Just make sure to show frequent appreciation. Also, displaying empathetic leadership is vital to creating this safe nest feeling.
When your managers are vulnerable themselves, and when they do own up to their own mistakes, the rest of the team will follow.
4. Clear Communication And Feedback
If you want your teams and individual team members to thrive, you must focus on frequent communication. Please note that it is not just about talking to each other daily. Having open and transparent communication is what you should aim for. Only when employees understand what they’re doing and why they do it can they work more effectively.
However, there’s no need to have meetings to discuss absolutely everything. What you have to do is strike the right balance.
First, start by encouraging your team to determine the right meeting cadence. So, it would be a good idea to figure out which meetings are more important. That way, you can prioritize accordingly. For example, you might realize that some meetings can be replaced with other types of asynchronous communication. It will undoubtedly save you lots of precious time! Also, make sure to establish two-way communication. Meaning not just from the top down but also from the bottom up. Doing so enables employees at all levels to feel valued.
Lastly, creating a high-performance culture is highly connected to empowering team members to share their honest feedback. When utilizing a feedback culture, employees and managers are encouraged to provide and seek performance-related feedback.
So, please consider having regular one-to-ones with your team members. Ideally, weekly.
Autonomy, risk-taking, collaboration, and optimization of processes are utterly important if you want team members to reach their highest potential.
We certainly hope this article, along with our examples, helped you understand more about building a high-performance culture in your organization. It’s never too late to see how your teams feel. Just start the conversation about company culture and, who knows, maybe you’ll gain strong advocates for a cultural change!
Perhaps you want to learn more about the core company values that shape the culture of eLearning Industry. Then you’ll love reading details that convey our origins and other company values that have made us who we are today!
Of course, make sure to download our eLearning audience survey data analysis. You’ll find fresh data to help you understand more about what the eLearning audience cares about! Also, you’ll be able to dive into these insights and get a better idea of what challenges L&D decision-makers are facing. That way, you can think about your upcoming marketing strategies. Giving the eLearning audience the right tips with your content is key.
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