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How to Create a High-Performance Work Culture

7 min read
Zoe Brankin
Zoe Brankin

Often, an organisation’s culture can be hard to define, and even harder to maintain. Companies are continuously looking for ways in which they can cultivate the perfect company culture and it’s important to keep your efforts updated year-on-year. So, what’s the best way to stay ahead in 2024? 

Empowering employees and creating a high performing team

The first thing to think about is how often your efforts to transform your company culture end up lost in translation. You’ll know this is happening when an ex-employee leaves a negative review saying the culture was toxic and they had a manager who offered no support, negating every good thing you have invested into your company. This might be the absolute last thing you thought they were going to say, and indicates a big gap between what you want to achieve and what’s happening.

Here at Mo, we strive to make sure we’re communicating and collaborating with our employees every step of the way – and that helps us make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to creating, updating and maintaining our culture.

We know exactly how to share that knowledge with the businesses we work with, just see what Go Car Credit have to say about the way Mo has become an essential part of their culture

“Mo is helping us to take communication between our three sites to the next level. Mo has become an integral part of our culture.”

Hannah Giles-Rumming, HR Manager, Go Car Credit

What is a high-performance culture? 

Culture is about the values, beliefs and behaviours embedded into the organisation, whereas high-performance culture is what enables the organisation to achieve superior results and growth for not only the business but the people.

Employees in a high-performance culture will be highly motivated and productive. They possess everything necessary to succeed and achieve their goals. Their manager supports them and they align with the company’s values. 

Strong performance can look and be defined differently across industries and roles, but there are quite a few characteristics that pop up in high-performance companies. These include: 

  • Self-reflection habits
  • Self-awareness across employees 
  • Strong core values
  • Inclusive leadership 
  • Structured teams 
  • Exceptional employee experiences 
  • Learning and development opportunities 

A high-performance culture should create a safe and open environment where employees feel trusted and valued. Learning how to build trust in the workplace is a good place to start, especially if you’ve been trying to build a high-performance culture and struggling. 

Why is performance important?

Over the last number of years, there has been an increasing emphasis on company culture. Having a high performance culture is what is going to boost the overall performance of your organisation. 

As an employer, you don’t want your employees to dread coming to work every day, counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until the workday ends. Instead, you want to allow your employees to feel empowered, productive and engaged to do their best work and you can do exactly that by developing a high-performance culture.  

Culture is now a crucial part of job hunting too, potential employees want to know what it’s like before they would even consider applying. So not only will you attract the top talent, but you will also be able to retain it. When people feel they belong, they will stick around. ‍

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Benefits of building a high-performance culture

A high performance work culture starts with effective leaders who know how to manage and empower teams while deeply understanding what motivates and inspires each member. Once you have the right leaders in place and transform your company’s culture, you’ll see many benefits. ‍

Retain Employees

One key benefit of a transformed culture is higher employee retention. When you engage and empower employees, they feel valued and that their work is meaningful. When people are trusted to do their job without the fear of being second-guessed, they will feel ownership for their work and will remain engaged.

Empowering team members will build a trusting relationship, leading to employees feeling more loyal to the company they work for. 

A culture focused on high performance and motivation will also increase morale and make workers happier, and those employees who are happy at work are more likely to stay at a company long-term.‍

Increase Productivity

Empowered employees know how to do more processes and are highly trained, leading to more productivity. Creating a workplace focused on continuous improvement, employee development, and a high performance culture will inspire team members to not only meet goals, but excel. ‍

Boost Innovation 

In high-performance cultures, employees are engaged and empowered. They have strong, trusting relationships with their leaders and feel open to sharing new ideas.

When an employee feels comfortable sharing feedback and helping with decision-making, they’ll feel like their ideas are important and valued. The more innovative ideas and hard work, the more success and profits a company can achieve. ‍

Why awesome leaders are key to a high-performance culture

Investing in employees and making sure they have a great experience is quite possibly more important than the customer’s experience. You want a motivated, empowered, and satisfied team of workers who go above and beyond to deliver, right? To achieve this, you need awesome, talented leaders. 

Your leaders shape and set your culture. Leading by example goes a long way in creating a high-performance team. If you want the best of the best from your team members, your leadership team should also give the best of the best. Great leaders encourage employees to succeed through recognition. 

Did you know 79% of employees leave their job because they don’t feel appreciated? Awesome leaders, also known as disruptive leaders, change how employees act, feel, and work. These types of leaders don’t only focus on continual learning and development, but they also interact with employees in professional and motivational ways. 

Disruptive leaders have a few key qualities: 

  • Lifelong learners
  • A sense of purpose
  • Focus on mindset changes
  • Ask great questions
  • Challenge others
  • Choose principles over practices
  • Truthful and honest 
  • Adaptable
  • Comfortable with ambiguity 
  • A strong set of values and beliefs

A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and The Great Resignation has changed the way employees approach their work life. They have high expectations and if your company doesn’t meet them…well, you will likely be dealing with high turnover rates.  

Employees who are happy at work are more likely to stay at a company long-term. While you can attract talent with a great salary alone, if company culture, work environment, progression and feedback aren’t there, employees will start to search for pastures new.

It’s been reported that the average employee costs SMEs £12,000 to replace; including recruitment, salary, and training.‍

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How to create a high-performance culture

There are three key steps in creating a high-performance culture. This may seem simple, but it does take dedication and effort to achieve. Without the right leaders in place, transforming your culture will be a painful process. 

Step 1: Shared understanding of what culture is

The first step is to get everyone on the same page. What is culture? What culture does your company currently have? And what culture do you want to have? 

Your leaders should share the vision of the high-performance culture you are targeting. When your teams are aligned with your vision, you’re more likely to see strategies executed properly. It’s also important to define how you measure success. 

What metrics will be monitored to track your organisation’s progress to high-performance? What goals are in place? ‍

Step 2: Define realistic expectations

Attainable goals are much more motivating than those goals that seem to always be out of reach. Start small and take the quick wins when you can. Recognize your employees and celebrate the small stuff because it leads to great results. 

Set realistic goals for cultural changes you can make and that will stick. For example, one of the goals could be to promote accountability among every team member. Creating accountability is a small but effective step toward a high-performance culture. ‍

Step 3: Integrate high-performance into everyday activities 

Once you have your goals and shared vision, it’s time to weave those into your everyday operational activities. There are a few key areas you should focus on: 

  • Implement an effective performance management system 
  • Establish a rewards and recognition program
  • Trust and empower your employees through professional development 
  • Maintain consistent and clear communication at ALL LEVELS
  • Involve all employees in strategic planning
  • Focus strategies on customer satisfaction 
  • Facilitate ongoing training
  • Promote cross-functional collaboration 

Each of these steps will go a long way in creating the high-performing culture of your dreams. ‍

Are you ready to get started? Why not see how Mo can help you connect with your employees and create the kind of working environment that encourages a high-performance culture. Join companies like SHL, OVO Energy and William Hill in delivering meaningful improvement on engagement results with Mo. Book a free demo.

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