What Is High Performance Working?

What is High-Performance Working?

5 min read
Zoe Brankin
Zoe Brankin

High-performance working allows employees to get more involved and builds a culture with higher transparency, trust, and good communication.

Unlike the traditional hierarchical company structure, this working style creates a flatter, more equal structure with more evenly distributed responsibilities. Instead of employees being treated as subordinates, they are seen as valued partners that are integral to success. This flatter structure allows employees to be more engaged, satisfied, motivated and understand the organisation’s values. 

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills officially defines it as:

‘A general approach to managing organisations that aims to stimulate more effective employee involvement and commitment to achieve high levels of performance.’

High-performance work can transform a business, but only if implemented correctly. 

Why high-performance working is important

Implementing a high-performance working system helps create happier, more engaged, and motivated employees. With their increased involvement with the inner workings of the business, they’ll have a greater understanding of the company’s vision.

It’s been found that adopting these working practices positively correlates with the rate of organisational growth. It’s difficult to nail down exactly how much of an impact it can have because the studies carried out all use different combinations of practices. However, several studies have shown that high-performance working can lead to a 20 – 40% increase in productivity.

Employees who work under a high-performance working system tend to feel that they have more voice within their company. They are better trained, more committed to their jobs, experience better job security and greater autonomy, are better compensated, and are usually entrusted with crucial business information. 

As a result, companies experience enhanced individual performance from their employees, improving overall performance. Despite such strong findings, less than one in four businesses use these high performance working processes. 

So why not get ahead of the fold and start using high-performance working systems to boost your team’s morale?

How to encourage high-performance working in your team

Implement a reward and recognition programme

One of the aspects of high-performance work is how it creates a people-focused culture. Hardworking employees are not a given and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Instead, the company should normalise consistent and effective recognition and reward for their employees’ hard work, honesty, and engagement. 

No accomplishment should go unnoticed, but that doesn’t mean that every achievement should receive a grand gesture. A simple ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’ goes a long way! 

When an employee goes above and beyond to make significant progress within the team, the rewards can get even more exciting. Things like rewarding days off, vouchers for their favourite restaurants or spas, or even lunch paid for by the office are great ways to honour their contributions and motivate employees to keep up the good work. 

To remain accountable for recognising your employee’s efforts, you could use a reward and recognition program. This would help to ensure that you never slip up and take your employees for granted. 

Transformative tools such as Mo offer innovative solutions for driving team performance. Mo allows teams to build and share their stories to get to know each other and celebrate their achievements as a group. It even goes beyond helping you recognise accomplishments, as you can set up reminders for upcoming birthdays or work anniversaries to make your employees feel truly appreciated. 

Encourage transparent and open communication

As mentioned above, high-performance working is characterised as having a flatter structure that sees employees as more equal and integral to the business, compared to the long-established hierarchical structure typical of most companies. 

This means having more of an open-door policy, where management and employees regularly and honestly communicate with one another. For instance, when any organisational changes are set to take place, the company should share this information with employees to keep them feeling not only informed but also consulted. 

Reinforce the company’s vision and objectives

Team leaders delegate tasks, but also give them meaning. If a team doesn’t share a clear understanding of their vision or purpose, then their work will be unlikely to align, and they may become disconnected in the process. This doesn’t bode well for high-performance working initiatives. 

It’s down to the leaders to motivate their teams by weaving the team’s or company’s values into everyday conversations. They don’t have to become motivational speakers overnight, delivering moving speeches at the start of every meeting, but they do need to be able to put the employees’ work into context, giving it a purpose. If an employee felt that their contributions were meaningless, productivity would plummet. 

Disruptive leadership is essential to reinforcing both the vision and the values of a company.

Encourage skills acquisition on the job

Providing opportunities for your employees to learn new skills or freshen up their existing skill sets is hugely empowering and relevant to high-performance working practices. 

It shows that as an employer, you’re invested in their career development and success, but also that you value their working autonomy. It has been shown to improve employee retention rates as well as attract the top talent to your company. 

Highly trained employees naturally become more productive, and their work output tends to be higher quality. 

Set up performance reviews and give feedback

As important as it is to provide employee autonomy, support systems and people management processes should still be in place. While employers should be wary of ‘micromanaging’ when introducing high-performance working practices, they will still need to check in now and then. 

Regular appraisals to either commend a job well done or offer support where needed will keep your workers happy and satisfied. It also prevents them from feeling isolated in their roles.

You could also take this opportunity to ask for employee feedback. By giving them a safe space to provide their input, they’ll feel like they have more say around how the company is operating. 

Implement a tool for high-performance working

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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