Like most companies I expect your organization would also like to maximize the performance of their workforce. Right? So, lets start with how you would define high performance and what it means to your company. Here are a few comments by senior executives on what high performance means:
- Achieved goals and targets
- Increased sales revenues
- Client growth
- Enhanced profits
- Brand growth and strength
- A market leader in their field
Does this align with your thoughts and company’s needs? There may be others, but this will be a good start.
Next let’s look at what is required to realize the points above. I would like to approach this from two aspects when considering what is required from the leadership and employees to build a high-performance workforce. This is not to separate the two as both leadership and employees need to work together to make it happen. We will examine what both parties need to deliver to achieve high performance.
Company and Leadership Driven Factors
In almost every company the owners, senior executives and managers make critical decisions regarding operation of the business and decide on what actions need to be taken to ensure high performance. This includes:
- Vision: Organizations and their workforce must know where they are going and their mission or purpose as a company.
- Strategic Plan: Businesses and Organizations need to outline a strategy and roadmap on what will be their priorities, key priorities and actions and KPIs to make the vision happen. This is often completed by the board or executive group and can include markets to pursue, products and services to develop, competition issues and how to deal with them, production capacity, capital investment, currency exchanges, workforce needs, etc., etc.
- Tools, Resources and Information: For managers and employees to achieve their goals they must have the required tools and resources to be successful. This could include data to process, equipment to make the products the business sells, computers to be efficient and productive, phones to communicate, quality standards and manuals….
- Goals, Objectives and Targets: Every department and employee are usually assigned goals that align with the vision and strategic plan in order to ensure everyone is focused on the priorities that matter. These are sometimes called KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and come with metrics to measure progress and results.
- Innovation, Improvement and Growth: Typically, goals should make everyone stretch to become better and improve. This includes improvement personally to be more productive and contribute more to the organizations success and to innovate with new products and services to meet client needs
- Culture and Workplace Environment: A strong workplace culture that creates, supports and sustains a “Spirit of Excellence” but also provides the workplace atmosphere that is conducive to high performance.
- Recruitment, Hiring and Development: For business success organizations must recruit and hire the skills, abilities, knowledge, competencies and experience needed to deliver results. Training and development may also be necessary to build specific skill sets and improve performance.
Employee Driven Factors
Equally important to the company driven factors are the employee driven factors to achieve high performance. Here are some key deliverables that is needed from every employee to achieve high performance.
- Motivation and Inspiration: A strong, motivated effort to accomplish assigned goals. Inspiration to success and become the best they possibly can. This will help to ensure high productivity is delivered and sustained.
- Accountability and Ownership: Organizations need employees to buy in to and commit to business goals and objectives where they feel responsible for desired results. Businesses cannot success with a “Its not my job attitude”
- Ideas and Suggestions: Organizations should not depend solely on their executive and management group to innovate and solve difficult problems and issues. In most cases the person who best knows their roles and responsibilities and how improvements and efficiency can be achieved is the employee. But you must find a way to cultivate and mine their ideas and suggestions on how and where improvements are needed. This can be innovation, new products or services, costs control ideas…
- Focus, Energy and Enthusiasm: To meet customer demands and build strong relationships with client employees need to focus on customer needs and demonstrate a positive attitude and willingness to help and support clients (internally and externally) to deliver high performance.
- Teamwork: Employees must be willing to work together with and collaborate with colleagues solve difficult problems and meet challenging client needs.
- Growth and Improvement: Employees need to grow, learn new skills, develop new abilities and improve overall and maximize their contributions to their organization and deliver high performance.
- Loyalty: To optimize the value employees bring to the organization they would need to enjoy a lengthy tenure and rewarding, interesting career. This will help the organization by decreasing turnover and absenteeism rates and lower costs associated with reduced productivity, hiring/recruitment, etc.
- Work Quality: Employees need to take pride in their work to ensure that their work is always high quality and that errors, waste or mistakes are minimized.
Communication: This is also critical success but is essential to both company driven, and employee driven factors. It also impacts everyone of the factors and bullet points listed above in both sections.
Examine your efforts to build a high-performance workforce from both perspectives. Where are improvements needed? In company driven factors do you need to have better strategy and plans in place or will you need to offer increased support, tools or resources to improve performance? For employees and the workforce are you building a motivated and inspired workforce? Are you encouraging and receiving enough ideas and suggestions for improvement? Are all employees accountable for their goals and responsibilities? Are you investing equal time, effort, focus and capital in maximizing both the company/leadership driven factors as well as the employee driven factors. If not, maybe you should be if high performance is your goal!
Are you enjoying a high-performance workforce, meeting or exceeding all goals and objectives, or is there potential for improvement?
If you need support in these areas, contact us. Our focus is improving employee performance to achieve stronger business results.
Light a Fire Inside Employees Instead of Trying to Light a Fire Underneath Them!