According to 56 percent of adults, the culture at their company matters more than their salary.
The importance of company culture isn't a passing trend. It's here to stay. And it'll be a key pillar for any company that wants to succeed in the future. In a nutshell, company culture refers to how you and your team work, both individually and collaboratively. It answers questions like “What kind of work environment do you provide?” and “How are your values reflected in the way you run your company?”
If you want your team to perform at a high level, you need to create a high-performance culture. When you invest time into creating a high-performing culture at your company, you set everyone up for success.
What Is a High-Performance Culture?
A company with a high-performance culture runs like a well-oiled machine.
Ask most successful leaders and they'll tell you that their company's success is a byproduct of their team's performance, big or small. And employee performance is directly impacted by these leaders—they set the tone, communicate goals, and inspire action across the organization.
Each team member knows their role and what’s expected of them. They feel like they’re part of something bigger and are motivated to do their best work.
As a result, the employees at these companies are motivated, engaged, and productive. They also have the tools and support they need from higher-ups to achieve or even exceed their goals.
Why Does Company Culture Matter?
Ideally, every company would strive to create a high-performance culture. Great things happen when the company culture is a priority, including the following:
- More creativity: Engaged, motivated, and supported employees are more likely to come up with new ideas and creative solutions to problems.
- Reduced employee turnover: If your employees have the tools they need to do their jobs well and feel supported by team leaders, they’ll be more inclined to stay at your company long-term.
- Easier recruiting: It’s also easier to hire talented and motivated employees if your business is known for providing a supportive and high-performing company culture.
- Higher profits: When employees are highly engaged, motivated, and creative, they help your business run better. This results in increased sales and a better bottom line.
If any of these benefits sound appealing to you, start focusing on your company culture and looking for ways to make high-performance the norm.
How to Create a High-Performance Culture
Would you describe your company culture as a high-performance culture? If not, here are steps you can take to start making positive changes:
1. Identify KPIs
As a business leader, you know how important tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is to your company’s success.
When you identify characteristics of a high-performance culture, it’s easier to tell whether or not your business is moving in the right direction.
Here are some examples of KPIs you might want to start tracking:
- Employee satisfaction
- Employee engagement
- Employee churn (overall turnover)
- Utilization rate (how efficiently employees are using their time)
- Revenue per employee
Pick a few KPIs that seem most relevant to your business and your team. Then, get a baseline measurement for each one so you can monitor progress over time.
2. Prioritize Open Communication
Communication is a key tenet of a high-performance culture.
Employees should feel free to speak their minds, share their ideas, ask questions, and express concerns. Keep in mind, too, that communication is a two-way street. You may be a leader at your company, but you shouldn’t be the only one talking.
Your team should feel free to speak without fear. If you don’t have an open-door policy with your team, or if you don’t regularly make yourself available to check in and connect, it might be time to make some changes.
3. Clarify and Share Company Values
Your company’s values set the stage for its culture.
If your employees don’t feel aligned with company values—or if they don’t know what the company values are—they'll be less engaged and committed to their work.
This starts with the leadership team. Clearly define your organization's values and develop a strategic vision for the future. Then, make an effort to share this with your team regularly.
Make sure you ask your team for feedback on these values. This will give leadership insight into how well the company's culture resonates with people across the organization.
Clarifying values should also be part of the onboarding process for new hires. You and your team should also consider those values when creating new initiatives, taking on new clients, or starting new projects.
4. Encourage Employee Growth
Another essential characteristic of a high-performance company culture is a commitment to growth.
Top talent wants to work for organizations where they can learn and develop new skills. High-performance organizations understand this. So, they encourage growth and give their team the tools they need to expand their skill-sets and rise through the ranks. This might include offering perks like tuition reimbursement or investing in continuing education courses.
If your company's culture doesn’t encourage growth, it might be time for a change. Consider how you can create opportunities for your team to feel empowered and grow.
5. Practice Positive Reinforcement
To create a high-performance company culture—one in which people want to try new things, be creative, and help the business grow—you'll want to practice positive reinforcement.
In other words, offer recognition and praise when you see people doing things you like. This will increase employee engagement and motivation.
There's nothing wrong with constructive feedback. However, a healthy feedback culture is NOT solely negative and critical. This would just create a culture where people are afraid to take risks and speak up.
6. Seek and Implement Feedback
Expanding on the point above, high-performing company cultures thrive on feedback.
Regularly seek feedback from your team and ask what you can do as a leader to make the company better and help them do their jobs well. Then, follow up and make changes based on that feedback whenever you can.
If your employees don’t think that you take their suggestions seriously, they’re going to stop offering them. This, in turn, is likely to hurt your company culture. It also makes it harder for your business to grow and progress.
7. Monitor Progress
Remember those KPIs we mentioned earlier? A truly high-performing culture measures and monitors them regularly.
Hitting KPIs serve as evidence that you’re moving in the right direction and creating a better, higher-performing company culture.
Another way to monitor progress is to have performance reviews. These can help you identify what’s working well and what needs to be improved.
If you don’t notice improvements happening throughout the company, that might be a sign that you need to go back to the drawing board.
Next Steps: Start Changing Your Company Culture Today
When you learn how to create a high-performance culture—and take steps to make improvements—you can increase your company’s longevity, profitability, and reputation. Follow the suggestions discussed above so you can start creating a better company culture today.
Want to learn more about how organizations can perform at a higher level? Check out our article: The Impact of Organizational Culture in the Workplace.