How to Create a Working Culture That Drives Performance
Here’s the dilemma. Today, the business environment is fast-changing, competitive, and volatile. So, companies want their employees to be superheroes to cope with it. Often, leaders promote this goal by creating a performance-obsessed culture. And it can eventually lead to employee burnout and lower job satisfaction.
Leaders need to find a balance between achieving goals and keeping employees productive. This means creating a unique culture with a focus on both performance and employees` wellness. Building such a culture requires the leader to consider organizational and individual factors.
Creating a Performance-Oriented Working Culture: Where to Start
Before implementing a new working culture in your company, you will need to take a few steps. First, assess the current environment and opportunities. Second, carefully plan the policies you intend to introduce.
While you as a leader know your company better, here are the most important points to consider:
- What is the current work environment in my company? It’s a major component of the organizational culture. It lays out the foundation for collaboration, talent retention, and performance. Does your current work environment promote this?
- Are my employees involved in continuous learning? Stagnancy is a sure-fire way to fail in business. When the company – yourself included – is learning through collaboration and development, it’s more likely to achieve its goals.
- Am I providing continuous and useful feedback to my employees? A performance-oriented culture is impossible without continuous feedback. It helps employees grow and achieve both personal and professional goals.
These questions move an organization away from a culture that creates a zero-sum game where people could be either “losers” or “winners.” Instead, they promote a culture where failures and shortcomings create opportunities to learn.
There are three essential pillars of the performance-driven culture based on these questions:
- The positive and stimulating work environment
- Continuous employee learning
- Continuous, meaningful feedback.
Now, let’s see how to approach the development of a new culture in your company and implement these pillars.
Creating a Performance-Oriented Working Culture: Focus on the 3 Pillars
1. Create Employee Wellness and Development Programs:
No company can create an effective performance-driven culture without paying attention to employees. They need to feel well and cared for to contribute to the culture and achieve
Forbes says that 89 percent of employees working at companies with wellness programs are more likely to recommend their company to others. Accordingly, people feel more committed to the success of the organization and ready to perform at their best.
The reason for such a high level of commitment is simple. People feel cared for and more confident in their future. From your side, you need to help them identify professional development ideas and give them the opportunity to work on them.
Engaged employees are the main driver of performance. It means that wellness and development programs can become a foundation for a better workplace environment. So, you need to make these programs a strategic priority for your company.
2. Change Recruitment Processes to Find the Right People:
“You should update the hiring process to bring in the right people,” advises Estelle Liotard, an HR blogger from TrustMyPaper. “Many CEOs of both startups and larger organizations work together with HR professionals to find people who fit the new culture.”
Instruct your talent acquisition team to build an employer brand. Also, make sure that every new hire appreciates your values and culture. Jordi Romero, CEO at Factorial, says that the company should pay attention to the values between the candidate and the company. In this interview about the concept of cultural fit, she says that HR professionals should ask questions to find out if the person is a cultural fit.
“I think all questions should be acceptable if they serve an understandable purpose. For example, you’re asking about the technology used at home to find out if the person is ‘techy,’” says Romero. “The goal was to find out if the person is ‘techy’ and not if he/she uses Mac or Windows but it can still be critical.”
If your startup is growing quickly, then knowing how to scale your culture to stay true to your values is critical. See this case study of Typeform scaling their culture as they grew from 30 to 150 employees if you’d like to know more.
3. Promote Continuous Feedback Up, Down, and Across the Company
In other words, you need to create a culture of feedback. It is a working culture focused on objective and honest feedback between employees, leaders, and executives. Every employee should understand that feedback in your company is meant to promote growth. This eliminates the element of competition among employees. And failures will not make “losers” out of your team members.
Building this culture involves:
- Promoting peer-to-peer feedback so employees could learn from each other
- Nurturing the growth mindset (described in the previous section)
- Providing feedback training for those needing to learn how to provide constructive and positive criticism
- Adopting continuous feedback culture that introduces short but regular feedback sessions for every employee.
As a leader, you should be an active participant in feedback sessions and check in with others regularly. It will make a positive impact on their daily performance. Writing feedback reports is also something to consider if you’d like to provide detailed instructions. To keep your report writing clear and error-free, use Studicus, SupremeDissertations, and Grammarly.
4. Adopt the Mindset of Growth Starting with Every Employee
Carol Dweck, an American psychologist, described the growth mindset in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She says that focusing one’s mind on development can make them feel more committed and empowered.
This mindset consists of a few essential ideas:
- One believes that their talent can and should be developed through feedback from others, effective strategies, and hard work.
- One doesn’t worry about looking smart, so they invest a lot of time and effort into learning.
- If an entire organization adopts the growth mindset, the employees receive great support for innovation and collaboration.
A company should create all necessary conditions to promote that mindset in every employee. This also means:
- eliminating competition environments that lead to cheating and deception
- creating policies for continuous and objective feedback
- promoting innovation and experimentation opportunities at all levels.
Creating a Performance-Oriented Working Culture: Final Thoughts
To avoid creating a performance-obsessed culture, use the three pillars of performance-oriented culture. They will help to guide your planning and implementation in the right direction. Besides, you will be able to focus on the most important resource: employees.