Building a high-performance organization requires vision, structure, and tools. An old adage suggests that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The truth is, the more things change, the more they change. Sometimes you plan and invite the change but more often than not it arrives unannounced, leaving you scrambling to respond.
Change is the one constant for every business in today’s global economy. Your success will depend as much on your ability to embrace change and use it as a resource as it will on the production of your product.
To create a high-performance work environment, it‘s important for you to focus on vision, structure, and tools. Clarify your strategic vision and integrate it into your company’s daily life. Create a structure that’s designed specifically for the results you want, and give your people the tools they need to perform their jobs at the peak of their abilities.
Once you identify the elements of high-performance, you can begin to create an environment that uses them in your organization. No two businesses will do it in the same way. The object is to encourage a culture and build a structure that’s best suited to accomplishing your Vision.
Here are the fundamental steps that will help you:
First – Integrate the vision. There are a number of ways to build your vision into the culture of your organization. The most effective strategy is to broadcast and reinforce the vision at every opportunity, and to systematically include it in all your activities.
Second – Build the structure. You’ll be tempted to look at your company’s structure solely through organization charts and reporting relationships. Structure also consists of rules, rewards, values, and even unconscious assumptions — things that influence behavior and direct the flow of human energy. The structure of your business includes all the factors that shape how and why your people do their jobs. Do you see?
Third – Train and provide the tools. Peak performance isn’t genetic. Even your brightest and most highly motivated employees need to learn how to do it your way, and they’ll need the wherewithal to use their training for maximum effect.
Fourth – Quantify and evaluate. High-performance operations of any kind need regular attention to keep them calibrated and aligned. You can regularly monitor your organization’s performance by tracking key indicators of your choice.
What tools do your employees need to do their jobs once they know how to do them?
Information. The first thing they need is information. Of all a company’s resources, information is the one that should be shared most freely.
Interpersonal and Communication Skills. Your people need interpersonal and communication skills, too. too. These are tools that help them work with other people within the framework of your company culture.
Self-Knowledge and Self-Management. Your employees and their work can also benefit from the tools of self-knowledge and self-management.
Like all the systems in your business, the systems you create to build and maintain a high-performance work environment must be quantified and tracked.
Number of employee development meetings held
Number of training hours per employee
Percentage of performance goals met
Percentage of performance goals exceeded
Number of performance awards given
Number of awards for risk-taking given
Overall employee satisfaction
Employee satisfaction with company goals
Employee satisfaction with job training
Employee satisfaction with their own performance
Managers’/owners’ satisfaction with company goals
Managers’/owners’ satisfaction with employee performance
Managers’/owners’ assessment of company’s ability to use change to grow
It’s the Journey not just the Destination
You respond to change best if you’re both flexible and absolutely sure of your purpose. Flexibility without the guiding center of your vision will bring haphazard results. High-performance organizations always know where they’re going even though the landscape may modify their route to their destination. Their well-articulated visions express their hopes and expectations for the future, and create the energy to reach their goals. Their cultures promote the collaboration and group learning that allow them to alter the path if it proves not to be the best route. Most of all, high-performance environments engage people fully and create an environment where employees can use all of their skills and abilities to reach higher levels of personal and professional competence as they face new challenges.
For assistance in building a high-performance environment, use this link to reach out to me for a complimentary consultation.