A Full-Scale Approach to Building a High-Performance Organization

After all of these professional conversations about developing high-performance teams and HiPo employees – once you’ve hired them – how do you maintain that culture of performance? To put it into concise terms executive leadership needs to ensure their employees, the platforms they’ve purchased and the processes they use sustain a harmonic rhythm. It all starts with constructing a system to enforce a high-performance atmosphere so you can start building your high-performance organization.

Set the Stage

As a key figure in company leadership, it’s on your list of responsibilities to steer the direction of the organization’s culture. You want to hire a certain type of employee, in this case, high performing; that means you have to establish (and maintain) a culture that reflects that. Randy Pennington (@RandyPennington), President of Pennington Performance Group, said this year at SHRM:

“You have to buy the premise… that premise is culture, and culture always wins.”

Just the same, your employees – including potential high-performers – need to buy into that culture in order for it to stick around. Once you’ve given employees a reason to buy into the values, goals and purpose of the company, set goals and measure the impact on the business.

Clarify Company and Employee Purpose

Align your team to overall company goals and values so they see the effects of their work in the bigger picture. What are the company goals? What’s the overarching mission? Clarity of purpose at all levels is necessary to build a culture founded in high performance. That purposeful culture shouldn’t be confused with profit, and should primarily be focused on the why. Marcus Buckingham (@mwbuckingham) and Ashley Goodall (@littleplatoons) said:

“The conversations provide clarity regarding what is expected of each team member and why, what great work looks like, and how each can do his or her best work in the upcoming days – in other words, exactly the trinity of purpose, expectations, and strengths that characterizes our best teams.”

People + Processes = Ideal Alignment

You’ve hired a slew of high-performing employees (or those who show the potential to be high-performing), but unless they understand the processes the company has in place they won’t have the ability to fully develop into the HiPo employees you hired them to be. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure success is built into the organization in order to drive performance.

Give one-on-one performance appraisals to see where inconsistencies might be. This gives quality managers the chance to enforce HiPo employees’ value in the company based on the organizational values and year-end goals. Because of this performance review, it gives managers the opportunity to see the potential for a high potential employee, and provide training and development.

Astronomers look to the stars

Not that you’ll be looking into stellar bodies of fusion, but you will however, need to look at your star employees. What makes them a star? What tools did they need in order to become the HiPo employees they are today? This is where employee evaluations come into play. By studying your HiPo employees, you’ll know what to look for in future employees, so you can build a robust succession plan, and have a better idea about how to formulate performance standards throughout your workforce.

Not to mention, without performance appraisals in place, it’s extremely difficult to determine where shortcomings are in HiPo development programs. Currently, 55% of employees who have the ability to become HiPo, drop out of these programs. Use your performance appraisal system to understand your employee’s goals so you can put them in the right programs from the beginning.

Take this full-scale approach to building a high-performance organization, by understanding who your HiPo employees are and what they want out of their career with your company. Give them the tools they need to grow professionally, but in doing so, ensure they understand who they are in regards to the company values and mission. Set the stage for a clear purpose, and you set the organization and your employees up for success.

Bio: Chris Arringdale

Chris Arringdale is the Co-Founder and President of Reviewsnap, an online performance appraisal software that allows you to customize performance management, competencies, rating scales and review periods. Reviewsnap serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide including, Penske Racing, CubeSmart, PrimeSource and Nonprofit HR Solutions.

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