- What is a high performance organization?
- HPO Framework
- What core values might be found in high performance organizations?
- How do you build a high performance culture?
What is a high performance organization?
A high performance organization is one that operates with a tunnel vision focused only on its success. It is one wherein every individual is aware of what their specific job is, how it relates to their neighbors’ and the impact of their own contribution to the furthering of the organization’s agendas. It is one that is consistently outperforming its competition. The mark of a high performance organization is seen not only in its performance measures such as its sustained earning, social impact and market share growth but is also visible in its management abilities, and employee motivation and coordination.
To put in perspective, a high performance organization is like that speeding boat whose rowers are in sync with each other. There is no confusion about the direction they’re taking. There is a leader steering, focusing on what is ahead. There are the rowers, among whom every individual is performing their designated part correctly leading to a collective effort in moving up fast and swift. The opposite of that is a non-high performance organization – where sync is an illusion and direction is a social construct humans were fundamentally meant to sabotage.
To prevent such corporate disasters, and save the economy from utter ruination, a concept, known as the HPO Framework, has been developed.
What is the High-Performance Organization (HPO) framework?
The high performance organization framework is a scientifically validated structure proven to bring out the best results in an organization. The HPO framework does not work like the tablet of 10 commandments set in stone that you need to follow word by word or undergo eternal, or in this case, commercial suffering. The HPO Framework can enable an organization to decide what they need to focus on. What they need to improve. But will it dole out a step by step recipe with listed ingredients and exact measurements of quantities for each ingredient? No. Rather, the HPO framework is a concept. A set of guidelines.
It is upon every individual manager to perceive and enact the HPO framework as they see fit, designing it with their own inputs, insights, creativity and experience according to the best needs of their respective companies to transform it into a sustainable, high performance organization.
4 Core value for a high performance organization (HPO)
While there is no set number of values an organization must have in order to be deemed a high-performance organization, there are certain values at large that are considered vital and are most abundantly found in such organizations. To briefly detail a few –
1. Dedication to excellence
A high performance culture is one that fosters excellence in its employees. That is the distinction between an average company and an above average one– their strive for excellence. It is important for any high-performance organization to have a standard of excellence set for their organization. What after that though? Is it enough to simply put in these expected standards of excellence on an orientation card in attractive font? Or perhaps looming at the entrance or on the walls of your institution? Hardly.
One can only expect successful results when such standards of excellence are imbibed within the hierarchy, management and minutest workings of the organization. Beyond that, the employees as well should be given the prerogative, authority and support to be able to work and innovate in ways that are keeping with and upholding the standards and values of the organization. Otherwise these standards become simply reduced to acting as wall décor and accessories.
When every member of an organization is committed to excellence, to an elite standard of work, only then can problems such as low output and productivity, disconnect and disputes be reduced. Besides eradicating such problems, they also serve to provide swift and effective solutions preventing the otherwise inevitable downhill slide into the pit of a crisis.
2. A clear objective and purpose
Having a clear picture in mind of what you want, and where you intend to take the company is an essential and core value for any high-performance organization. Without a sense of purpose and direction, no pace or guiding light, it will be no surprise if the company finds itself hurtling off the rungs of the corporate ladder at breakneck speed. If the organization itself has no idea where it is going the people on the inside and outside are not liable to know either. For a high performance organization, a clear statement regarding the purpose of the existence of the company will go a long way in not only initiating and arming its employees with a mission but will also work as an incentive to attract exterior support, influence, funds and resources.
3. Ability and readiness to adapt and change
For a high performance organization to surpass their competitors and/or maintain the status quo it is highly important for them to be able to adapt to changing times and successfully change or add to their ways in a manner that is effective and productive. Being stubbornly set in the old ways in the name of tradition can predictably cause more harm than benefit; especially in today’s fast evolving times.
Not only should they be open to taking such a step but also be able to anticipate the ways in which the changes will affect the organization and the hindrances they are likely to face. Another important aspect is for them to make appropriate allocation of responsibility of heading and management of these changes to the best suited candidates. It would also be proactive to be able to express and explain clearly the reason for the changes.
4. Developing a culture of continuous learning
An organization that is self-complacent will forever remain stagnant. There will be no moving forward. Or growth. For anything to grow it requires an input of materials. For something to go in and then manifest in the form of growth. If there’s no input happening, that too will show. Eventually a stagnant organization is likely to, much sooner rather than later, run dry and join history. People who constantly seek knowledge, and have a thirst for learning, such people are continuously rebuilding themselves. Reforming themselves according to new data presented. Getting with the times. Adapting. Such people, belonging to the elite band of high performance culture, tend to view meetings with community and staff, and performance evaluation sessions as an opportunity to learn, grow and develop as opposed to the view of them being tedious and a waste of time. They embrace and actively seek tools and opportunities to learn such as online training classes, reading, seminars, web-based seminars and all the means made easily available by technology. They acquire skills to become more effective in their jobs, get promotions and develop their skills. They learn new things and share that knowledge to promote a collective advancement of the organization and its employees.
6 Strategies to Build a High Performance Organization
A high performance organization / culture is a set of conduct, standards and norms that lead an organization to become a better, constantly advancing version of itself that achieves superior results. A few of the factors of building such a culture in any organization are as follows:
1. Elucidate values, reinstate their importance
In the creation of a high performance culture, the values you choose to imbibe play a vital role. Making your values clear, and communicating them on a daily basis will help increase the motivation of the employees and offer them clarity on what expectations their job entails. In the culture of a high performance organization values can act as the driving force of the general behavior of the organization and define the company as a whole while also contributing to the overall success of the company.
2. Encourage positive behavior and mindset
The most worthy leaders of all ages, especially in today’s modern era of mutual benefits and stressed importance of acknowledgement, are those who can find it within themselves to be sentient. To be rewarding. And to be approachable. In purview of that, a leader in any high performance organization should reward his employees for a job well done, or at least, for one exceptionally well done. Whether it be individuals who diligently uphold the values of the company, or those who display that extra spark of creativity and interest in their work instead of a monotonous approach. Not only will this aid in boosting their morale and encouraging them to continue to do so, but also simultaneously provide incentives for other employees to follow suit.
Overcoming negative thoughts and developing a positive and confident attitude will help add value to the company. The employees of a given organization shoulder a large chunk of the responsibility of its success; constant reinforcement of a positive and motivated environment among them will go a long way in contributing to the success of the company.
Read more on what is employee engagement and how you can engage your employees.
3. Open line of communication
Nobody likes to be stonewalled. Nor a hoity-toity unapproachable snob. Working for one is certainly out the window. In the unfortunate event of discovering oneself in such a situation, one is likely to revert to Grade 3 behavior of dislike and disdain. If not in front of the object of disdain, then most definitely behind their back. Like Aristotle of the modern times would have said, grade 3 behavior of dislike and disdain does not a high performance culture make. Quite the opposite, in fact, if you give it any thought at all.
To avoid such an occurrence, employees should be granted the right and freedom to an unbiased and open line of communication. Superiors should strive to make themselves available in the matters of hearing and addressing concerns. In the efforts to avoid a bad case of corporate Chinese Whispers, flow of information between the levels of hierarchy should not be made tedious and unwelcoming. Of one of the characteristics of a high performance organization is that it requires an atmosphere of good communication to function at its best and most optimum.
4. Empowerment of the employees
While a leader is trusted to make the best, most profitable decisions with the organization and the employees in mind, a good leader must also work towards empowering his/her employees and encouraging their growth – providing any means of training whenever necessary. The employees should be afforded a show of trust, and freedom. To further the spirit of trust and communication, leaders should be open to small talk with their employees.
5. Obtain feedback
Maintaining a culture of feedback is necessary for a positive environment and a successful high performance organization. A feedback-rich culture will provide insightful data on the general psyche of the employees and their opinions and views on the work culture and environment. The leader should take efforts to make the necessary improvements as per the feedback gathered.
6. Focus on the right incentives
While perks and monetary incentives are great motivators, in order to maintain an optimum environment for a high performance organization, employees should be offered supportive leadership, a bias free treatment barring favoritism, room for growth, transparency in communication and feedback, a sense of purpose and importance as well as appreciation whenever required.
Here are few more strategies on how to build an everlasting company culture