American research and advisory firm Gartner define a high-performance culture as “a physical or virtual environment designed to make workers as effective as possible in supporting business goals and providing value.”

Today, it is a growing trend for organizations to place a strong emphasis on the importance and impact of company culture, a crucial factor which can either lead to outstanding employee retention or a gravely high turnover rate.

According to a Columbian University study, organizations with poor company culture are 48% more likely to experience a high company turnover, one which is 34% greater than those organizations who have consciously developed a rich and fulfilling environment for their employees.

As a leader, it should come as no surprise that unhappy employees don’t tend to do more than the minimum, great workers who don’t feel appreciated quit, and poor managers have a negative impact on a team’s productivity. Therefore, creating a high-performance culture requires strong leadership, clear expectations as a result of good communication, a trusting environment, clearly defined roles, and the encouragement of growth and development at every level.

As a leader, creating a systematic approach that will allow you to manage and streamline your organization and its people is key. Below, discover the main contributors of a high-performance culture and how you can implement appropriate actions to create a positive impact on your organizations’ culture.


Focus on your performance management system:

Employees who believe that their company has a higher purpose over just making a profit are 27% more likely to stay at their current organization. This fact alone should be a key driver when implementing a system that focuses more on employee performance and progression, over making sure there is money in your company’s back pocket.

Performance management allows you to focus on your employees but also allows you to see the bigger picture. Performance management will actually create the biggest impact on the sustainable growth of your company as a whole, as well as individuals’ growth. It will allow you to clearly define standards and expectations, develop transparent and honest reward mechanisms and articulate shared goals and objectives. If your team is involved at each level, from understanding their day to day role and the businesses own succession plan, your organization can expect better retention and a more profitable employee investment.


Create purpose, empowerment and authority:

Gallup research found that employees who are “engaged and thriving” are 59% less likely to look for a job within a different organization.

A great culture is dependent on empowered employees, when employees feel empowered to voice their opinions and suggestions and know that they won’t be penalized for challenging authority, your culture will breed trust and accountability at every level.

Companies that decentralize the decision-making process and allow employees to contribute, benefit from healthy internal competition and innovation which will inspire your whole organization.


Increase communication and collaboration:

According to TINYpluse data, employees are 23% more likely to stay if their manager clearly explains their roles and responsibilities.

As a leader, it is your duty to improve communication and collaboration within your team. If you’re aspiring to create a high-performance culture within your organization, then scheduling regular and open one-on-one conversations will allow you to emphasize and clarify key responsibilities and progression, implement a collaborative approach to problem-solving and will give you the time to share new opportunities that your employees can take advantage of. As a good leader, you will already know that open communication creates strong levels of trust between you and your teams.


Build learning and development into your infrastructure:

93% of employees in a recent LinkedIn report stated that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. A recent Gallup report further supported this figure when it releveled that 87% of millennials had expressed that professional growth and development opportunities were among their top priorities.

Today, the most engaged organizations recognize that setting their employees up for success is vital if they want to improve the growth of their business and their people. As a leader, you need to start viewing talent as a corporate asset and learn to support it at all levels. Aligning a strategically customized training and development plan with your organization’s objectives and future plans will give your employees a clear career path, encouraging them to stay with your company longer, work harder and buy into your company’s growth.


Improve your leadership capabilities across all levels:

61% of employees have said trust between themselves and senior management is very important to job satisfaction, as a good leader you need to possess a level of authenticity and self-awareness. To recap on the above statements, as a leader you should:

-Show that you care more about the progress of your people as much as the profitability of your business.

-Inspire employees to challenge the status quo and encourage companywide innovation. 

-Encourage consistent and regular communication, both organization-wide and on an individual level to build a level of trust and eliminate misalignment.

-Deliver unified messaging which supports your organizations’ mission and show how each employees’ role and initiative will help to make that mission a reality.

-Make learning and development a top priority, as an investment in your people will encourage them to return the favor.

Whether you’re a C-level Executive, HR department professional, or middle manager, be committed to creating a better employee experience. Organizations that are serious about creating a high-performance culture are those that are tuned into the needs of their employees and customers, operating above their competitors and capitalizing from their commitment.


What is a high-performance culture and what impact does it have on a business?