The dichotomy between positive company culture and high performance seems self-evident. After all, the traditional mindset dictates that organizations choose between one or the other, prioritizing a strong, employee-focused culture or the relentless pursuit of performance metrics. At LBC, we know businesses can — and should — strive for both. With the right shifts in mindset, practices, and key indicators, your organization can achieve a balance of a positive workplace culture and outstanding performance.

 

Mindset Changes

The first step towards building a people-focused, high-performing company involves a fundamental shift in mindset. Leaders and employees alike must recognize the symbiotic relationship between a positive work culture and high performance. The reality is that a motivated and engaged workforce is not only beneficial for employee well-being but also a catalyst for superior organizational performance. Rather than viewing them as mutually exclusive, leaders need to change their mindset to recognize the interconnectedness of these two forces. 

Leadership plays a pivotal role in fostering this change. Executives need to communicate a clear message that prioritizes both culture and performance and then demonstrate through their actions that they prioritize both.

 

Practices

Implementing the right practices is crucial in aligning people, purpose, and performance. LBC suggests adopting an inclusive approach that integrates employee well-being into everyday business practices. This includes:

  1. Employee Development Programs

Establish comprehensive learning and development programs that not only focus on enhancing technical skills but also foster personal and professional growth. Provide opportunities to learn through mentoring programs (building relationships with individuals who bring deep experience to the organization) and/or coaching that enhances the employee’s development through enhanced thinking and learning.

  1. Flexible Work Arrangements

Acknowledge the diverse needs of your workforce by providing flexible work arrangements that also meet the performance needs of your organization. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to flexibility so organizations must put in place arrangements that meet their performance goals and, as best as possible, meet the needs of their employees. Employees have to recognize that organizations may need to adjust their programs from time to time to meet the performance goals of the organization and leaders need to remember that employees are human and they will need flexibility for overall job satisfaction and commitment to the organization.

  1. Transparent Communication

Cultivate a culture of open and transparent communication by regularly sharing organizational goals, performance metrics, and decision-making processes. I’ve seen organizations shy away from sharing strategic plans or not-so-good performance results to shelter their employees. While their intention might be good, they aren’t giving their teams credit for understanding the big picture. People know that organizations will go through ups and downs — employees want their leader to communicate honestly and stand in front of whatever issue the organization is going through. This transparency not only keeps employees informed but also promotes a sense of inclusion and shared purpose.

  1. Recognition and Rewards

Make recognition a part of your everyday culture. Often organizations feel they need robust recognition and reward systems, and while that would be wonderful, it’s not always feasible. Teach leaders how to provide genuine, meaningful recognition for their team members and build culture one conversation at a time. Celebrating successes fosters a positive work environment and motivates employees to consistently deliver high performance.

 

How You Will Know It’s Working

The success of an employee-focused high-performing company can be gauged through both subjective and objective indicators. Some key metrics include:

  1. Employee Engagement Surveys

Regularly conduct surveys to measure employee engagement levels. Like reward and recognition programs, not all organizations need big fancy engagement surveys. Start small, a pulse survey with a few key questions – ask the questions regularly. Learn from them. As your organization evolves, evolve your survey. An upward trend in engagement scores indicates a positive shift in the company culture, which is likely to contribute to improved performance. On the other hand, if engagement scores are declining, it’s an early indication that something isn’t working.

  1. Performance Metrics

Track and analyze performance metrics to identify areas for improvement. A balanced approach will show consistent improvement in both individual and collective performance.

  1. Talent Retention Rates 

Monitor employee turnover rates. A decrease in turnover suggests that employees are satisfied with the working environment and are more likely to stay committed to the organization, positively impacting overall performance.

  1. Client Satisfaction

High employee morale often translates into better client service. Monitor client satisfaction levels as a proxy for the overall health of your company culture and its impact on external stakeholders.

Building a human-centred, high-performing company is not an either-or scenario; it’s about striking the right balance. Organizations that embrace this philosophy and implement the recommended mindset changes and practices are likely to reap the benefits of a positive culture and outstanding performance. By fostering an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated, businesses can achieve the best of both worlds, creating a workplace where success is not just measured in numbers but also in the well-being and satisfaction of its people.

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