10 steps to setting up a high performance culture
1. Set a clear vision at board level & communicate itHave a clear, motivational statement to explain the Company Vision a clear “To be” statement. Agree 2-4 clear organisational objectives that can be used to measure achievement of Vision. Consider aligning to the balanced scorecard and make objectives and progress highly visible.
2. Ensure everyone has role clarity about the ‘day job’Ideally documented in a role profile or job description, this defines the day to day expectations of the role. (Objectives should put a ‘stretch’ in the day job). Align company or role related competencies to measure behaviours or ‘how’ the job is done encouraging all round high performance.
3. Translate company objectives into individual objectives & cascade Cascade is done through one to one discussion about the organisational vision and how that translates into an individuals role. Objectives are SMART (Specific & Stretching, Measurable, Achievable & Agreed, Relevant & Timed .Up to 8 live objectives per person consider milestones, review quarterly and ensure remain relevant throughout year.
4. Set up expectations for year round performance management Make it clear that performance management is a year round activity starting with objective setting, including monthly 121’s, appraisal, development planning and career aspirations. It should be business as usual with regular feedback on performance.
5. Clarify & expect management best practiceReinforce the manager’s role in driving high performance, ensure people mgmt activities are reflected in job descriptions & performance objectives. Set clear guidelines and training where needed in effective people management. Recruit managers with the ‘people gene’ and set a performance objective for each manager around people management activities.
6. Benchmark & measure using engagement survey/360Benchmark engagement or staff perception of people management, run 2 yearly 360 feedback for all people managers with questions that explore effectiveness of key management behaviours like goal setting, feedback, coaching skills.
7. Encourage a positive feedback cultureCreate a culture of catching people ‘doing things right’ and nipping performance issues in the bud – courageous conversations. Include developmental feedback within monthly 121’s, empower staff to set and achieve development targets, encourage ongoing development actions that are self managed and recognise ownership & achievement against them.
8. Embed a coaching culture and strategic L&DTrain managers to coach, recognise internal mentoring. Align development & access to development with business need and role requirement. Ensure individuals understand why they are receiving development and what the business purpose is.
9. Communicate good news about culture change broadly. Focus on positive messages that demonstrate culture change. Name and shame only at board level for at least first 12-18 month. Find ways to recognise individuals and departments who are modelling best practice e.g. Highest rates of employees with objectives or 121’s. Raise the profile of people management as a key activity that directly correlates with business performance
10. Measure take up and monitor quarterly at board level for 12-36 monthsEnsure high performance culture is seen as a strategic rather than an HR driven initiative, keep the link with core business goal. Ensure that company measures of people management activities are reported quarterly to the board for 12-36 months with local accountability for performance in each division.
Business Psychologist with many years corporate experience in Senior L&D & HR roles. Founder of Actus Performance Management Software and Director of Advance Change Ltd a consultancy house that works with organisations to develop a high performance culture and embed better people management practice.
Professional interests include...