Friday, 7 October 2016

High Performance Organisations

High performance organisations (HPO) are the organisations that have managed to create a high performance culture (HPC) within their team. Easier said than done, we know, but still attainable. Organisational culture (the accepted work habits) influences the attitude with which we approach tasks and the manner in which we respond to challenges. The culture of an organisation and its teams determine the group’s collective intelligence and influences their ability to overcome stumbling blocks to high performance[1]. Research is showing that the organisations that place a high value on teamwork, cohesion, and employee involvement are inclined to outperform organisations that neglect these attributes[2]. Your ability to create a HPC is therefore vital to the success and the competitiveness of your organisation[3].

The tricky thing about a HPO is that it does not have just one definition and it is therefore difficult to replicate. They are also not one-dimensional and require simultaneous development of the individual, the task, the team and the organisation as a collective[4].  The key is to apply the principles of a HPC to your specific context.

So what are these principles, and where can you start? If any of the following elements are present in your company culture, your teams may be struggling to achieve high performance status[5]:

In addition to addressing the stumbling blocks mentioned above you can have a look at the following tips on creating a high performance culture:

  • Define the culture that you would like to create in accordance with your core values.Based on the core values and beliefs of the organisation. Define what the culture of the organisation must be, taking into account lessons learnt from other HPO’s.
  • Determine what the core behaviours and habits are that will drive your ideal culture. Every culture is a result of certain behaviours and habits that individuals have in their daily work routine. Define what the habits and critical behaviours are that will achieve your high performance culture. Evaluate what the enablers and barriers to these habits and behaviours are.
  • Incorporate key behavioural principles into all strategies and practices. Align strategies, polices, business practices and management to enable individuals to be able live according to these habits, behaviours and principles.
  • Evaluate if new behaviours and habits are being implemented. Monitor if the new culture is being lived. What are the stumbling blocks in implementing these habits and behaviours?
  • Ensure that people do not revert to the ‘old’ way of doing things. Creating new habits is a continuous process of not reverting back to the old. In order to change the culture of your organisation, you must be extremely vigilant. Do not tolerate old behaviours and be protective of the new way of doing things. It is easy to revert back to the ‘old’ when the pressure is on. So settle it beforehand that the old way of doing things will not be entertained under any circumstances. 

Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. 

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[1] (Robbins & Finley, 2000)
[2] (Gregory, Harris, Armenakis, & Shook, 2009)
[3] (Warrick, Milliman, & Ferguson, 2016)
[4] (Stott & Walker as cited by Castka, Bamber, Sharp, & Belohoubek, 2001)
[5] (Robbins & Finley, 2000, p. 13)

Castka, P., Bamber, C. J., Sharp, J. M., & Belohoubek, P. (2001). Factors affecting successful implementation of high performance teams. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 7(7/8), 123–134.
Gregory, B. T., Harris, S. G., Armenakis, A. A., & Shook, C. L. (2009). Organizational culture and effectiveness: A study of values, attitudes, and organizational outcomes. Journal of Business Research, 62(7), 673–679.
Robbins, H.A., & Finley, M. (2000). The New Why Teams Don't Work: What Went Wrong and How to Make It Right. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Warrick D.D., Milliman J.F. & Ferguson J.M. (2016). Building high performance cultures. Organizational Dynamics. Retrieved from j.orgdyn.2015.12.008

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