3 Effective Ways to Create a Non-Toxic High-Performance Culture at Work
Chiradeep is a content marketing professional with 8 Years+ experience in corporate communications, marketing content, brand management, and advertising.
Over the course of his tenure, he’s worked on several big-ticket projects, led and trained a variety of teams, and been instrumental in driving delivery quality, timeline adherence, and talent harvesting.
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Most job seekers today consider culture as a determining factor when choosing to work for a company. This is why organizations must keep in mind employee centricity and a culture of well-being while pushing for high performance. In this article, we discuss:
How a seemingly high-performance culture could have a toxic impact on the workforce
3 ways to leverage performance management platforms to avoid this toxic impact
Why exemplary performance needs a new definition
Culture is now more critical to employees than ever before. The 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study (work email needed) found that culture is “very important” to 46% of candidates, and 32% are even willing to take a pay cut if it implies joining a company that balances high performance with a culture of employee well-being.
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This indicates that organizations shouldn’t forget their most vital asset – their people – when instituting a high-performance culture. In fact, technology can go a long way in helping to create a non-toxic high-performance culture that urges employees to go the extra mile without causing disengagement or attrition. Let’s delve deeper into this challenge.
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Elements of “High-Performance Culture” That Could Negatively Impact Employee Morale
Too often, organizations measure performance in terms of daily output, the subjective opinion of managers, or a combination of both. While this could superficially create a culture geared for high performance, it could introduce several concerns.
1. Mandatory work hours
Employees are often designated as top performers only if they put in their stipulated work hours (sometimes many more) every day of the workweek. Instead of focusing on individual productivity, this imposes a one-size-fits-all model that is entirely counterintuitive to excellent performance.
For example, an employee with a long commute who might occasionally arrive late but completes part of their daily responsibilities from home early in the morning could be overlooked in this seemingly high-performance culture.
2. Discouraging the entrepreneurial spirit
The eagerness to do something “of one’s own” might be construed as a lack of loyalty to the company and a potential flight risk . Further, employers worry that the time spent on side projects might take away from a worker’s productivity hours, leading to poor performance.
In reality, an entrepreneurial mindset is essential to a culture of high performance – it fosters innovation and creative problem-solving, with the lessons learned outside the workplace positively impacting employee productivity.
3. A gap between senior management’s vision and the frontlines
In a bid to establish a high-performance organizational culture, managers could take complete charge of strategic directions and only delegate day-to-day activities to frontline employees. As a result, most of the workforce isn’t aware of the strategic vision, and any issues that might crop up are passed on to management without immediate resolution.
In a healthy culture of high performance, every employee, team lead, business unit head, as well as C-level executives must be equally empowered to make decisions.
These are some of the most common signs of a toxic work culture that puts performance ahead of employee well-being and long-term sustainability. Fortunately, organizations can take several steps to address this challenge.
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3 Ideas to Cultivate a Positive, Employee-Focused Culture of High Performance
Organizations are now finding themselves in an employee-centric job landscape, where the best talent has several options for employment. If faced with excessive pressure to perform, or generally toxic work culture, your biggest assets will not hesitate to switch to a more favorable professional environment. This is why it is so essential to ensure your culture of high performance is centered on employee well-being and happiness. Here are three ways to achieve this using technology:
1. Crowdsource business ideas and highlight out-of-the-box thinkers
Performance comes in every shape and size, and it doesn’t necessarily imply a high volume of customers, transactions, or other forms of daily output. Innovation and idea generation are critical in a competitive business environment, and this can stem from employees of any designation or role.
A crowdsourcing platform fosters engagement between management and the frontlines, collects ideas for new products/services, provides a platform for testing, and even helps to recognize top-performing contributors among the workforce. One such tool that makes this possible is Brightidea Programs , best suited to technology companies looking to create a culture of high performance.
2. Adopt AI-driven project management
Project managers are tasked with everyday performance management and ensuring that employees are meeting their productivity targets. If you’re using a project management tool that is not collaboration-friendly, there's always a risk that employees will be pushed to compromise their work-life balance to meet preset KPIs.
That’s why a platform compatible with remote working scenarios that allows for continuous performance feedback , flexible work hours, and AI-driven advanced analytics on employee wellness is a smarter alternative. An excellent tool you can look at is StatusToday , a people analytics platform powered by an AI engine called Isaak.
Apart from standard project management metrics like collaboration and customer transaction mapping, it also offers visibility into employee engagement patterns and well-being. For example, real-time updates on email overload or excessive overtime are particularly beneficial if you’re looking to create a healthy culture of high performance.
3. Blend performance management with learning and recognition
In a culture of sustained high performance, productivity doesn’t operate as a standalone metric. It must be duly recognized and rewarded, and any gaps must be addressed via learning and development to help employees reach their true potential. However, traditional performance management models focus only on measuring productivity and assessing employees.
That’s why it is advisable to blend performance management with your recognition and L&D programs. Technologies such as PerformanceCulture simplify this intersection. In addition to employee assessments, manager feedback, and reports, the tool enables regular check-ins so that employees can share their unique perspectives.
Top performers, as well as those displaying healthy workplace behavior, can be rewarded using a recognition module. PerformanceCulture also has a learning center where you can add content and track employee development.