Creating a High Performance Work CultureBy June Anderson
In my coaching with IWL alumnae, several people are working to create high performance work teams. If you also find yourself committed to creating a high performance work team, included below are some key traits to consider cultivating in your company culture. As a reminder, developing high performance teams is not a one-time event, it is a ongoing process and these organizational traits span a scale from minimally to highly developed.
An organization’s ‘culture’ is loosely defined as ‘how we do things around here.’ It consists of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that describe and guide the way in which people interact. You may want to pick one of the following on which to focus while implementing change in your work environment.
High performance work teams:
- are on a clear course. Everyone knows in what direction the team is moving and everyone is purposefully moving in the same direction.
- have team members who demonstrate a high sense of commitment to the organization, the team, and one another.
- have extremely effective communication among the team members that fosters learning and is focused on moving forward.
- are open to and comfortable with change. The organization anticipates, responds, and adapts creatively when changes are desired.
- have a spirit of collaboration among team members, as the operative way of interacting in functional and cross-functional teams.
- have the character of the organization defined by team members’ behaviors being congruent with the organization’s stated shared values.
If, for example, in developing a high performance team, you determine that it will be most effective to focus on the character of your organization, you would begin by observing the values and behaviors modeled by its leadership.
Is the leadership establishing a consistent tone for the entire organization, making it a place in which people feel proud to work?
Does the organization treat its employees with respect, compassion, and fairness?
What are the standards of integrity and ethics that guide daily activities and long-term strategic decisions?
As with any of the characteristics of high performance work teams, you may simply start by making a list of what constitutes them and begin to cultivate a work culture that includes it.