We hear this a lot at Next Evolution Performance – “we already have a high performance culture” says the leader(s) of a company. Our response – “great – can you explain a little more about your idea of high performance culture?”
Generally, the leaders then go onto explain that people are committed to achieving results and committed to doing whatever it takes to get these results. Again sounds great on face value, but when we dig a little deeper we find out that this means people:
- work around the clock to do whatever needs to be done to get great results
- are responsive to emails at all times of the day and night
- are made to feel guilty if they leave at certain times
- are only allowed to travel for work outside of work hours
- come to work when they are not well as taking sick leave is a sign of lower performance. (And then of course they get really sick and so does everyone else…….).
And to be really hypocritical – these companies often think they tick the box by bringing consultants in to do “wellness workshops” so that they can tick the box on looking like they try to encourage wellbeing even though people aren’t realistically allowed to implement any of the tips they learn in the wellness workshops.
If you have people who are overworked, overstressed, overtired and taking more than a few days each year actually being sick, then you don’t have a high performance culture – you have a high burnout culture ie one that is less productive and far more costly than a high performance culture.
Overall, unless people can sustain their high performance without resulting in physical or mental health issues, you might want to rethink your definition of high performance – chances are your company could perform much better with the right tools.
We now have far better scientific tools to help you achieve sustained high performance in your business. As leaders it is your obligation to know them if you want your employees to achieve sustained high performance.