High performance culture – it might not be what you think…

Often when we work with senior leadership teams, they are very keen to lift the bar on the performance of the business but in actual fact, if they transform the culture, the performance will take care of itself.

So then of course, leadership says they want a high performance culture and then we see many of the staff get scared instead of inspired and things start to spiral the wrong way.

It’s all in the definition of “high performance culture”

Often people think that a high performance culture is along the lines of:

“Results at all costs”

“Working longer hours to the point of burnout”

“Sell your grandmother to make a buck!”

In fact nothing could be further from what actually constitutes a high performance culture.

High performance culture constitutes a set of Behaviours, Activities and Mindset (we call them BAMs) that promote psychological safety so that people can do their best work.

It incorporates an accountability culture – see our other recent articles discussing accountability.

Broadly, it’s about people not blaming each other and thinking and behaving in a helpful, solutions-focused way. If people are worried about being blamed, they are more likely to adopt a “cover your butt” approach and blame others first. And they certainly aren’t doing their best work when they are spending their energy credits on blaming others first.

This certainly isn’t a productive way to find a solution. When people feel safe to say what they could have done better, or admit where they dropped the ball on something and how they will do better next time , more productive ideas are in play and people feel much safer.

When the negativity gets stamped out and people are displaying the BAMs of a high performance culture – leadership gets way easier and work for everyone gets way more enjoyable. Staff engagement also increases while sickness, burnout (physical and mental) and staff turnover all decrease.

As for the “working harder to the point of burnout” belief – nothing could be further from the truth. It’s important to work smarter and understand how to master your cognitive energy to get more done in less time and with less cognitive effort. It’s also important to know exactly where to direct your cognitive energy, so having people collaborate with each other to develop alignment of goals will save a bucket load of energy credits.

Funnily enough – none of the above is really focused on results. Start with the results you desire and then work backwards to determine the BAMs required to give you those results. Then just focus on the BAMs and the results should start to take care of themselves.

The results sit in the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) column, but make sure your Key BAM Indicators are front and centre on performance discussions and you’ll be good to go.

For help with how to get more done – you may want to check out www.nextevolutionenergy.com – our online training platform and, more specifically, our online course “The neuroscience of getting more done”.

Of course please feel welcome to get in touch for more specific help with building a high performance culture within your team where everyone feels psychologically safe to do their best work.