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What Do High Performance Environments Look Like?

Updated: Jan 18

The key to higher performance and increased growth is found in the psychology & culture of an organisation, not the mechanics, which fuels Melissa Curran’s quote “We're not engineering, we are emotioneering human performance”. To create a high performing organisation, you need a high-performance team, but what does a high-performance organisation look like? Firstly when looking to create a high-performance environment, the key beginning factor is leadership. In order to begin a focus on performance, leaders will have 3 key focuses, those being vision, support, and challenge. These three focuses are used to encourage and inspire employees towards the overall goal of the organisation, first by using the vision. Every employee in a high performing organisation will be able to tell you the primary vision that they are all working together to achieve well as smaller goals alongside this, both organisational and personal. A leader’s role is to reinforce this vision to help employees remember their role’s purpose within the organisation, the purpose of creating this vision for employees is primarily to aid in giving employees the motivation to do their work and do it well to reach this vision as a team with large individual impact. Studies have shown that employees that feel their work is meaningful show higher performance and engagement levels at work, bringing increased work quality and revenue to the organisation. A leader’s role is also to support those employees that they are guiding in the workplace. This can mean a range of different types of support such as being available to offer guidance when a task may be more complicated than originally thought or a new unseen issue arises. Leaders should also be equipped to offer support with more personal issues an employee may have, since factors such as a mental health challenge can and will affect an employee's work and stress levels, and sometimes can even be caused by the workplace itself, which is where leaders need to be taking responsibility and action to support these difficult times and offer the best possible guidance available. Organisations with high performing employees and leaders will show many examples of leaders challenging their employees in order to bring them closer to their personal and organisational goals to bring employees a step further in their ability. This is usually done by in-depth goal-setting sessions with employees 1-to-1 where they can both provide feedback to each other in order to learn their strengths, weaknesses, and how both leader and employee can help each other as well as work together to exceed targets and overcome old weaknesses. Moving forward from the impact of leadership on performance we then have the three performance enablers which are the incentives, instruments and information each employee has. Performance enablers relate to a psychological behavioural state of attachment for the overall performance of the business resulting from the employee's emotional cognitive identification of psychological attachment to the work and the organisation. Starting with incentives, commonly when thinking of incentives you will likely list things such as a good yearly salary with plenty of bonuses available or attractive employee benefits such as gym memberships or free food etc. These are all good incentives to motivate and retain employees, but high-performance organisations tend to go one step further with their incentives. One example of this would be their focus on strong relationships between managers and employees, this tends to be a long-lasting and ever-increasing incentive since there is always the opportunity for relationships to grow and strengthen as well as the chance to create new relationships alongside these. Relationships like these tend to be largely valued by employees since it helps create a friendly workplace culture, which is an environment that naturally creates psychological safety for employees, allowing them to perform better by having helpful and honest relationships in the workplace. The next performance enabler is instruments, you will notice that in every high performing organisation that every employee is equipped with the appropriate instruments or tools in order to do their role effectively. These tools will vary depending on the type of organisation although one of the most common ones includes some form of I.T equipment. These organisations will stay on top of any maintenance repairs needed, likely doing regular checks in order to combat an issue before it arises. Then lastly we have information given and received by employees, information comes naturally with great organisational communication and tends to show in an employee's understanding of responsibilities and behaviours required to meet the goals of their specific role. Employees that are aware of how they can progress within the organisation have a much better sense of meaning and structure compared to those who do not have this awareness due to lack of communication. The type of communication needed for information tends to be feedback, without feedback both managers and employees aren't going to know what they are doing well and where they can improve as well as not know the best solutions to help each other as a team succeed.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As people operations and performance consultants, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 12 years of expertise in people operations and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


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