The recipe for high-performing employees might have less to do with “work” than you think
Every business wants employees to perform at their best. Most of us get caught up in the various metrics that prove or disprove individual job performance. Of course this data is important, but what if it was less important than we think it is?
That is what we found at PeoplesBank when we set out to establish the values that would enable a high-performance culture. While the road map of our success is measured in years, the steps to creating a culture where employees willingly perform at their best are incremental. Least you be dissuaded from taking the first steps toward this objective because it is a “feel good,” rest assured, the results are in: high-performing cultures equate to high-performing organizations.
So how do you cook up a high-performing culture? Here are the key ingredients:
- Start with a base stock of employee engagement: Don’t skimp here. Instead add as much employee involvement as possible. Remember, these are the people dealing with your products, services and customers every minute. They know what is working and what is not. Employees also have great ideas for fixing problems and beating your competition. You really want to add some heat to this mix. Bring employee engagement to a full boil through employee-led think tanks and problem-solving teams.
- Season employee engagement liberally with care: Like the right spice, showing employees that you care about them will make or break your high-performance culture. Caring in the workplace has evolved a long way from the group hugs on the television show The Office. Assume your employees are all in and need help with life-work balance. Today’s always-connected world means that many of your best people truly never have the opportunity to escape the worries of the workplace (wireless dead zones are becoming rarer and rarer). Investing in employee wellness and outside interests will pay high dividends. For us, that meant supporting book clubs, volunteerism and even a Smoothie Patrol that visits all of our offices regularly.
- Add meat – employee development: Too often, we forget that the way to develop employees is through employee development. Seminars, training programs, lunch and learns, and mentoring really do work. If you don’t have them, you really won’t have employees who work effectively.
- Top with fun and serve: Miserable workplaces perform really miserably. Fun can be awards for ideas, recognizing success, fostering a healthy lifestyle or just an apple-stacking contest between departments. The point is to institutionalize fun.
About the author:
Janice Mazzallo is Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at PeoplesBank. She has also presented nationally on topics related to creating a high-performance culture. During her tenure at PeoplesBank, the bank was named a Boston Globe Top Place to Work three times in a row.