Do you think that developing and maintaining a high-performance culture is practically possible and easy in organisations or it is merely a buzzword far away from reality and difficult to achieve?
CY People are the biggest asset for any organization/company and people thrive in a scenario which provides them an opportunity to learn and grow. Hence, maintaining a performance culture is essential for an organisation to continue to thrive. However, taking it a step further, that is creating a High-Performance culture is a bit more difficult but certainly possible.
What should be the key initiatives for creating high performance culture in your view and how do you define them?
CY As one starts the journey, it is pivotal to showcase how the organization's culture would be different in a High-Performance culture world and then identify what practices, processes will lead you there. It is critical to set the path. One may identify that; a high degree of differentiation in rewards based on performance will encourage employees to deliver their best. Alignment of individual goals to company's priority, clarity and as much as possible tangible measurability of goals will also aid in achieving the desired cultural change. An environment of continuous learning and development, as people significantly value effective learning, growth and it acts as a catalyst to high performance culture.
In this complex process, what challenges and issues do you expect HR should be ready to address?
CY It is as complex or as simple as one makes it. If one has clarity on the culture one needs to achieve, the process is just different levers to help you reach there. HR should be ready to address the conflicts that come along the way as there would be a natural tendency to fall back into the old way of doing things.
Also, it is imperative to practice what is preached. People infer culture not by what's written in the posters but from what they see as being rewarded and what is not tolerated. The organisation needs to ensure its actions are in-line with the message of high performance culture.
Does high performance mean high pressure and more stress on employees? How do you propose to handle this side effect?
CY Not really! All it means is accountability and ownership of what one is working to achieve. Like any worthy target, personal or professional, a high-performance culture means a certain amount of stretch. This is what gets us to deliver our best. The key is to ensure that the stretch isn't too much and not for continuously too long. Empowering, trusting employees along with a flexible, supportive work environment will also ensure better results and lesser/no side effects.
Having a high performing culture is a matter of direct influence from the top? In such absence, what strategies should HR adopt to keep employees' morale high to maintain high performing culture?
CY Like I mentioned, it is imperative to practice what you preach. People follow what they see their leaders practicing. So, it's essential to have leaders align to the goal of high performance culture and the practical difference it requires to how things are done. It may require working with the leaders also if they have a different point of view but have the right intent.
Basically, high performance culture can happen/sustain only if people see the same being recognised, rewarded and the absence of it being dealt with appropriately. Hence, HR processes and policies also play a major part in this.
In organisations having diverse workforce and multi-generational effect where technology is fast coming in to mainstream employee processes, what kind of obstacles and psychological blocks you foresee in creating high performing culture and their possible solution?
CY Achieving anything great does not come easy and is often posed with various challenges and similarly changing the culture of an entire organizations, hundreds/thousands of employees comes with its own set of complexities. People from diverse background and different generations will have some subtle and some clear difference in their set of strengths. It is natural that there will be some differences in views on how high-performance culture can be achieved along with a difference in values, way of working and capabilities.
However, these challenges can effectively be utilized to one's advantage by making the most of this diversity and turning it into an asset. One needs to ensure clear communication and clarity on goals. Aligning all the diverse groups and developing a culture of respect for each individual and diverse opinion is extremely critical. This can be achieved by facilitating forums/events and through clear communication. Once, all the groups start realizing each-others strength and capabilities, it will lead to mutual respect, better collaboration and a rich inclusive high performance culture.