What is a high performance culture?

By March 16, 2016September 7th, 2018Creative Business, Performance, Staff


Many creative businesses, much like any professional service business, deliver results for their clients based on the hard work of their team. We don’t produce widgets that require manufacturing, or waffles that require waffling, we deliver results based on head hours worked by our brilliant team members.

This begs the question, how do you get the most of your team to ensure the machine that is your business is running smoothly and productively? We’ve spoken before about tips and tricks for staff productivity. What I’d like to discuss here is the idea of a high performance culture and what it might mean for your business. Workplace culture is an elusive beast and tends to come as the result of a wide-range of activities, the following is my take on the topic.

Clear vision, values and goals

First up you should have a vision for your business that you believe in and are able to sell to your team. The vision will paint a clear picture as to why the business exists and what the staff can expect if everything goes to plan. The values will then inform how you and your team will act as you go about achieving that vision – this will help to shape the culture of your business. Finally, the goals paint a clear picture of what success looks like. All of this should be clearly communicated with your team – even better, get them involved in creating the vision, values and goals for the business for even greater buy-in.

Employee engagement

Your team should have clearly defined roles with clearly defined success targets and KPIs. It is quite demoralising for team members to not know what they are personally aiming for. These goals should tie clearly back in with the goals of the business as a whole so your team feels they are all contributing to the success of the business – being transparent is important here. The goals you set your staff should be challenging, but not impossible, and they should be easily measured and monitored.

Feedback & reward

Team members should be receiving constant feedback on their individual performance, with the positive being public and as required, and the negative being discrete and specific. Definitely don’t leave it until the annual review – this should really just be saved for talking salary and plans for the coming year. Keep the team up to date with how the business as a whole is tracking so they feel part of the business rather than just a cog in the machine. Finally, make time to celebrate the wins! You should be rewarding your staff with a mix of cash and non-cash incentives that reward both individual and team efforts. Take a look at our earlier article for inspiration.

Culture is a tricky one to get right, but if you can follow the above you’re heading in the right direction. For further reading, try these articles here and here.

If you’d like to discuss the performance of your team, reward structures, performance measurement systems, or anything else to do with your business, please get in touch, we’d love to help.