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Creating a Terrific Workplace

Jun 03, 2024 05:47AM ● By Bob Helbig

What exactly does a high-performing workplace look like? The best workplaces know their strengths and weaknesses, which helps them focus on where they excel and identify opportunities for improvement.

Company culture impacts productivity and performance. When a company has a high-performance culture, employees are motivated to go above and beyond, daily operations are more efficient, and customers feel the improvements. Recruitment and retention jump, too, when people talk about their amazing and productive culture.

Here are seven common characteristics to a high-performing workplace culture:

1. Motivational and inspirational leaders: The tone is set at the top. Motivational leaders inspire employees to reach their fullest potential. When more people are driven to achieve success, performance skyrockets.

2. Engaged and empowered employees: Companies perform at a higher level when employees are engaged. An engaged workforce brings together people willing to go the extra mile. 

3. Strong growth mindset: Growth directly correlates with organizational and financial success. Companies must have a robust and open-minded growth mindset to perform at a high level. From entry-level employees to senior executives, it creates a culture where everyone is empowered to embrace challenges, learn together and develop innovative ideas. 

4. Trust and understanding: Employees lean in when they trust the process and understand their direct impact on company performance. High performance cultures rely on leadership to motivate employees and build trust. Engaged, trusting employees see how their daily tasks contribute to company performance. And if they do not, it is the job of leadership to build trust and understanding.

5. Continuous learning: To stay innovative and hungry, employees need regular opportunities for training and development. Learning new skills is key for company innovation and future-proofing. But it’s also great for individual confidence, engagement, and retention. After all, data shows most job seekers want continuous learning. 

6. Communication and collaboration: Whether it’s helping a teammate or a different department, high performance cultures are built on support. When employees collaborate and work towards shared goals, they save time. That time can then be used to think outside the box or work on another project. 

7. Culture of accountability and autonomy: Defining responsibilities and timelines keeps everyone accountable and on track. In high-performance environments, employees need to know exactly what is expected and how to properly handle slowdowns. After all, things will always pop up. How teams handle them and take responsibility says a lot about company culture and the tone at the top.

Every high-performing workplace culture is built on the same four principles: people, technology, culture and intentional organization.

·        Get the right people: People are the backbone of any organization. Hiring hungry, like-minded people who value performance and innovation makes it easier to achieve shared goals. Identify the hard and soft skills needed to succeed in your organization, and hire based on those skills. It’s about who is the most productive and who cares about your core values. Hiring employees with meaningful connections to your company vision makes success more satisfying. 

·        Invest in technology: Investing in new technology and tools gives employees the opportunity to save time and learn new skills. Automating repetitive tasks can improve engagement and reduce burnout, keeping the whole team performing at a higher level.

·        Create a productive culture: Whether they work remotely or in person, employees need a supportive and productive culture to perform well. Their physical work environment and overarching culture must motivate people to get their work done and go the extra mile. Perks such as childcare, fancy coffee machines, comfortable desk chairs, and Spotify or Calm subscriptions make people happier and more motivated. 

·        Build the right processes: Structure guides employees, managers, and leaders to greatness. Clear responsibilities, communication from leadership, alignment across teams, training sessions, and confidential employee feedback channels make it easier to be efficient. By establishing standards, guidelines, and checkpoints, organizations ensure outputs meet high-quality standards and identify opportunities for refinement and optimization, ultimately enhancing performance over time.

Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is the survey partner for Top Workplaces. To nominate your organization as a Top Workplace, go to


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