12 Key Components of High-Performance Company Culture

By: Annette KlososkyPartner & Sr. Leadership Consultant, Executive Development Associates, Inc.

high-performance company culture

Although it is still often overlooked, organizational culture is today recognized by the world’s most forward-thinking business leaders as essential to success. 

Because of its direct correlation to team performance and company revenues, company culture is a crucial concept, and is often referred to as an organization’s DNA.

Culture is a lot more than engagement or values – it is about business goals, social impact and driving change within your leaders, teams and overall organization.

In this article, I discuss the 12 key components of company culture so that you can identify them within your organization. Once you understand the factors that make up an effective company culture, you’ll be able to measure, analyze and drive targeted, impactful change to drive significant bottom-line results. 

Vision & Strategic Direction

A company’s mission, vision and values change the path of the organization. These may seem like things that only huge corporations want (or take the time to do) but they are in fact crucial for any size organization. 

When producing the vision statement, attempt to answer the question: If the organisation were to accomplish all of its important goals, what would it seem like 10 years from now? 

The vision statement spells out what you expect the organization growing into:  The future development, the caliber of your employees and your firm values. Visions should tackle long-term, challenging goals.

The strategic vision is the conception of the organization’s time that you will use to change your business strategy. Examples would be: To turn into one of the best three firms in this business, to overtake the new business leader or to use green technology into all of the manufacturing. 

It’s okay to have a vision that you can’t be 100% sure you’ll succeed, but it must be at least likely for the organization to accomplish it.

Organizational Values

Organizational values are representative of what the organization thinks is most valuable, e.g., giving back to its people, and are a reflection of accepted behaviors within the organization. Without such measures, people can seek behaviors that are in sync with their own personal value systems, which may lead to behaviors that the organization doesn’t want to make.

Senior Leadership  

If you are having issues establishing a strong organizational culture at your own organizations, you may need to look in the mirror – a high-performance culture begins with senior leadership. 

You probably have more impact on company culture than you know, and sometimes that will hurt you if you are not aware of how your words and actions affect others in your company. 

Management

Workers would generally attempt to care and impress their direct supervisor. So, managers must keep the whole position team responsible for attitudes regarding their work and the company. 

The nature of the company’s culture can determine the kind of leadership employed in the organization. If there is a strong culture of motivated and well-trained employees, that directors will adopt the laissez faire style. 

A high-performance leading method is essentially hands-off, as the director thinks her staff is capable of managing their job without an abundance of management. The leader is there to encourage but not to micromanage or yet to spend more time managing tasks. 

Teamwork

Making, enhancing, and celebrating cooperation is at the heart of every successful organization society. A culture of cooperation focuses on team skills rather than on personal skills, promotes cooperation, and allows for tasks to be completed in the faster, better, and more efficient manner. 

While personalities that work well together certainly get cooperation easier, the actual success or failure of cooperation is inferred from the system or culture in place.

Teams want to know what these expectations are and what these characters and principles are. Those want to be reinforced and clarified to all team members, and when a high-performance system is in place, cooperation grows often easier.

Engagement

Employer branding has become increasingly valuable. Employees are a lot like clients. 

Employees no longer prioritize remaining in the single task until retirement, and rather, they are more likely to select the business that occupies them and aligns with their passion and values. Cue organizational culture and employee involvement. 

Employee involvement is the direct result of a strong organization culture. It relates to how employees think about their society and their jobs. The stronger the corporation’s culture, the greater employees realize what is required of them and what they’re working toward. 

High-performance cultures are encouraging, confident, and active. 

The high-performance culture promotes behaviors and norms that cause the organization to achieve excellent outcomes by setting clear business goals, determining employees ’ obligations, creating a trusting environment, and encouraging employees to continuously grow and reinvent themselves.

Learning & Development

A Columbia University study found that that the probability of work turnover in the organization with rich company culture is a mere 13.9%.

When you make learning and skills development a part of your organization’s culture, you may find the turnover rate drop to zero. 

To keep up with the pace and degree of workplace changes, companies need to create a culture that supports continual education that goes beyond job requirements. 

In a development-focused culture, learning occurs always, In training events but also on the work, socially, through managers and mentors, and from experimenting with new processes. 

Innovation

How could an organization be strategic and focused on it objectives to build and develop a cutting edge culture? Clear management and understanding of an organization’s mission might help fuel invention by knowing where in the business innovation and imagination would offer the most value.

High-performance cultures encourage innovation by 1) trusting employees to experiment, 2) celebrating an entrepreneurial mindset and 3) allowing for open communication between all levels of the organization. 

Communication

Organizational communication mostly focuses on building relationships and interacting with internal organizational members. The traditional way of looking at organizational communication focuses on communicating within organizations. The second way is communication as structure — meaning organizations are the consequence of the connection of the people within them. 

Communication is not only about communicating messages between senders and receivers. The intentionality of your organizational communication can also determine how your employees understand their performance, their value and their impact on the organization. Without strategic communication, there is no way for your team to understand the components of company culture that you have devised. 

Diversity and Inclusion 

Diversity and inclusion is a hot issue in today’s business lexicon – and for good reason. There’s a strong business case for adopting a diverse and inclusive workforce. A Harvard Business School study revealed that corporations with more workplace diversity represent 69% more in profit and revenue, with 91% of these corporations reporting higher customer satisfaction. Diversity will also increase employee participation, recruitment, and retention, especially for Millennials.

Creating a culture of inclusiveness involves creating a solid foundation, establishing the infrastructure, and incorporating diversity and inclusion into all business functions. This requires a mixture of organizational support, executive champions or advocates, as well as grassroots campaigns, such as employees who are excited to start employee-run resource groups.

Customer Focus

Corporations desiring a world-class position must empower employees at all levels to do what it takes to grow the best of the greatest. Often, this means placing customer appreciation and focus high in your organizational values. 

Often times, a company culture that treats employees well and provides them with the tools, attitudes and systems they need to succeed will by default improve customer service and product quality.

Continuous improvement, benchmarking, and empowered employees translate into happy customers. 

Social Impact

Corporate responsibility is one of products of organizational culture.

Today’s employees are eager to benefit others, not just themselves and their company, with the work they do. Therefore, it is important to instill community benefit, sustainability or other social impact results into your culture. This will help drive productivity by giving employees an additional sense of purpose.

 About the Author:

Annette Klososky is a sought-after consultant and executive coach in all facets of organizational culture and leadership development. She is the owner of the Women’s Executive Board, a leading peer advisory groups for executive women and Chair for the Oklahoma chapter of the Womens’ Presidents Organization.