What it Takes to Build a High-Performance Workforce

What defines a high-performance workforce? Can we say that these people are simply better than the average group of employees who contribute to business regularly? Or, should we look up the answer among the quotes of the business magnate, Henry Ford, who once said:

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.

In other words, no matter the qualities of each employee, what truly matters is the teamwork. Only through joint efforts can an organization grow and establish the high levels of performance many entrepreneurs constantly seek. But one problem still remains – how to bring together an efficient group of people and turn them into a powerful workforce?

Also read: The Link Between Performance Management and Employee Engagement

There are two things you need to do  to build a high-performance team:

  • Set up a good foundation early
  • Frequently evaluate the performance and address the issues your powerhouse might occasionally face.

In order to achieve excellence, some basic standards have to be put in place. Look at them as principles for success which help to determine the accountability of the staff. Considering that these strategic components are the key to productivity, let’s examine what these steps involve.

The Hiring Process

It all starts with the hiring process, so you need to be sure that new people are talented enough to take the business to the next level. How is your recruiting strategy doing? Maybe it’s time to optimize it to find only the best candidates for the job.

The next time you are in need of new employees, systematically conduct the recruiting process. Make sure the company’s hiring process includes the latest trends and offers digital recruiting, but more importantly, ensure that the recruiting procedure meets your predefined hiring standards such as:

  • Clearly defined job description and employee expectations.
  • A broad search of the qualified talent (employee referrals, social media platforms, job fairs, and so on).
  • A comprehensive candidate selection process that includes interviews, the follow-up process, testing, customer orientation, and accessing the cultural fit.
  • Conducting a thorough background check (the level of education, previous working experience, accomplishments, and referrals).

Leadership and Employee Engagement

In 2017, employee statistics showed that 51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged. Unfortunately, this issue often leads to a massive loss in revenue between $400 and $550 billion per year. However, this problem can be easily resolved by motivating leadership skills.

Whether you have a superior workforce or not, the high level of performance comes from a direct and effective communication, regular evaluation, and feedback. In other words, each team should have a designated and skillful leader who will carry the burden of accountability. 

Also read: A Wormhole in Leadership

First of all, employees need to know what they are working for in order to effectively move towards the objective. The common goal should be specified and composed in a way that suits each member of the team. However, to really increase their engagement rate, including the workforce in every step of the development plan, listen to their ideas, and recognize their achievements.  You can also deploy an in-house learning management system to conduct regular training that keep employee skills on track all the time.

Building a Team Through Learning

According to Digitalist magazine, many of top performers with critical skills are at “high-retention-risk” category. But as previously mentioned, employees need to know what they are working for. Apart from the company’s goal, they have to achieve their personal goals as well.

Perhaps the ideal opportunity to build an efficient team and save money on employee turnover is through the adoption of training software for employees. If you create a course and make an effort to introduce a new learning culture with the possibility of career advancement, you can definitely increase the retention of your most critical employees.

This way, you can empower your employees with knowledge and new career objectives that will motivate them to perform better. Plus, reputable training software for employees offers certificates and the ability to study remotely from any digital device, which is perfect for talented employees who want to advance their skills in their own time and at their own pace.

 Meetings, Feedback and Rewards

Once the strategy is set up and you have educated and motivated people on your side, it’s important to supervise the progress, evaluate the performance, and provide comments to support your high-performance team.

Also read: The shift from annual performance reviews to ongoing feedback

For that reason, it’s recommended that you revise the performance development plan once every six months. Go over the initial strategy to determine if it requires any updates or changes. In case everything is working according to plan, recognize the best contributions through your system of rewards.

If you are not familiar with this concept, it’s an employee recognition model that rewards hard-working employees through bonuses, incentives, and other special benefits. Recognizing individual or team achievements is crucial for increasing performance. So consider implementing a similar system if you want to additionally inspire both employee performance and loyalty.  

Final Thoughts

In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.

– Mark Sanborn, Professional Speaker, Author, and Entrepreneur.

A true leader always guides employees in the right direction from beginning to end. This refers to the hiring process, learning opportunities, and overall business development performance that should be paved with the best interest of an organization and its workforce in mind.

Although it may seem like a difficult task, building a productive team of employees can be simplified through clear communication and mutual understanding of the company’s goal. However, as business success depends on employees, they deserve to gain recognition for their efforts or a helping hand for mastering their skills.

Download the white paper and see how you can create an integrated, engaging employee experience using people analytics!

Image licensed from Depositphotos.com