In our travels we see a lot of high performing companies. This is a joy to witness because there are so many ways to be successful – as demonstrated through the years of wonderful experiences with our clients. One thing is for sure: it takes a lot of effort and intention to become and maintain the position of a high performing company.
It also takes a strong culture of setting expectations, coaching and leading by example. After all, our success significantly depends on our people and how they view their work.
I feel this is an appropriate time to share some common things that high performing employees do at work that makes a difference. Perhaps we can identify which of our valued employees have these traits and reward them, thus encouraging others in the organization.
What traits do high performers share:
- Enthusiasm – about learning, innovating, sharing, creating, etc. This may be an inherent trait that some are born with. However, it can catch and spread. We have seen it – especially when celebrated by you as the business leader.
- Lessons learned: One sure way to drive internal cost up is to make the same mistakes over and over. High performers learn from mistakes, adjust and strive to not repeat. This seems like standard logic and common sense, but it happens…a lot. There is no reason to ignore this issue – create an expectation! It is not too much to ask.
- Accountability. Isn’t it refreshing when someone says “I made a mistake and own it”. When I hear this I want to reward someone! So do it. Make it easier for your people to own mistakes and you will be pleasantly surprised at what this does to their drive. There is a big difference between the employee who takes accountability and one who finds any reason at all to blame something or someone else for things not going as planned. Great employees find a way to get things done no matter what and own it when things go awry.
- Focus. Let’s face it, the workplace has changed. Workplace drama is more dangerous today than ever. If a Team member is gossiping, treating people with disrespect, and spreading negativity, then the organization will suffer. Isn’t it easier to focus on the task at hand!?
- Willingness to change.The world is changing faster than it ever has and it will never be as slow as it is now. Even if you or your company has been successful doing things the same way for years, that doesn’t mean it will continue. Changing is learning and it’s your company’s main competitive advantage. We see this issue often, especially when a new process, software, customer procedure, etc. is being deployed. Sometimes a blunt sit-down is necessary to help people come to the conclusion that this is not optional.
- Create solutions.Finding problems takes no skill. Finding solutions does. I have a great example of how to facilitate more of this. One business owner that I worked with for years had a prerequisite for her employees which was: “My door is always open to help you with any problem or challenge, but you must have two potential solutions in hand. Together we can talk through your solutions and solve the issue.”
I think that is brilliant!!
This list of traits is just a subset of a larger portfolio, of course. We are often witness to excellent business execution and that in itself is a reward.
We would be happy to share more with you. Please drop us a line or call. “Our door is always open”!!