What It Takes to Build a High-Performance Workforce

6915886_sBeen in the workforce a while? You’ve probably had a job or two that wasn’t ideal, or maybe even one that you grew to despise. You had to endure ridiculous rules, multiple opposing and contradictory bosses, do without programs for motivation, and suffer without opportunities to grow or advance. When you didn’t have anything to look forward to every day, you probably got stressed out, disgruntled, and moved on to greener pastures.

Those are not ideal conditions for a productive workforce necessary to grow a company. They are working conditions that most people run from, leaving the company with employees that don’t care and who underperform until the end. Employees like that aren’t going to take care of your customers with care and concern. They are not going to ever go above and beyond any performance expectation, and they certainly aren’t going to have any good feelings about your company as their employer. They’ll do the minimum amount of work to get their paycheck and will leave as soon as they can. The biggest contribution they’ll make is to your company’s high turnover rate.

Successful, profitable businesses want and need the exact opposite. They need highly motivated, high performing workers who look forward to coming to work every day to take care of their customers and building their businesses. They need employees who routinely go above and beyond their job expectations to make customers happy, deliver on projects, and tune in to the business strategy. Does that describe your employees? If not, here’s what it takes to build a high-performance workforce.


Hire Qualified People

Every business needs talented people to drive growth, especially in today’s global marketplace and highly competitive job market. Make sure your company has an effective recruiting and hiring strategy that includes the latest recruiting trends and incorporates social media, mobile recruiting, and candidate experience supported by a strong employment brand. If your recruiting process isn’t quite there and isn’t bringing in the kinds of candidates you need, consider outsourcing your recruiting to ensure you are hiring the people you need for business success.


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Don’t Micromanage

When you’ve hired top performers, don’t micromanage and de-motivate them. HR and recruiting expert Dr. John Sullivan knows what drives high performance organizations, and says that while productive employees need managers to set direction, well-defined corporate strategy and defined purpose for teams and individuals positively influences workforce productivity more than micromanaging tasks and activities. No one likes to be micromanaged, and highly qualified and self-motivated people do not need to be micromanaged. Don’t make your top performers report to multiple bosses or tangle with red tape every week to do their jobs. It will kill the productivity and innovation you need in your workforce to compete, succeed, and profit.

Value Performance

Dr. John Sullivan says it’s easy to appreciate the value top performers create just by comparing their output to the output of average performers, and that you should evaluate employee performance by the results they deliver. Have clear performance metrics aligned with the business strategy and then reward people for meeting and exceeding them. Clear goals and the freedom (the space and the tools) to achieve those goals, plus recognition of achievement, is one of the top signs of a high performance workforce. Sullivan says effective rewards drive performance, especially when there are performance metrics because what gets measured gets done. What are your corporate goals? Do you want satisfied customers? Increased sales? Higher quality? Measure it and reward it and show you value performance.

There are many variables to developing a high performance workforce, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But if you need a more highly productive workforce to drive your business growth, you need to hire the right people, innovative top performers, enable them to do their jobs and not bore them or drive them away, and value their performance.


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