Sustainable growth is a desirable trait by most companies today. Although it seems easy to achieve aggressive growth in the initial years of the venture start-up, it's quite difficult to maintain that pace for most organizations. Once companies realize a certain scope and scale, they shift gears and start focusing on the maintenance of status quo, rather than continuing a growth spree. However, the only way to remain relevant in today’s dynamic markets and competitive environment is by sustaining healthy growth that can only be attained by developing a high-performance culture in the organization.
Here's how new age and conventional companies differ in attaining high-performance culture for their organizations –
• Setting defined expectations: Traditionally, companies are known to define job descriptions, KRAs and KPIs to give employees an indication of what they will be evaluated on. The new age companies are setting these expectations in business terms by further making it easier for even the newest employee to understand what the organization expects from him. The roles thus defined are more holistic and cross functional, focusing on performance and outcomes.
• Appraising performance on set standards: While conventional companies are still stuck in the bell curves of annual performance appraisals, new age companies are progressing towards internalizing the appraisal process. The performance is evaluated and appraised in a dynamic fashion of predefined standards and clearly communicated expectations. Subjectivity is going out of the process.
• Enabling performance with training and development: New age companies are also increasing the focus on training, in turn helping employees grow professionally. Better trained employees are able to realize higher performance on a day-to-day basis.
• Creating growth & leadership platforms: Employees are more likely to participate in organizational growth ventures when they can align their own growth and leadership opportunities with the same. New age companies realize this inherent need for creating a high-performance culture and providing leadership opportunities to employees at all levels of hierarchy.
• Increasing performance appraisal frequency: High performance is a concept which has to be reiterated every month, every week, every day and every hour. New age companies are realizing the inadequacies of annual appraisal systems and have initiated monthly and quarterly appraisal processes to sustain high performance.
• Empowering and trusting employees: Employees go beyond their defined roles when they feel empowered which creates a favorable environment in the organization. This in turn fuels efficiency of the organizations.
• Encouraging collaboration over competition: Companies can no longer achieve high-performance mark by encouraging internal competition. In fact, high-performance culture can be maintained only with inter-departmental and cross-functional collaboration.
• Developing customer focus: While conventionally companies focused on pushing their products and services, today they are focusing more on building an innate customer focus in every human resource. A better understanding of markets and customer needs enables an employee to pursue performance with focused objectives.
• Digitalizing performance management: Companies visualizing high-performance goals have adopted online platforms and digital solutions to define and communicate goals on a real-time basis. Furthermore, decision-making processes are becoming more efficient with the use of objective data and digital solutions.
• Ability and willingness to change: Lastly, if change means achievement of sustainable high-performance, new age organizations are much more open to cultural and structural change.
The key reason behind plateauing of growth in conventional companies is the absence of a culture that encourages people to work at their full potential. So, in the case of only adopting the aforementioned, new age practices, the question remains, can organizations hope to avoid obsolescence and continue performing aggressively?