High performance culture – How to build it and why?

High-performance culture (HPC) is a set of values and practices. It is a way of doing things. A philosophy, if you will. HPC is the mindset of an organization that honestly and relentlessly challenges itself to improve all of its processes, products, and services. The power of such a challenge is such that it transforms the organization as a whole and redefines what it is capable of. There’s just something special about HPC that draws people in and inspires them to do their best work.


Organizations that master the balancing act of creating a high-performance workplace have a competitive edge over their competitors. High-performance workplaces have been proven to have a direct correlation with business success, enabling employees to work efficiently and effectively, and allowing them to provide more value to clients and customers. In recent years, high-performance culture has moved from being an aspiration or a luxury to being a necessity for businesses looking to stay competitive in the global marketplace. In fact, according to Gallup, leaders who create a high-performance workplace see higher earnings per share than those who don’t.


How to cultivate a high-performance culture?


Research from Deloitte discovered that “87 percent of organizations cite culture as one of their top challenges, and 50 percent call the problem ‘very important.” Yet, they also discovered that “only 12 percent felt their organizations were excellent at effectively driving the desired culture.”



The keys to creating a high-performance culture are strategy, investment, leadership buy-in, and patience.

Strategy: Define the goal of your high-performance culture. For example, perhaps it’s to be No. 1 in your business or to hit certain key metrics. Then develop a plan to achieve the goal by leveraging the people who work for you.

Investment: You must invest time and money into building the right organization, teaming with the right partners, training managers to lead effectively, implementing programs that support employees’ well-being, and more.

Leadership buy-in: Whether you are an entrepreneur starting a new company or an executive hoping to transform an existing business, you won’t succeed without leadership buy-in. If you are hoping to make changes on your own initiative, be prepared for pushback from those who don’t want change.

Patience: If you want to create a high-performance culture, build relationships that are productive over the long term, not just the short term. This requires patience.




High-performance cultures are energizing

High-performance cultures are characterized by a shared sense of purpose and passion for what the organization does. When that is in place, employees feel a real emotional connection to the company. And that makes them more engaged and committed to their work and its success.

High-performance cultures encourage risk-taking


“In today’s industry, in which change happens at a relentless pace, standing still is not an option. You must take a risk at some point.”

– Sanjib Sahoo, CIO for Transport—North America, XPO Logistics


In a high-performance culture, management is comfortable with taking risks. Risk-taking is an essential part of innovation and creativity, and when people feel safe within the culture, they are willing to try new things even when there is a chance they might fail. That innovation can lead to new products, new ways of doing business, or new ways of making customers happier — all of which can help the business grow in ways it hadn’t thought possible before.

High-performance cultures have strong leadership

Leadership in a high-performance culture isn’t about power or authority but about trust, vision, caring, and accountability. In a high-performance culture, leaders earn respect by being trustworthy and having integrity, demonstrating caring through their actions and behaviors, being accountable for their own performance as well as for the performance of others, and showing they have a clear vision for what needs to be done to achieve the company’s goals.




Culture is the soul of a high-performance organization. It’s the value system that guides the decisions and behaviors of all stakeholders involved, including management. If culture is not managed or it’s managed in an ad-hoc manner, it will be inconsistent with the vision of the company and will lead to dissension among employees.

Whatever your culture is today, it might not be the right culture tomorrow. If you want your culture to support your strategy, you need to be ready to reexamine it at least once a year. JOIN21 has the perfect technology for that. If you want to build an inclusive culture and receive feedback on how to strengthen your employee networks look at the Baseline. Ground your future organizational decisions in data and measure the progress, digital fitness, and performance over time.