In a recent article, leading brain researcher Robert Desimone shared new information collected from Gallup’s extensive workplace research. Robert is the director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and a Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Gallup discovered is something Black Diamond Leadership has been teaching for a long time. The key to creating a high-performance organization is an investment in high-development culture.
Whether your organization calls this employee engagement, professional development, or something else – the truth is clear: companies that value the unique differences and talents of their employees and invest in their growth and development. This the stage for high-performance leadership and influential corporate culture that promotes innovation and achieves the loftiest expectations.
These are the four strategies Robert Desimone shared for creating high-performing workplaces:
Focus on employee engagement
Gallup research shows that when employees know and use their strengths, they are nearly six times more engaged and less likely to leave their current company. It can be scary to invest in your workforce with the idea that individuals may ‘grow out’ of their current positions and leave the company. An investment in workplace culture and employee engagement is a long-term investment in the growth and success of your company. And it includes working with employees to chart individual growth plans that help them understand their long-term path with the company.
Avoid common misunderstandings about professional development
The most successful teams identify and work to understand each member’s unique talents and match their work roles with their natural abilities. Does that mean you ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks?’ Of course not! All employees can improve in crucial skills – from technology immersion to communication – but individuals also have unique talents and interests that they excel at. They also appreciate team leaders who take the time to learn more about them and then USE that information to better the team.
Support managers by providing the tools they need to develop their teams
Desimone says managers ‘act as coaches, not bosses.’ Why are some of our most famous leaders’ sports personalities? That’s because coaches lead by example, care about their team members, communicate effectively, and, most importantly – share feedback ‘loudly’ and often. Research shows that employees who receive immediate feedback that is specific and targeted to their personal development are more likely to improve and grow. That’s why many companies are moving away from annual employee review cycles and towards continuous feedback. Managers who have the tools and support they need to invest in their employees and ‘coach’ them to successfully create high-performance teams.
Leadership owns the culture change, not HR
This is a biggie. Good leaders have a vision and communicate it effectively. If you want to create a high-performance organization, tell your employees and give them a role to play in the transformation process! While your human resources and internal communications teams will play a considerable role, culture changes need to be led from the top.