Four Pillars of a High-Performing Workforce

by Ashley Beaudoin

How do you create a competitive edge through your most vital asset… your employees? In today’s fierce marketplace, workforce is the most challenging business asset to attract and foster for growth. It requires a strong recruiting process to attract the right employees and a formal onboarding process to retain the good ones, but the culture of the organization and structure for staff development will define the success of your company’s workforce.

Many organizations succeed by creating a workforce improvement strategy that focuses on the needs of their people in tandem with the objectives of the company and the systems required to execute the strategy. How do you correlate the success of your workforce with the success of the organization? The four pillars of a high-performing workforce will help you inspire success:

  1. Create a culture that intentionally drives an engaged workforce.
  • Reduce costs related to hiring and staff retention. In a highly competitive talent market, leaders must focus on generating an engaged workforce that will increase innovation and improve bottom-line performance.
  • Understand the benefit of utilizing employee feedback and a review of the current workplace culture to foster new improvements. The voice of employees is critical for leadership to reveal problem areas and know what is working well.
  • Identify the level of engagement within your team. The more engaged, the more likely they are to be more motivated, committed and focused.
  • Implement a team-centric model. Leading companies have a culture that strays away from a traditional model and emphasizes a more sustainable model that incites collaboration and transparency among team members.
  1. Be consistent and persistent with recruiting and onboarding.
  • Recognize the skill and talent shortage. Recruitment is a top concern for many organizations because they are not prepared for newer generations entering the workforce and are unaware of helpful, available resources.
  • Acclimate new team members appropriately. Fifty-four percent of employees who go through an onboarding process feel they are more engaged within the company. In order to effectively onboard, create a system for new employees to become acquainted with the workplace, position and company culture. An organized process should begin as soon as the new hire accepts the job offer.
  • Set standards for your onboarding expectations. On average, new hires have 90 days to prove themselves. In order to obtain the knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors that are required to perform specific roles, make new hires feel welcome and prepared.
  1. Cultivate emerging leaders through training and career pathing.
  • Inspire a new generation of advanced leaders. Seventy percent of organizations fall short in developing executive teams focused on objectives outside of reduced cost. When creativity is absent at the top level, employees are less likely to be invested in innovation and focus solely on productivity goals.
  • Place emphasis on innovative action. Eighty-eight percent of the workforce believes building an organization of the future is critical, but it takes more than talk; it requires action. Leadership personnel need to adapt to transformational elements and organizational technologies and set an example for commitment and success at the top.
  • Create efficiency in your HR function. From 2016 to 2017, organizations have been stagnant in providing developmental programs for employees. A major contributor is the lack of productivity within human resources. Without an effective HR foundation, organizations cannot emphasize growth and transformation among the workforce.
  • Address technologies well-suited for your success. New digital organizational models continue to surface in the marketplace, and organizations will require leadership to instill enthusiasm for innovation and identify factors of success for the new trend(s).
  1. Establish recognition and reward-based performance management.
  • Streamline your process for employee advancement. Ninety-one percent of companies who have properly implemented an effective performance management system have realized process efficiency for promoting individual employees. The systems facilitate enhanced performance reviews and create a structure for employee recognition.
  • Keep performance management systems updated to foster effective processes. When performance management systems are reviewed and enhanced continually, 90 percent of organizations see a direct improvement with the level of employee engagement. As shifts in work expectations occur, so should the methods for how employees are recognized and rated on their performance.
  • Provide employees with continuous feedback. Empowering individual employees to achieve their goals is crucial, but by providing ongoing guidance on job performance, you will create a system for surpassing the expectation. Incorporate mini-goals or milestones to encourage employees through continuous achievement and reward.
  • Ask the workforce for continuous feedback. Employee-driven improvements have proven to be significantly more effective for increasing team development and collaboration, as well as enhancing the performance of the individual.

When you instill confidence in your people and systems to foster success, you create an organizational culture that works across departments to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Through this focus on productivity, you ultimately enhance the growth and innovation objectives for the organization and set your company apart as a true leader in the industry—and as an employer of choice. iBi