Business leaders should implement powerful concepts in their organizations to meet employees’ needs and improve performance. The high-performance working (HPW) approach is one of the concepts that can make a difference in a given organization. The tool has been embraced by managers to create and sustain high-performance work organizations (HPWOs). This paper gives a detailed analysis of the HPW concept and how it can be adopted to design a superior organizational culture. The paper goes further to explore the contribution of performance management to HPW. Powerful recommendations are also presented in the paper to guide and empower different leaders to build high-performance cultures and improve organizational performance.
The Concept and Components of HPW
According to the United Kingdom Commission on Employment and Skills, High-Performance Working (HPW) focuses on the best strategies to manage organizations and empower employees to focus on every business objective. The implementation of the concept has been considered to maximize employee commitment, thereby delivering improved levels of performance. The model is designed in such a way that employees are guided and supported to put adequate efforts into their activities (Maslanka-Wieczorek 2014). Consequently, the workers utilize their competencies and ideas in an attempt to support the goals of the targeted organization. That being the case, organizational managers who want to achieve their objectives much faster should be keen to support every key component of HPW.
The HPW model is supported by several key concepts and strategies if positive gains are to be realized. To begin with, the HPW framework is incomplete without strategic and leadership practices. Jayantha (2014) asserts that a competent leader who intends to implement HPW practices in his or her unit will have to formulate a powerful strategy. The concept of strategy, according to Maslanka-Wieczorek (2014), is broad and entails several practices such as identification of appropriate business processes and aligning them to the targeted objectives.
The idea of strategy is expanded in such a way that different employees and stakeholders are involved throughout the process. The use of adequate leadership approaches will result in evidence-based approaches whereby different employees and followers are empowered to be part of the implemented strategy. These attributes will result in HPW practices. Jayantha (2014) goes further to describe work organization as a critical aspect of HPW.
Leaders should design different activities, identify the right people, and match them with the targeted goals. This means that every individual will be engaged and empowered to pursue specific activities that resonate with the organization’s agenda or objectives. Organization development is another powerful attribute of HPW. Hill (2014) argues that this evidence-based approach presents appropriate changes and behaviors to empower different workers to deliver positive outcomes. The concept should be supported by the human resource (HR) department by liaising with development functions or units to align people to processes and strategies. The ultimate goal is to focus on new changes or practices that can result in improved organizational performance.
Employee engagement and involvement is another meaningful concept of the HPW framework. This practice focuses on leadership strategies whereby different followers are involved in every aspect of the company. More often than not, leaders empower their employees, offer adequate resources, and assign tasks depending on every individual’s prowess (Agarwal & Farndale 2017). Practices such as teamwork and collaboration are implemented in an attempt to deliver timely and meaningful results.
Additionally, HPW is incomplete without embracing the power of the above concept. Abraham Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs has been referenced by different scholars whenever examining the issue of employee rewards. According to the theoretical framework, workers whose psychological, physical, and emotional needs are met will be engaged and ready to achieve their potential. They will also implement powerful practices that can add value to the targeted organization.
Individuals from diverse backgrounds receive adequate support and resources. Agarwal and Farndale (2017) go further to outline various roles that must be completed by HR departments in an attempt to promote HPW’s working environments. For instance, the performance of employees must be appraised to inform appropriate training models. HR departments must also engage in various practices that can result in the continuous development of skills.
The approach will support the HPW concept and maximize performance. Jayantha (2014) also acknowledges that the model of the work-life balance must be considered whenever analyzing the HPW framework. This is the case because the strategy empowers employees to overcome stress and maximize their inputs. The level of turnover is usually low (or nill) when HPW becomes a defining factor in a given company.
HPW: Sustainable Organisation Performance
Maslanka-Wieczorek (2014) indicates that HPW is associated with sustained organizational performance. Since the concept is founded on various evidence-based practices such as positive leadership and appropriate HR initiatives, it becomes easier for employees to work hard, address their differences promptly and engage in activities that add value to their respective companies. The HPW framework transforms a company’s environment in such a way that people, processes, and strategies are aligned. Consequently, potential sources of conflicts or challenges are identified before they can get out of hand.
Decision-making and problem-solving processes are handled in a diligent manner (Jayantha 2014). The concept of lean becomes evident due to the nature of organizational procedures and models. These attributes have been observed to improve and sustain organizational performance. Companies that implement or support the initiative have been observed to record increased profits.
A contented worker will be willing to support an organization’s business model or agenda. The HPW theory has been observed to create desirable workplaces or settings whereby the emerging employees’ needs are addressed efficiently. Marin-Garcia and Tomas (2016) observed that corporations that implemented this theoretical framework recorded a reduced number of conflicts and misunderstandings. Instead, most of the employees in such environments were ready to work as teams, address emerging problems and formulate models to achieve organizational goals. The concept of a work-life balance was also associated with the approach, thereby maximizing the wellbeing of different workers. The HPW model is, therefore, one of the best standards that can be implemented in a given working environment to meet the changing needs of employees from diverse backgrounds.
Maslanka-Wieczorek (2014) asserts that the HPW conceptual framework is one of the best concepts for maximizing the competitiveness of any given organization. For instance, empowered workers design processes and practices that resonate with the business models of their companies. They also work hard to achieve every outlined objective. Leaders find it easier to manage and guide their employees due to the existence of positive attributes such as teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, and strategic focus (Marin-Garcia & Tomas 2016). The workers in a given organization collaborate to develop appropriate goals that can result in improved performance.
They will tackle emerging challenges, implement powerful processes, and form teams to achieve every targeted objective much faster. These attributes have been associated with an increased competitive edge or advantage. Companies that have this kind of advantage will deliver quality goods (or services) to the greatest number of customers and eventually remain successful.
As indicated earlier, HPW is comprised of various systems and processes that bring together different stakeholders such as HR managers, workers, leaders, and supervisors. These individuals also use their competencies to design superior processes and align them with the company’s business model. New projects are designed in such a way that they can support existing business strategies. These HPW systems and processes are supported by organizational leaders and workers to achieve every business aim.
Since the HPW concept is informed by evidence-based workplace practices and values, it becomes easier for companies that embrace the model to promote and support cultural changes. Maslanka-Wieczorek (2014) believes that adequate HPW processes empower different employees to engage in desired behaviors and practices that can result in a reputable organizational structure.
A study conducted by Munteanu (2014) revealed that the implementation of powerful HPW practices led to a positive organizational culture. This kind of culture is identified using critical indicators such as teamwork, increased levels of collaboration, reduced conflicts, and diversity. The targeted employees also focus on the goals of the company to make it successful and competitive. This analysis shows clearly that HPW is a powerful factor that can be used to promote a sustainable culture.
Barriers to HPW
Although HPW has been described by many scholars as a positive attribute in every organization, some analysts have indicated that the concept might not be implemented by every manager (Totterdill et al. 2016). This happens to be the case because there are powerful barriers that must be addressed by companies that are planning to implement the framework. A favorable environment is one of the best factors for supporting the implementation of the idea.
This means that companies or working environments associated with negative attitudes to change will not reap the full benefits of HPW. Many employees in such environments will be against any form of change since it might affect their comfort zones (Nasurdin, Ahmad & Ling 2015). Additionally, companies will have to incur numerous costs and time whenever implementing their framework. This is the case because the concept must be supported using adequate resources, training programs, and tools to succeed. This barrier explains why it is usually hard for many corporations to implement the HPW concept efficiently. The efforts of different stakeholders such as organizational leaders and managers, employees, and supervisors will also dictate the success of the HPW implementation process.
When there is a lack of trust and understanding, chances are high that the HPW framework will be implemented efficiently in a given organization. This happens to be the case because different actors will be unable to formulate appropriate strategies and align them with the existing business processes. The level of cooperation will also reduce significantly when there are mistrust and lack of understanding. Conflicts and disagreements will increase, thereby affecting employees’ performance and effectiveness (Ozcelik, Aybas & Uyargil 2016).
The relationship between trade unions and organizational performance is a topic that continues to capture the attention of different human resources (HR) and organizational management professionals. Many scholars have acknowledged that the lack of cooperation from trade unions can disorient every organizational change process. This means that the affected company or working environment will be unable to implement the concept efficiently. Companies that plan to benefit from the concept should, therefore, address these barriers and embrace evidence-based practices to deliver positive outcomes.
Performance Management Cycle
Organizational success is determined by the ability of different leaders to formulate appropriate goals, present adequate resources, identify competent people, and develop appropriate models to achieve positive results within the stipulated period. These practices echo what is known as the performance management cycle. Jayantha (2014) asserts that performance management is a powerful strategy that is done continuously through the use of ratings.
A typical performance management cycle is characterized by several phases or stages. These include planning, monitoring, developing, rating, and rewarding (Nasurdin, Ahmad & Ling 2015). During the first stage (setting objectives), concerned parties or leaders outline appropriate goals that can support the agenda of the business. During this stage, managers focus on the best approaches that can ensure that such goals are realized. The process of objective setting is crucial since it analyses the expectations of a given company and the best approaches to deliver positive outcomes.
The above stage is taken seriously to understand the current situation of an organization and identify where it ought to be after a specified duration. The leaders should also use the stage to align every objective to the company’s goals and business model. This means that every proposed activity, project, and/or agenda should be informed by the targeted organizational goals. Alasoini (2015) indicates that the success of the objective setting dictates how outlined organizational goals are realized. To ensure that the targeted goals are achieved, there is a need for organizational leaders to identify the competencies and skills of different workers.
This practice will inform a powerful strategy for supporting and empowering different individuals using the right resources, training sessions, and concepts. Employees can also be guided to complete specific tasks efficiently. Such individual development needs should, therefore, be matched with every objective setting initiative. When such strategies are completed successfully, it will be possible for the targeted company to achieve its aims.
The next phases of the cycle include performing, developing, rating, and performance review. During the performing stage, individuals are guided and empowered to deliver positive results. The developing stage borrows a lot from the idea of empowering individuals depending on their needs. Employees are guided and supported continuously using powerful training sessions and concepts.
This is followed by rating whereby performance is reviewed and analyzed to come up with evidence-based inferences that can be used to improve performance (Hill 2014). The final stage is embraced to review and examine how the outlined goals have been realized or missed. This information empowers leaders to implement new strategies if the goals have not been achieved as planned. Emerging gaps and challenges are identified and addressed efficiently.
Development and performance reviews are critical practices in any given business. To begin with, the approaches make it easier for organizational leaders to identify key achievements and gains. This information can be used to promote specific processes or implement new approaches to achieve better results. Performance is a powerful stage that guides managers to align an individual’s day to day roles with the goals of the targeted organization (Ozcelik, Aybas & Uyargil 2016).
The purpose of the performance review is to identify development needs and establish the best focus for skill acquisition or development. Depending on the implemented or outlined goals, individuals must be guided to develop specific skills and competencies that can support organizational performance. The idea of rewarding performers is something that is embraced by many organizational theorists (Alasoini 2015). These stages, therefore, guide managers to make suitable decisions when it comes to the provision of rewards. This means that top performers will be rewarded for their achievements.
This kind of strategy creates a positive environment whereby employees work hard to develop superior skills that can make them competitive and successful. Another role of development and performance review is to collect and store accurate information that can be used for legal purposes (Hill 2014). This analysis, therefore, shows conclusively that organizations should embrace the power of the performance management cycle to achieve their goals much faster and develop supportive working environments.
Involving Line Managers
The involvement of line managers in the performance review process is an evidence-based practice that has the potential to support the goals of a given company. Since the process is complex and critical in every business organization, it is always appropriate that different leaders are involved throughout the review process. To begin with, leaders can take up specific roles such as training employees and followers to be aware of different systems in the targeted organization. This strategy will make it easier for different employees to use their competencies adequately and support every system to achieve positive results (Arachchige & Robertson 2015). During the review process, the line managers will identify potential gaps in the employees’ competencies and design appropriate training models.
The managers can also be involved by focusing on various processes such as the continuity of different operations. They can also monitor how different training programs in different units are implemented to support the needs of the employees. They can also document different operations, action plans, and findings. The documentation process is essential since it can be used to design appropriate strategies and initiatives that can result in increased performance.
Employees tend to function optimally when their leaders support, guide, and mentor them (Ozcelik, Aybas & Uyargil 2016). That being the case, line managers should be involved through the performance review process by monitoring and mentoring to ensure that there is equity. This means that they will examine and meet the needs of different persons from diverse backgrounds. Resources, training opportunities, and support systems should be available to every employee.
The leaders can also go a step further to create an effective environment whereby desirable values such as equity, integrity, and justice are promoted. By so doing, the targeted organization will realize the benefits of performance review processes.
Munteanu (2014) also believes that different participants can get adequate ideas and insights from line managers. The leaders can also liaise with employees and participants involved throughout the performance review process to collect feedback on the operation and effectiveness of different processes and systems. The information will be used to implement meaningful procedures, training approaches, and rewarding systems. Such aspects will ensure that performance expectations and employees’ actions are linked to the existing business model or organizational agenda.
Performance Management: Contributions
Arachchige and Robertson (2015) assert that performance management has become a meaningful process through which employees and managers collaborate to identify existing challenges, plan, examine targeted goals, and outline appropriate objectives. These practices are undertaken to support the performance of the targeted organization. Steijn et al. (2014) believe that performance management should not be done periodically.
Instead, it should be implemented as a continuous process of identifying and setting objectives, examining the level of performance, and provide timely feedback or recommendations to ensure that every employee focuses on the intended organizational goals. According to Hutchinson (2013), the strategy has the potential to empower more followers and encourage them to improve their competencies while at the same time focusing on the targeted goals.
From this kind of understanding, it should be observed that the ultimate goal of any performance management initiative is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of employees. The process should be supported using the combined efforts of employees and their leaders. The approach is, therefore, capable of creating a sense of challenge. The emerging barrier becomes a powerful attribute for fostering appropriate behaviors and implementing adequate initiatives to ensure that the targeted goals are realized within the stipulated period. This kind of challenge also informs evidence-based practices that are aligned with the targeted organizational objectives.
As indicated earlier, performance management is associated with appraisal techniques in an attempt to come up with powerful initiatives for empowering employees, addressing their competency gaps, and ensuring that adequate resources are available. The strategy is useful since it builds future people’s capacity. This initiative is supported using powerful approaches whereby individuals are trained and encouraged to develop work models that are guided by the intended organizational goals. Performance management is also a powerful approach that is embraced by organizational managers to recognize and reward talent.
Competent employees are important assets in every business corporation (Steijn et al. 2015). Such individuals possess and apply their skills in different areas to drive organizational performance and ensure that every targeted goal is achieved within the required time. Individuals who are talented or exceptional performers must be recognized to empower and encourage them to continue delivering their services. The concept of performance management, therefore, creates the most appropriate environment for identifying productive or talented persons and rewarding them accordingly.
The term “performance reward” is widely used in the field of performance management to describe how competent or skilled performers are awarded for their exceptional contributions to an organization. Several examples can be presented to explain how the concept can be embraced to recognize and reward achievement. For instance, employees who produce innovative products or ideas in a given company can get bonuses and better remunerations (Karatepe et al. 2014). They can also receive presents depending on their exceptional performance. The second example is when persons who record high sales volumes are promoted to become leaders in their respective units or departments. These rewards will encourage more employees to emulate the best behaviors and strategies that have the potential to improve organizational performance.
Hill (2014) goes further to encourage employers and leaders to be keen whenever using performance management to reward hardworking followers. Throughout the process, Hutchinson (2013) believes that specific principles must always be taken into consideration. Some of them include equity, reasonableness, meritocracy, and fairness. The use of such attributes will minimize the chances of conflicts or hatred in the targeted working environment. The best trick towards effective performance management, therefore, is to focus on the best strategies and initiatives to maximize the level of employee satisfaction and performance. The practice will create the best environment for promoting business performance and competitiveness.
The above evidence-based processes and frameworks can be applied in different organizations to develop and sustain an HPW culture. This argument reveals that companies that embrace concepts such as performance management, employee empowerment, and corporate culture will be on the right path towards developing adequate work environments. The contributions of different stakeholders such as employees, leaders, and line managers will dictate the effectiveness of the targeted HPW culture. Organizational leaders must be ready to implement or use adequate change management models whenever focusing on positive HPW cultures (Hill 2014).
These attributes and insights have encouraged researchers in the field of organizational management to propose several suggestions that can empower corporations to develop appropriate cultures. Some of these recommendations are presented below.
The first approach that should be taken seriously whenever implementing an HPW culture is that of strategy. The future direction and performance of any business organization depend on strategy (Jeong & Choi 2015). This broad concept focuses on several aspects and practices such as the identification of powerful visions, missions, and values. Organizational leaders should engage different followers and inform them about the vision, mission, and values.
The next stage is compelling employees to uphold such values and focus on the implemented vision and mission. Karatepe et al. (2014) indicate that such aspects become powerful guiding principles that can ensure that the right culture is developed. After achieving this objective, managers must go a step further to offer adequate support to the employees. They should do so by ensuring that the right resources, incentives, training programs, and tools are available to every worker. These attributes will create a reliable environment whereby different workers are willing to create and sustain an HPW culture.
A study conducted by Munteanu (2014) showed that effective intra-organizational communication processes were essential in every business corporation. Such practices create the best environment for information sharing, problem identification, and conflict resolution. Consequently, most of the workers engaged in such an environment will share ideas and design superior models for delivering timely results. This fact explains why many companies that embrace the idea tend to record positive results within a short duration.
Collaborative working practices have been supported by many researchers because they create friendly environments, thereby increasing the chances of business success. When employees are empowered, engaged, and encouraged to collaborate, it becomes easier for them to solve emerging problems and implement powerful strategies to achieve every outlined goal. The workers also focus on the best practices that can deliver positive results.
These plans will eventually result in an HPW culture (Hill 2014). When individuals collaborate, it becomes easier to come up with superior insights to address emerging challenges. They also minimize the level of wastage. With proper management, employees can establish new teams depending on the targeted goals and ensure that positive results are recorded in the organization.
Capacity building is one of the best practices used in business firms to empower employees using adequate resources. Leaders go a step further to develop the skills and competencies of different stakeholders. The strategy is usually used to ensure different individuals are engaged and encouraged to focus on the needs of the company and its customers (Munteanu 2014). Karatepe et al. (2014) support the idea of commitment to capacity as one of the most powerful initiatives for implementing and sustaining HPW cultures. The complex strategy focuses on the best practices through which resources, abilities, and skills in a given organization are strengthened or developed. This proposal is undertaken to ensure that the targeted corporation survives in a competitive global environment. Leaders can coach, mentor, and empower their followers to become part of the HPW culture. Adequate tools and support should also be available to the workers.
This research paper has revealed that the concept of HPW has the potential to support the goals and many corporations and make them successful. The initiative is characterized by different strategies such as performance management, efficient leadership, and employee engagement. Since the HPW concept has the potential to deliver meaningful results, organizational leaders should use their competencies to engage, guide, and empower different followers to have a sustainable HPW culture. In conclusion, the recommendations presented such as positive intra-organizational communication, collaboration, strategy, coaching and mentoring and capacity building will encourage different employees to focus on the best practices and engage in evidence-based initiatives to support organizational performance.
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