Redefine High Performance

Six Principles That Will Make Your
Organization Perform Better

As featured in the July/August 2017 issue of Training Magazine

An investment in onboarding communicates your commitment to help your people succeed. Yet, we’ve found making that investment successful requires six performance principles for you to consider. Those principles are being experience driven, leader led, strengths based, brain focused, culture calibrated, and performer centered.

You can use these performance principles as a framework to ensure your onboarding is holistic and effective. (Bonus: Each principle works for just about any performance solution you can design.)

Experience driven.

Performance at the moment of need is vital. Creating an experience to deliver at the moment of need helps people behave and act differently for the right reasons.

The experience of learning is just as important as the content. When Navy divers learned one skill in a dry setting and another in a wet setting, their ability to recall and transfer knowledge differed greatly depending on the environment they learned in. So, be sure to include role- and context-specific content like scenarios, situational learning, and hands-on activities.

Leader led.

Leadership matters. By empowering leadership behaviors at all levels of the organization, individuals can define a reality aligned with the organization’s desired state.

We subscribe to different leadership qualities published by Zenger Folkman, Kouzes and Posner, and others. However, the most important leadership quality is living the standard or ideal you promote. Organizations go in the direction of their leaders. Leadership can engage and excite new hires—so use the opportunity to connect them to the organization before they get busy with their everyday work.

Strengths based.

When people start with what they’re good at, they feel strong, capable, and ready to tackle any challenge. That builds momentum and positive ROI, so it’s a win-win for individuals and organizations. Helping people understand why they were hired, what strengths they bring to a team, and how the team will use those strengths helps people see how they contribute to the team’s success.

Brain focused.

People are complex and messy—yet, neuroscience can teach us about how our brains process information. By leveraging how the brain works best, we can create memorable and effective experiences.

For instance, our brains devour glucose. Don’t ask people to process for eight hours straight; they’ll be totally spent. Another neuroscience no-no? Including too much content. Context is king. Rather than listing fact after fact, weave a narrative through information. That’s brain-focused onboarding.

Culture calibrated.

We believe in culture as a strategy. But the ideal Marine Corps culture might not work in the Peace Corps. Finding the right calibration helps get people to where they want to be.

It’s important to make sure the solution fits the culture. Don’t have an onboarding strategy that is overly procedural and constrictive if you’re trying to encourage a culture of innovation!

Performer centered.

All work starts with people. Great organizations are comprised of good people performing together at their best. Aligning values and beliefs at an individual level can drive engagement, which drives behaviors and, ultimately, performance.

Start by developing an empathetic mind. This means putting the person first and putting their needs equal to what’s best for the organization. This goes against conventional wisdom. But this mindset will draw out the very best in people, ultimately benefiting the organization.

Redefining high performance.

Applying these performance principles when you design your next solution—whether that’s onboarding, leadership development, or employee training—can ensure a holistic solution that allows your performers to perform at their best. To learn more about these principles, download Redefining High Performance, a free whitepaper.

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