What is a High Performance Culture & How to Create One | CultureIQ

Company culture is not ping pong tables and team happy hours. While these perks can certainly be present in a high-performance culture, they do not alone represent company culture.

Simply put, company culture is the set of behaviors that determine how things get done at company.

When thinking about what it means to have a great company culture, famous examples come to mind, such as Facebook and Google. But how do you understand these examples in terms that you can apply to your company? What does a “great” company culture look like? To answer that, it’s helpful to talk about high-performance cultures.

What is a High-Performance Culture.

A high-performance culture is a set of behaviors and norms that leads an organization to achieve superior financial and non-financial (e.g. retaining top talent, customer reviews, etc.) results.

In other words, a high-performance culture is a culture that drives a high-performance organization, which according to Cornell ILR School, is a company that achieves better financial and non-financial results than those of their peers over a long period of time.

So, back to the original question: how can you spot a high-performance culture? What behaviors can you strive for? How do you achieve a high-performance culture?

How to create a high-performance culture:

To help companies like you tackle this topic, CultureIQ recognizes 10 measurable qualities of high-performance culture (in no particular order):

    1. Collaboration:

People cooperate, share, and work well together.

    2. Innovation:

The company encourages new ideas and individuals are able to move ideas through the organization.

    3. Agility:

The company responds and adapts to opportunities.

    4. Communication:

People send, receive, and understand the necessary information.

    5. Support:

People provide each other with the resources and guidance they need to be successful, and are confident in company leadership.

    6. Wellness:

The company has the policies and resources to help people maintain physical and mental health.

    7. Work Environment:

The company has a comfortable workplace where people have the resources to be effective in their work.

    1. 8. Responsibility:


People are accountable for their actions and have the independence to make decisions regarding their work.

    9. Performance Focus:

People know what determines success in their role, and they are rewarded or recognized for achievements.

    10. Mission and Value Alignment:

People know, understand, and believe in the company’s mission and values.

Viewing company culture in terms of high-performance companies allows you to assess your culture and approach it in a personalized, yet clear, fashion. For example, if your company is a certain size or in a specific industry, it might be hard to implement the same culture programs that you read about in the news, but you can still find ways to foster innovation and support in your company.

What about employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a big buzz word in the workplace these days, and rightly so! It is a significant consideration for employers, and it has shown to affect the bottom line. How do these elements of a high-performance culture factor into employee engagement?  As The Boston Consulting Group explains, engagement is the manifestation of these company culture attributes. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on company culture as a means to achieving employee engagement and creating a happy, healthy workforce.

So once again, it all comes down to company culture!

Make the business case for company culture. Download our guide.

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