What makes a high-performing workplace?

10 February 2020

Where do you start when trying to create a high-performance workplace? Recent research has discovered that key to establishing a high performing workplace is through establishing a high-development culture, where the growth of individuals is highly valued. In fact, the benefits of this approach have even been discovered in this research; where companies unlocked 11% greater profitability and were found to be twice as likely to retain their staff.

 Start with employee development

The starting point for creating a high-performing workplace is considered by many to be an employee engagement strategy. Many employers avoid investing in their employees’ development in fear of losing staff to other organisations. Whilst it is impossible to say that this won’t happen, an engagement strategy goes deeper and secure the psychological commitment of their workforce through meeting their needs and providing a great working environment. To avoid slipping up at this stage it is important that employers understand that employee development is far more than just a promotion; it involves a comprehensive understanding of one’s own talents and finding opportunities to contribute their talents whilst providing them with an opportunity to build new strengths.  


Managers are the frontline resource that can make or break the development of a high performance culture. Management are more involved in the daily realities of work than HR or leadership and as such are in a powerful position when it comes to employee experience and providing immediate feedback to staff which is specifically targeted towards their development. That’s not to say that leadership don’t have an important role to play in the development of a high-performance workplace…  


Leadership play a key role in the development of a high-performance workplace through demonstrating that HR alone are not solely responsible for this cultural shift. Actions really do speak louder than words in this situation and it is important that the actions of leadership, not just their words, demonstrate their commitment to the creation of a high performance workplace. Leading by the example, these positive behaviours will be imitated by management and propagate through the organisation.  

Seeking out development opportunities

Your highest achieving employees will consistently seek out purpose and development. By providing the opportunities they seek and keep these members of your team engaged, you’re not giving them many reasons to leave.  

Office Design philosophy

Recent research by leading workplace furniture experts, Herman Miller which leveraged the largest set of workplace data in the world, found that when research on people and work informs your office design, it becomes a powerful tool for organisational growth. In fact, organisations that invest in workplace research and use it to inform their office designs make more efficient use of their space and report measurable improvements in everything from employee retention to innovation.  


The advancement of BIM technology and internet-enabled devices is allowing real-time data to be utilised to improve space utilisation and employee well-being; allowing your workplace to immediately respond to people’s needs and efficiently adapt to the changing demands of your business.  

Biophilic design

Not only does the presence of plants in the workplace help people to breathe better by removing chemicals from the air, but bringing elements of the natural world in to your workplace design has actually been proven to increase productivity and even a measurable economic boost!   Fundamentally a high-performing workplace is one that employs a design that has been informed by research and is can support the people that work within it most effectively. In doing so, it unlocks the potential of staff and allows leadership and management to drive cultural change whilst providing their teams with the support and development opportunities that they need to unleash their potential and operate as key and engaged members of your team.  

Share This