Why do some businesses perform and others do not?

Some may say it is just down to luck. I always preach that for businesses to succeed they need to be supported by an efficient structure (organisational structure, processes and systems) and a cooperative culture. I walk into various different businesses every week and it always boil down to these two important things.

The latest research suggests that the highest-performing businesses could rely on a strong culture that fostered the need to remain in connect and communicate, even in such turbulent times. Therefore, it is interesting to review what the latest research is indicating as the distinctive behaviours that successful businesses and their teams adopt to have an above average performance even during challenging times. Below are some of these distinctive behaviours.

High-Performing Businesses are based on a strong communication culture, where team members are not afraid to pick up the phone. In a world where telephone calls are becoming increasingly less common in general, that’s not the case among high-performing businesses and their teams. Research clearly indicates that the culture in such performing businesses is that team members tend to communicate more frequently in general and are significantly more likely to communicate with colleagues using the telephone than any other means. This means that such teams overcome the perceived barrier that phone calls can be awkward and uncomfortable. Moreover, by speaking directly between team members using phone calls, such teams tend to strengthen relationships and prevent misunderstanding, contributing to more fruitful interactions among teammates.

High-Performing Businesses are more Strategic with their meetings. Research clearly indicates that high performing businesses avoid common pitfalls of poorly run meetings by incorporating practices shown to foster more productive meetings. In essence, high performing businesses have an ingrained culture that meetings are not called for the sake of having a meeting. Instead when meetings are set they come with the need to have solid preparatory work done, having an agenda setup and progress chart if the meeting is setup as part of a project. This means that the culture within such high performing businesses is that the time together during such meetings needs to be used efficiently and to work better together – hence leading to more fruitful interactions.

High-Performing Businesses invest time and energy to make sure that team members bond together. Some may frown upon workplace conversations that have nothing to do with work. After all, what good can come from employees spending valuable work time chatting about football or a new Netflix series? However the latest research suggests that this type of bonding offers major advantages. That’s because it’s in personal conversations that people identify shared interests, which fosters deeper liking and authentic connections.In fact research clearly indicates that high performing businesses are supporting by high performing teams that spend time discussing non-work matters with their colleagues whilst also more likely to have met socially with their colleagues in the past weeks or months. In other words, the best teams aren’t more effective because they work all the time. On the contrary: They invest time connecting in genuine ways, which yields closer friendships and better teamwork later on.

High-Performing Businesses have a culture where appreciation is shown very frequently. A key reason why businesses are able to be supported by high performing teams is because members in such teams feel valued, appreciated and respected. Moreover, recognition is often a more powerful motivating force than monetary incentives. Reserach indicates clearly that high performing businesses foster a culture whereby members of their teams receive frequent appreciation at work, both from their colleagues as well as managers. In turn this means that team members also express appreciation to their colleagues frequently, suggesting that within the best teams, appreciation doesn’t flow from the top down, but it becomes a a cultural norm that’s observable in all peer-to-peer interactions.

High-Performing Businesses make it possible for their team members to be themselves and more authentic at work. Research indicates that high performing businesses foster a culture that makes it more likely for team members to express positive emotions with their colleagues – being more likely to compliment, joke with and tease their teammates. They are also more likely to express negative emotions at work, whereby they are more likely to complain and express sarcasm with their teammates.Needless to say, there are times when expressing negative emotions at the office isn’t helpful or appropriate. However expressing negative emotions is far better than suppressing them. Studies clearly show that authenticity contributes to workplace well-being and individual performance, lifting team performance. When team members experience the psychological safety to express their full range of emotions with their colleagues, the overall business performance tends to benefit.

Findings suggest that high-performing businesses go beyond simply hiring the right people and arming them with the right tools to do their work. They actively work on culture and create opportunities for genuine, authentic relationships to develop.Fostering close connections among team members need not be expensive or time-consuming. By incorporating simple practices that yield better communication, more productive meetings and deeper friendships, every business has the ability to improve it’s performance, as the end of the day, the performance of any business rests completely on the performance of the people working within that business.

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