High-performing companies are known for their efficient and well-oiled components— high-performing teams, and a process-oriented approach to work— all working seamlessly. But business competition has been on the rise, and in recent years sectors once dominated by traditionally, large firms have had startups capture major portions of the market share. Albeit most of such market disruptions are dominated by more tech facing sectors like e-commerce.
This shift has been most notable in the case of the growing importance of talent— an extended network of people with different skill sets, all contributing to the company’s performance—and this, in turn, reflects how technology has reshaped skill considerations. The external business ecosystem too operates at a different technological level as compared to the past. But never was the rate of change this high. The newer rules of engagement are increasingly digital and create skill demands which are different from what’s always been the norm. Labour markets have struggled to keep up thus raising the premium on skilled professionals. Meeting future talent considerations has become a major concern among top companies.
It's such market conditions that high-performing companies have adapted themselves to. With talent considerations becoming an important part of the conversation, high-performing companies have begun undertaking structural changes in addressing their employee management issues. A process that is both rewarding and challenging in its own way.
Rewiring HR processes
To become a high-performing company, they often require more than just a simple mobilization of their resources to be geared towards performance. The current business ecosystem requires them to rewire how certain processes are envisioned and executed within the company. And to do this effectively, many require impactful talent management practices that ensure employees are engaged, trained, and retained for both short and long term success of the company. The performance of the company critically hinges on people with the right skills working both efficiently and productively.
Talent has already become an important priority for business leaders and with many companies investing in digital technologies like AI and automation along with big data analytics and robotics playing a major part in modern-day companies, skill changes are going to further accentuate the need for relevant talent. This has become an even major imperative for all such companies that aim to accelerate performance. HR professionals within high-performing companies, as a result, end up playing a strategic role in ensuring their success.
In addition to addressing the current and future needs of a company, the HR function needs to play a vital role in ensuring company work culture adapts to the demands of a high-performance company. Concepts such as business agility, data-driven decision making, working through smaller effective teams and breaking down the traditional hierarchy to enable quick and adaptive decision making to require a behavioral shift within the workforce.
The HR function plays a vital role in enabling companies to shift focus to a performance-driven approach.
Not only does it help balance the need of the company with that of the employees, but it can also facilitate better and smoother functioning of the company. Implementing an agile work culture translates into more freedom but a rising responsibility.
Take traditional decision-making hierarchy and team structures, for example. Given more stable business times, decisions were taken in a fairly top to bottom manner and teams were function-specific and would often remain unchanged through the employees’ lifecycle. It was based on an effective ‘command and control’ framework. But in business conditions defined by growing tech use and changing demography, teams more fluid and decision making more broken down. This makes the company more adaptive to market changes and enables employees to take timely and impactful decisions. Deloitte Human Capital Trends illustrates this difference. It notes that high-performing companies today may build a “digital customer experience” group, select individuals for the team, and ask them to design and build a new product or service in a year or two. Afterward, the team disperses as team members move on to new projects. This ability to move between teams without risk is a critical attribute of today’s high-performing companies
To enable such effective teams, the right employees need to be hired, their learning needs met and employees should be engaged and contributing to organizational productivity. Employees need to be given the space to innovate while ensuring they are responsible for achieving business goals. This cannot be done by employers and business leaders alone. Their role within high performing companies is often limited to steer the organization in the right direction. But to truly translate such activity into actionable on-ground changes, HR professionals need to play a big role.