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Lifting the bar: Aiming for organisation-wide high performance

Video transcript below:
Anna Temple, HC TV
Anna Temple:  High performance is a term thrown around a lot in the HR space.  But what does it actually mean?  James Bowe and Teresa Fowler of Olympus believe the definition is simple and obviously something to aim for across their whole organisation.  
Teresa Fowler, GM for Human Resources, Olympus Australia
Teresa Fowler:  I think that it can be that a) a single individual exceeds expectations; b) it can be a group of people that exceed expectations; and that are high performing, but ultimately what we are looking to do is obviously achieve high performance across the organisation.  
James Bowe, Director, Olympus Australia
James Bowe:  It’s always high performance and my performance in a mix, but the most important thing is to raise the collective level performance and get that consistency across the board.
Anna Temple:  For Fowler clarity around the definition of differing levels of performance is of paramount importance.  So there is something that can be done early by both the employee and managers, if performance begins to wane.
Teresa Fowler:  I think it’s extremely important that the measures of performance are clearly defined at the start of the review period and that there is full transparency between the manager and the employee around what performance looks like at each level.  The other thing that it then does is offers an opportunity for early intervention if performance is to slip, so that the individual has an opportunity to turn that performance around quickly working with the manager and there is less impact to the company.  
Anna Temple:  For Olympus managing their largest and most expensive asset their sales force was key.  And they did so with the help of PeopleStreme by creating a score card which rated employees on five key measures.  Bowe says Olympus have seen positive results, but he warns the challenge was in finding a system that would isolate not only if but how individuals were achieving those results.
James Bowe:  Life isn’t black and white, so that’s probably what we had to concentrate on.  Yes we have set these five measures in place, but then it was about how they develop a system about how a staff member went about getting those results.  So we saw that as really important.  In the past we had sales representatives that were high achievers in terms of revenue but then they did damage all the way along.  What we are getting now is a more rounded representative that is good at all levels or if they are not, it becomes very obvious and we actually focus on coaching and mentoring.
Anna Temple:  So what are high performers looking for from their organisation?  Fowler believes they undoubtedly have certain expectations and that meeting them is key to retaining them.
Teresa Fowler: Number one expectation is that we understand exactly what makes them tick.  So we tailor our offer to them as individuals and in particular for high performers it’s about development within their current role.  So exposing them to projects, stretching them within the confines of their existing role.
Anna Temple:  This is Anna Temple reporting for HC TV.