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High Performance Work Environments: What It Takes To Create Them and Why So Few Companies Do
19 February 2009


The idea of creating high performance work environments has been around since the 1950s, but few organisations today could say they have succeeded in creating a system to take full advantage of the capabilities and potential contributions of their employees.

We know that for most employees, base pay alone doesn’t lead to sustained high performance – and that few organisations can afford to use increasingly larger monetary incentives as the primary means to enhance performance and commitment.

High performance work systems offer alternative sources of motivation: pride in one’s organisation, commitment to a closely-knit team, opportunities for personal growth, and the satisfaction that comes with making a meaningful contribution.

The Masterclass:

This session outlined what it takes to create and sustain a high performance operating environment, using examples from a diverse set of organisations such as Disney, Kraft, voluntary organisations and the Israeli Air Force.

The session was led by Bill Pasmore, who is recognised internationally for his expertise in helping organisations design and implement high performance work systems.

He was joined by Neil Hayward, Group Head of People Strategy & Product Management of Standard Chartered Bank who presented a case study, ‘Trying to Create a High Performance Work Environment – Tips for Success or Failure’.

Neil explained why trying to create a high performance work environment has been important at three different organisations – Serco Group plc, Gallaher Group plc, and Standard Chartered Bank.

He defined what high performance meant in these different contexts, and examined what worked/didn't work in each of these scenarios, from an HR and a business standpoint.


Please let us know what you thought about the meeting, so we can continue to improve!

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