As the pace of global technology continues to accelerate, competition in emerging micro-segments is becoming incredibly dense. Many of our modern enterprises are struggling to sustain a backlog of innovation projects necessary for the growth demanded by investors and public markets. These same companies are showing signs of a disconnect between executives and high-performance employees. This disconnect shows in the way we design cultures for performance and results in a difficulty retaining and incentivizing our critical employees.
Could it be that the key ingredient to retention, morale, productivity and sustainable innovation, is simply to cultivate the trade mastery potential of our high-performance employees (HPEs)?
Rather than being tasked with doing the most, high-performance employees (HPEs) are asked to solve the hardest problems in every company. They are the technicians, builders, designers, creatives, culture shapers, narrators and innovators.
More from William Belk:
58% of high-performance employees say they need more quiet work spaces
Know the soul of the high-performance employee, then we can build the 10,000 things
Building ethical environments for people
My latest survey data* shows that 76% of high-performance employees say trade mastery is more important than money when considering career decisions. (*Over 3,000 respondents. For more on how I define HPEs read here.)
Many companies lose touch with the concepts of truth in craft and trade mastery — vague concepts to be sure, yet somewhere deep in the mind of the HPE they hold vital importance.
Perhaps companies like Patagonia, BMW, Dow Chemical, Intel, Github, Gucci, The North Face, Nike, Apple, Google, Basecamp, NPM, and Amazon can serve as examples. These companies seem to have proven over time that their fundamental focus, either by directive or happenstance, has been to sustain the energy incubated by their founders — an energy focused on technical/creative purity before financial gain.