To create a true high performance environment, leaders must maintain a narrow range of acceptable performance standards.
This leadership development principle has come from studying high performance environments for over 20 years. In any organization, industry, or market there is a “range of performance standards” that distinguishes the top from the bottom performers.
In organizations that strive for high performance, explicit positive pressure toward improved performance is created by a clear and fair range of acceptable standards.
That positive performance pressure is significantly deflated if substandard performance becomes acceptable within that environment. If low-range performers are allowed to remain on the job, the negative effects can be far reaching. Take a look at the following effects likely to occur if a performer rated 5/10 is allowed to remain at a 5/10 performance level:
- Those who are rated a 6/10 feel relatively comfortable with their current performance and do not strive to improve
- Those that are rated 9/10 can feel extraordinary in comparison and may become complacent or leave to work with other 9’s
- Others at 5/10 can hide and feel safety in numbers
- New arrivals to the environment with expectations of a high performance culture can feel cheated by an ‘undelivered promise’ when they interact with those at 5/10