High Performance Working

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Leadership and Management

Managing and Leading People

High Performance Working

The Concept of High Performance working has various interpretations. One common explanation is that ‘high performance working has come to be associated with the achievement of High levels of performance, profitability and customer satisfaction by enhancing skills and engaging the enthusiasm of employees.” (ILO 2002)

Many organisations are under pressure to become more efficient in reaching targets and deadlines and aiming to generate high added value. The CIPD (June 2008) highlights that High performance working is better suited to product and service sectors in which are least concerned with the mass customisation and more concerned the needs of Individual customer.

High Performance working practices

There are various definitions of what the practices should actually cover but one that is most widely accepted is that they cover three broad areas (Sung & Ashton 2005)

• High employee involvement practices
• Human resource practices
• Reward and commitment practices

Within the three broad areas, as described by Sung and Ashton (2005) are “Bundles” of practices and are as follows:

High employee involvement practices that include internal staff surveys, staff suggestion schemes, quality circles, cross –function teams and self-managed teams.

High Involvement practices are ones that encourage empowerment of individuals. They enable greater communication through a greater sense of trust between the employees and the employer.

The second area of human resources practices include things like annual appraisals, mentoring, providing formal feedback on job performance, annual reviews on of employees ‘training needs and reviewing vacancies in relation to business strategy.

These sorts of practices focus on the skill set of the organisation and aim to raise employees’ skills in order to improve things such as quality of work and levels of customer service.

The final area is reward and commitment. This area includes performance related pay for employees, profit sharing, flexible working, job rotation and family – Friendly policies.

The third area tries to create a sense of commitment to the organisation. Having a performance related pay structure for example ensures that employees work hard towards the targets set by the company. The employees become committed to achieving the company’s organizational strategies.

The practices described above are all designed to create the highest levels of employee involvement within, and commitment to, an organisation, however it is important to remember that an ‘essential feature of these high performance working practices is that they are linked to the firm’s business and strategic initiatives. The result is a system that produces employee behaviours that are focused on key business priorities, which in turn drive profits, growth and ultimately market value” (Becker, Huselid, Pickus and Spratt, 1977)

Introduction to Task

The object and aim of this exercise is to set out to critically evaluate and examine the concept of High Performance working, to identify its forms, Characteristics, techniques and practices. It will aim to develop a model to assist in the critically evaluating it’s relevance to my company against the set out organisation context and objectives. From these findings and research gained a range of Recommendations will be made.

Background to the company

My Company is one of the UK’s leading independent food companies which produces a wide range of Chicken, Pork, Beef and Lamb products for the retailer and Food service markets.

We Strive to establish strong Partnership with our farmers, suppliers, Customer‘s and Consumers delivering at all times to our commitment on quality.

In 1980 the company was formed, initially located in the north of Scotland but the growth of the business was being driven by the acquisition of similarly...
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