How To Nurture A High-performance Workforce


Michael Gullan provides solutions on how organisations can foster a high-performance culture while mitigating burnout and stress on their management teams.



Team leaders burn out from managing their team’s performance while juggling tasks. According to Gallup, managers are more stressed than the people they manage, with only 1 in 4 managers able to maintain work-life balance.

How can organisations foster a high-performance culture while mitigating burnout and stress on their management teams?

“To succeed in business, you need a high-performing team that collaborates, innovates, shares the organisation’s vision, and drives the company toward its goals,” said Michael Gullan, CEO of G&G Advocacy and eLearning consultancy. 

The challenge is ensuring the leadership team nurtures a performance culture without worrying about long working long hours, burning out, and losing work-life balance. 

Gullan explains that managers and team leaders can nurture a performance culture committed to nurturing high-performing teams, which includes:

  • Nurtures high-performing teams.
  • Facilitates empowered, safe, and honest narratives.
  • Helps employees find purpose in their work.
  • Encourages employees to be accountable for their growth and development.

“When this is achieved, it shifts the responsibility from management teams to employees and unlocks phenomenal creativity, motivation, and innovation,” said Gullan.

Foster open, healthy dialogue

Its narrative and communication methods are the foundation of an organisation’s culture. A high-performance culture is achieved when leaders use open and safe dialogue to encourage employees to own their performance.

Conversations that clarify understanding, improve confidence, address concerns, and encourage sharing ideas will result in empowered teams. Here are some examples:

Performance-based dialogue for managers

  • What would make you feel more confident while you complete this task?
  • What are your biggest concerns about this new way of working?
  • I can see you’re ready to start work on this project. How much do you know about it?
  • What do you need, if anything, from me?
  • How can I support you to succeed and do your best work on this?
  • Are there any obstacles getting in the way or following these processes?
  • What additional information and skills do you feel you need to work on this?

Performance-based dialogue for employees

  • I’m not sure where to start. Can you provide specifics to the process and give me an example?
  • This is completely new to me. Please share practical examples.
  • I’m excited about this opportunity, and I have some ideas. Is it a good time to share my thoughts and get your feedback?
  • I’m not sure our standard process will work on this project. What do you think of these alternative solutions?
  • I have a lot of experience with this and am comfortable to run with it. How should I keep you informed?
  • I’m confident I know enough to start. If I have any questions along the way, I’ll get in touch.
  • How often would you like me to update you on my progress?

Take the pressure off managers

When employees have the skills and communication tools they need, it takes significant pressure off team leaders and managers. Employees should identify their strengths, close skills gaps, and build motivation independently, resulting in better collaboration, innovation, productivity, and accountability.

Use high-impact eLearning

An eLearning programme based on a clear strategy will empower employees to learn, overcome weaknesses, set goals, find solutions to obstacles, stay motivated, and engage in healthy dialogue. “eLearning can be used successfully to coach and mentor teams at scale,” added Gullan.

This takes pressure off management teams by empowering employees to achieve their personal goals and driving the organization towards its goals.

In it together

Employee-driven learning and performance-focused conversations build an empowered culture where everyone is accountable. As a result, management teams are less stressed, more focused on their professional development, able to establish a work-life balance, and, ultimately, be better leaders to their teams.

Today’s managers face unprecedented stress levels, often exceeding that of their teams. “Organisations can and should foster a performance culture led by leaders who empower employees to excel,” concluded Gullan.

Organisations can cultivate a culture where everyone takes ownership of their performance to drive business toward its goals by facilitating open dialogue, employee-centric learning, and personal accountability.

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