Baldrige Education Glossary: High-Performance Work

High-Performance Work

The term “high-performance work” refers to work processes used to systematically pursue ever-higher levels of overall organizational and individual performance, including quality, productivity, innovation rate, and cycle time performance. High-performance work results in improved service for students, other customers, and other stakeholders.

Approaches to high-performance work vary in form, function, and incentive systems. High-performance work focuses on workforce engagement. It frequently includes cooperation between administration/management and the workforce, which may involve workforce bargaining units; cooperation among departments/work units, often involving teams; self-directed responsibility and staff empowerment; and staff input to planning. It also may include individual and organizational skill building and learning; learning from other organizations; flexibility in job design and work assignments; a flattened organizational structure, where decision making is decentralized and decisions are made closest to the student or business “front line”; and effective use of performance measures, including comparisons. Many high-performance organizations use monetary and nonmonetary incentives based on factors such as organizational performance, team and individual contributions, and skill building. Also, high-performance work usually seeks to align the organization’s structure, core competencies, work, jobs, workforce development, and incentives.

Note: Blue words above are hyperlinks to other Glossary terms.



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