The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand - Logo

The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand

Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) is the professional body for those involved in Human Resource Management and the development of people.

HRINZ represents the interests of 3,000+ individual members who make up around 45% of the known New Zealand HR market. Read More

Profile ID


Remember me

High Performance Culture

The buzz word of late seems to be creating a high performance culture and developing high performance people management practices.

However, with HR being told that it needs to be more strategic and business focussed, what does this all really mean?

As Richard Rudman states in his book, Human Resource Management in NZ, the central lesson from the research is that high performance and high commitment HR polices and procedures are not necessarily the buzz word of the day, but should be careful, systematic applications and techniques within an organised, planned management framework.

Therefore, no matter what size an organisation is, and no matter what business area it operates in, one of the key challenges facing the business and its management is how to access and engage the latent talent of the people in the organisation.

There is a strong need to ensure that business goals are achieved, and at the same time the business is innovating and creating new products and services to enable it to compete effectively and meet ever-increasing customer needs. To do this there needs to be an effective way of linking the people in the organisation to the business plan.

Furthermore, as our working population shrinks with Baby Boomers starting to retire and the world continuing to become even more global, it is increasingly more challenging to attract and retain excellent people.

Creating High Performance Cutures:

The objective of building a high performance culture is by building the employee:

  • Acceptance with and identification of goals and values of the organisation (emotional commitment)
  • Loyalty in terms of their desire to remain working for the organisation (behavioural commitment)
  • Motivation to apply discretionary effort to work more productively

Discretionary effort represents the gap between what employees are capable of doing (as determined by their knowledge, skills, abilities/competencies) and the effort they usually apply in response to managerial actions.

Our goal is to use HR practices that maximise the use of discretionary effort, while simultaneously providing employees with the opportunity to perform.
This is where your value proposition would be apparent, as the more involved and committed an employee is to their organisation, the higher their job performance is likely to be and the more likely they are to be retained by their employer.

A variety of high performance practises can be implemented in your organisation such as:

  • Priority given to internal recruitment and promotion based on merit
  • Clear career progression for all employees (including succession planning, secondments, temporary assigments, etc)
  • Employee recruitment and selection targeted at cultural fit, flexibility and capacity for learning, etc
  • Performance based pay
  • Formal development focused performance appraisals
  • Use of formal employee participation programmes
  • Reduction of status differentials between managers and non-managerial employees.

    There is a growing body of evidence that implementing the above practices has a clear addicitive effect, in other words, the more practices that are implemented, the better the organisational returns.

For more information on creating a high performance culture, check out Kevin Gaunt, MHRINZ who wrote an article for HRINZ publication on his experiences of developing a high performance culture with Carter Holt Harvey.


HR Tool Kit:


Knowledge Base Search | Browse Topics: A-H  I-P  Q-Z |

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact HRINZ for help.

For articles, tips and tools members can view HR Guides, Human Resources Magazine and Other HR Articles.

Disclaimer: This information has been written for and submitted to HRINZ for publication and has been published in good faith for the general information of HRINZ Members of the Institute. HRINZ accepts no legal responsibility for the contents of the Knowledge Base and appropriate professional advice and assistance should be sought in particular cases.

MoST Content Management V3.0.7013