Netflix is known for its high-performance culture based on “freedom and responsibility,” but it’s also been called a culture of fear. And while it’s possible to build a highly collaborative high-performance culture, according to a recent survey, nearly a third of employees have considered leaving a job because of a negative team environment. In the same survey, more than 35 of the participants indicated motivating others as their biggest frustration.


Whether it’s in technology or education, no one wants to work in an environment that feels hostile, and a negative climate certainly doesn’t facilitate learning. In fact, this kind of culture hinders innovation and creativity, while leaving employees feeling demoralised and unable to do their best work. In the end, the students are the ones who lose out.


The best way to build a high-performance culture is also develop a positive work environment where the teachers, administrators and other support staff work together to provide students with the best education possible. Here are some ideas for creating a positive high-performance culture that fosters teamwork, collaboration, and accountability.


1. Distribute responsibility: Resist the urge to overload favoured team member with projects. This might seem like a good way to show that you value their work but it’s really a recipe for burnout among high-value contributors. Distributing responsibility reverses the effects of negative competition by giving a wider range of people within the organisation an opportunity to contribute and demonstrate their value.


2. Transparency and accountability: These are two crucial elements of a high-performance culture. Transparency and accountability set the stage for fearless communication in an environment where everyone collectively pushes each other to do their absolute best. The key is for leaders to set clear expectations and then model the desired behaviors.


3. Peer coaching and development: It’s not enough to hold each other to account; staff and team members must also contribute to the growth and development of each other. Where accountability drives performance, peer coaching helps to establish camaraderie, build trust, and bolster collaborative relationships throughout the organisation. This is also the kind of environment where leaders begin to emerge and develop.

4. Recognition and reward: You’ve laid the groundwork of giving everyone a chance to contribute, and encouraging peer coaching and accountability. The final piece of the puzzle is to recognise and reward great work. While formal recognition from leadership is always important, recognition from peers and team members goes a long way to reinforcing the positive environment in which everyone is rooting for each other to succeed.