Training new leaders for your organization is a vital task, but it's not always easy to identify those with leadership potential. A program designed to tap the talents of high-potential individuals, sometimes called a HiPo program, can make a substantial contribution to the future of any organization. When high-potential individuals aren't recognized and challenged, they're likely to leave for greener pastures where their worth is acknowledged and where they see opportunities for leadership development. Yet few organizations go out of their way to identify, train, and utilize HiPo employees. Developing a high potentials leadership program is one proven way to motivate these employees to make long-term commitments to an organization in a way that maximizes results not only for the company, but for the employees as well.
High-potential employees are a relatively rare breed. They’re people who rise successively through multiple management levels, inspire the individuals in their departments and achieve consistently good results. When business owners identify high-potential employees — also known as HiPos — early on, they can develop their most promising leaders via HiPo programs. While all employees deserve effective training programs, high-quality High potential development programs are especially vital to success because they strengthen company structure and prepare businesses for the future.
Essentially, well-conceived HiPo development programs take individuals with great leadership potential and develop those management skills to the max. Department heads and other leaders identify high-potential talent, typically through proven employee potential assessment tools and then invite the HiPos to enter a leadership development program in which they are granted access to interdisciplinary learning opportunities, given real-world challenges to solve and are coached and mentored on a one-to-one basis. Your high-potential candidates then use their newly honed skills to excel in their existing roles and advance smoothly through the ranks.
One of the best peripheral payoffs of a great high potential employee development program is its effect on other employees, who reap many benefits when their managers go through advanced training and development initiatives. High otential development programs frequently cause positive paradigm shifts when they’re properly implemented, making both individuals and the companies they work for more successful.
To remain competitive and drive growth, businesses are almost universally better off developing talent from within rather than hiring external candidates for newly vacant managerial or executive positions. Recently, however, a survey by the Corporate Leadership Council found that only 25 percent of respondents felt confident that they would fill all open leadership positions within the next half decade. Worryingly, a concurrent report by the Conference Board revealed that only about 34 percent of companies effectively identified future leaders within their ranks. Some of the confusion may revolve around an inability to distinguish talent from high potential. While both types of employee are vital for business success, only HiPo employees reliably travel up through various management levels to executive status. Gifted individuals often prefer solving problems on their own; high-potential employees work in groups and encourage the people they manage to excel. Talented people may be innovative but lack serious ambition; high-potential employees come with a built-in desire to excel and have naturally exceptional business instincts. According to a recent Hewitt Associates study, when HR managers and existing top-level executives consistently identify and develop high-potential employees, companies tend to see a jump in shareholder returns. Even greater returns begin to happen when businesses track their employees’ successes and use them to build progressively more powerful high potential employees development programs.
Naturally talented people are tremendously useful and add value to any corporation. But talent isn’t enough to guarantee either personal or overall success. Talent is a tool: when used correctly, it can broker deals, cut through red tape and break quarterly sales records. When neglected, however, talent alone doesn’t breed accomplishment.
High Potential employee development programs help kindle talent and drive success in three distinct ways, particularly if HiPo employees are identified early in their careers:
High potential leadership development programs focus on methods for success as well as results. In the regular business world, bonuses and accolades frequently depend upon results alone, but in the high-potential world, methods matter too. High-potential managers don’t use negative reinforcement or bullying to make staff members work harder, for example — even if those tactics break sales records.
Effective high potentials leadership programs help guide early-stage high-potentials as they make developmental decisions. The earlier high-potential employees go into a HiPo development program, the more quickly they’ll develop and the further they’ll go. When companies develop high performing individuals expediently, they set themselves up for ongoing success.
High potential employee development programs help prevent burnout. When left to their own devices, driven individuals often push themselves to the brink of total exhaustion. High-potential development programs help HiPo employees pace themselves, so they stay healthier in the long term and remain loyal to the company.
Because you're in search of potential rather than achievement in identifying employees for a high-potential program, it's all too easy to overlook hidden gems and focus instead on the obvious people. Complicating matters, the capabilities and traits of a HiPo don’t always show up in performance reviews. But if you miss these individuals and don't funnel them into appropriate training, you're likely to lose them entirely to companies where they'll be better appreciated. So, what should you look for when selecting HiPos for a high potential development program? Consider these key factors:
Potential Pitfalls to Avoid in Your High Potential Employee Program
A high-potential employee development program is vital to maximize the talents of your employees and plan for future leadership, but it's easy for such a program to lose its way without careful planning and expert knowledge. At TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions, our professional coaches and master trainers keep a sharp eye out for these potential pitfalls:
The Right Coaching for Your HiPos
High potential programs for employees don't just happen, and they don't look like other leadership training programs in their specifics. Many high-potential individuals become bored with traditional leadership training, or they move so fast within a company that they skip right over it. As a result, they may not learn the lessons absorbed on the ground by leaders moving at a more sedate pace. At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we follow high potential employee development best practices in designing our coaching and training programs, always seeking the right fit for these unique individuals. With our customized leadership development training and coaching programs, you can maximize the talent already present in your company while avoiding the pitfalls that can accompany high-potential programs.
Most businesses identify high-potential employees at two key points: early in their careers and when individuals are promoted into senior management positions. Opportunities for growth abound at both junctures, though a high potential development program and corresponding training methods used may vary.
In either case, effective HiPo development programs help drive company growth and give businesses unique competitive advantages.
Q: Why are high potential employee development programs so important?
A: Whenever possible, all employees at a business should be given access to high-quality training programs. Having said that, high-potential employees require special attention because they function as key players in your company and hold the power to influence others. Furthermore, developing high potential employees has been shown to reduce turnover, improve innovation, and positively impact the bottom line.
Q: What makes a HiPo development program great?
A: Superior high-potential programs are tailor made for your particular company and built to help your particular batch of HiPo employees succeed. An effective high potential program should consider your company’s mission, values, leadership competencies, and strategic trajectory.
Additionally, a qualified high potential program partner will customize the program to meet the needs of any level of employee while still challenging your most experienced HiPos.
Your high potential employee development program should be built using best practices and include various components such as high potential employee assessment tools, feedback and development planning, one-on-one coaching and/or peer to peer coaching, leadership competency instruction, real-business simulations, shark tank style capstone projects to build business acumen, internal mentoring, and cross-organizational introductions, etc.
There’s no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ HiPo program. Instead, we encourage you to give TurnKey a call at 281-469-4244 to explore the right components for your employee development needs, budget, culture, and strategic priorities.
Q: How do High Potential Leadership Programs benefit my business?
After a successful high-potential employee development program concludes, participants return to their roles with renewed vigor, tackle challenges with fresh enthusiasm and advance to new management positions with greater confidence. The comradery built within the program, amongst their peers, continues to thrive and supports greater networking and interpersonal effectiveness.
Providing your high-potential employees with a career plan and development opportunities fosters a happier culture. And, according to a recent Columbia University study happy company cultures have a turnover rate of 13.9 percent on average; compared to their counterparts with lower morale, where turnover is more likely to be in the 48.4 percent range.
Furthermore, according to the Department of Economics and the University of Warwick, happy employees are 12 percent more productive than average employees. The research also showed that unhappy employees cost American businesses more than $300 billion annually.
The case is strong to take your high potential employee development goals seriously.
Gifted individuals frequently excel without encouragement, but they do even better when placed in a custom-built high potential development program. HiPo programs are carefully constructed to bring out the best in your most promising people, so your investment pays off in the long run. Well-developed leaders tend to inspire their peers as well as the staff members who report to them directly, and inspired employees tend to deliver consistently great results. In a nutshell, the right executive development program applied to the right people can make your company a leader in its field.
help them achieve career success and improve your business prospects with a custom-developed high-potential development program from Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions. Call us today at 281-469-4244 for a complimentary OD / Leadership Development Consultation.