A big part of any company's success is having the right people in the right seats. Ideally, your business currently has top talent filling its leadership positions. Unfortunately, those people aren't going to be around forever. People retire, move, change careers or branch out on their own. This presents your company with a dilemma when it comes to bringing in the next generation of leadership. You can recruit talent from outside, but no matter how qualified the candidates, there's always the risk they won't mesh with your company's culture. That's why your best option is identifying current high-potential (HiPo) employees and grooming them to take on leadership roles in the future. By establishing a high-potential development program, you can ensure the transition from each generation of leadership to the next is as seamless as possible.
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.
When they’re given a clear path to success, most high-potential employees feel highly focused and remain much more committed to their employers. With that in mind, one of the best ways to keep HiPos in your company is to engage them: give them more authority — and more decision-making power — when they’re ready to rise. Because HiPos value development opportunities, high potentials leadership programs also come into play, and the most successful executive potential training programs use a specific process to select participants and design the approach.
Identify High-Potential Employees Accurately
According to 10 years of data gathered by Gartner, HiPo employees are high-performing individuals who also share three distinct characteristics:
Assess Your HiPo's Motivational Profile
All high-potential individuals are gifted and make valuable human assets, but the most successful HiPos have a very particular motivational profile:
HiPo Engagement Is Key
Out of all the qualities listed above, engagement is arguably the most important. HiPos who show high levels of engagement usually stay in their roles — even in times of trouble — and also tend to complete HiPo programs successfully. When individuals complete high-potential assessment and development programs, they are much more likely to rise to the executive level. HiPos enjoy inspiring others and helping the individuals they’re in charge of achieve success. High-potential individuals are hugely influential wherever they’re found, and their positive contributions often help balance out negativity within organizations. Full of ideas and driven to find success, they improve overall morale and encourage others to excel. Imagine where your company could go if your pipeline were full of ready-now, fully developed HiPo individuals?
Tailor-Made HiPo Development Programs to Help Drive Success
Some business decision makers opt for cookie cutter HiPo training programs, but these strategies don’t always provide as much value as they initially proffer. Far more effective than pre-manufactured courses, tailored HiPo development programs help gifted individuals excel in their roles and prepare for executive positions.
Here at Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we design high potentials leadership programs with our clients’ companies in mind and customize each component to be an ideal fit for the employee levels and experience, your budget and your strategic goals.
Each high potential development program will be tailored to your choice of proven, best practices including:
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.
Contact Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions today to discuss your company's needs. We look forward to helping you take your business to the next level by ensuring your future leaders are prepared to excel.