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.
Consider that the current Baby Boomer generation - those born between 1946 and 1964 - are retiring in droves, at a rate of about 10,000 per day. This means that the HiPo employees pool is becoming smaller and younger. Your company needs to be ready to address leadership development for high-potential employees in the coming years as more managers, experienced leaders and upper-level executives retire. In one survey conducted by Brandon Hall’s Research, entitled The State of Leadership Development 2015, it was found that the challenge of developing a qualified group of professionals becomes even more challenging when you realize that 84 percent of organizations anticipate a shortfall of leaders within the next five years. Younger potentials might be too inexperienced to take on powerful leadership roles. They need to be developed, cultivated and trained so that their talents can be used in effective ways. For the right employees, HiPo leadership development programs do just that.
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.
Financially, it just makes sense. Hi potential employees tend to bring more value to companies than non-HiPo staff, and development and training programs only make that more likely. First, because formal High potentials leadership programs are an acknowledgement for the high-potential employee that they have something extra to offer and that you are willing to invest in that. Second, because high potential development programs teach HiPos how to hone their skills and talents to better address business, team and even personal goals. Formalized high-potential development programs can also make your organization more attractive to top candidates. Individuals who have previously been identified as HiPo elsewhere or who self-identify as HiPo (even if they don’t know the term for it) are drawn to companies that invest in leadership training, offer coaching and mentorship opportunities and help employees prepare for brighter futures. But How Do You Identify HiPo Employees?
Yes, performance matters. Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions’ benchmarking process helps you evaluate performance metrics and other key factors to identify HiPo employees, but we also encourage you to get to know your staff and to work with them in a variety of environments. Via customized team and leadership development programs and working side-by-side with high achievers, you can better identify individuals who demonstrate HiPo traits. Some things that are common to high-potential individuals include:
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.
HiPo programs can help businesses plan in advance for future vacancies created by retiring executives. When businesses take advantage of existing internal talent, they reduce the need to hire and train external candidates. The small initial investments company owners make in custom high-potential development programs pay off very quickly. Lower recruitment costs and optimized business structures lead to larger profits and a widespread increase in employee morale. To sum things up, high potential development programs help businesses both in the present and in the future.
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.