Without the right people, an organization can’t succeed, and in today’s complex, competitive market, it’s not enough to identify staff with the right skill sets. Successful companies look toward the future and ask questions like “Who is going to lead innovation tomorrow?” One of the answers to those questions is high-potential employees, or HiPos. The designation of HiPo doesn’t necessarily pertain to how well a person can perform a specific type of task — there’s a difference between high-potential and specifically gifted. Instead, HiPos are up-and-comers with a high probability of success — which means a high likelihood of contributing to the success of your organization. By identifying and developing HiPos, companies position themselves for a brighter future.
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.
In a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, 98 percent of companies surveyed said that they deliberately identified high-potential employees. However, half of respondents said that they spent less than 10 percent of their time actually developing those potential future leaders. If the HBR study is a reliable indicator of the wider marketplace, then we can conclude that a sizable proportion of all companies don’t adequately leverage their existing talent bases. The first step on the road to high-potential employee development is HiPo identification. Though different companies have different criteria they use to ID talent, most businesses agree that HiPo personnel share the following characteristics:
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.
Evaluating job performance without valid measurement criteria is impossible. That's why, at Turkey Coaching & Development Solutions, the first step in building your High Potential Employee Development Program is establishing performance benchmarks for all key positions in your company.
The Turnkey Benchmarking Process defines each job in terms of what your company expects to get out of the position. It clarifies in measurable terms what the person holding the position should be expected to contribute going forward. By establishing this criterion, we can begin to develop a vivid picture of the type of person most likely to thrive in leadership positions at your business: their talents, behavioral traits, personal skills and so on. This also helps us foster better work flow and delegation of duties within your company. With each job title more clearly defined, everyone knows their roles and the way that each position fits into the broader picture.
After Benchmarking, We Help You Identify Your HiPos
With baby boomers retiring en masse, a strong chance exists that your company leadership will receive a complete overhaul in coming years. As a general rule, the more important the position being replaced, the more costly and time-consuming to find a replacement. But there is a work-around: identifying top candidates within your company before the position opens and preparing those candidates to take over when the time comes. Our comprehensive high potential employee’s development program includes a process that enables you to identify the employees who are exceeding the benchmarks we establish together. But there is more to recognizing HiPos than evaluating their job performance. As Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic wrote in Forbes, performance is not potential. Even if you are effective at measuring performance, which you will be after implementing our benchmarking program, you also want to be sure the HiPos you identify will have the same success at the next level. The master trainers and organizational development experts at Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions teach you to evaluate not just performance but also potential. You'll learn how to gauge possible HiPos based on a set of 23 recognized personal skills such as conflict management, leading others and individual accountability.
Our Training Is Like Nothing You've Ever Seen
What makes our high potential leadership development program unique is that it is all about YOUR company. Rather than the same old leadership program you've probably been to a thousand times, where they trot out those frenetic speakers who get you all fired up for maybe 24 hours before you forget everything that was said and it's back to business as usual, we develop a sustainable, active-learning training and coaching program from scratch that is customized for your company and is tailored to your organization’s precise needs and strategic priorities.
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 us at Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions to discuss how we can help you start a customized high potential employee development program today. Call us today at 281-469-4244.