A High-Potential Employee Development Program Ensures Long-Term Business Success in Knoxville, TN

Identify and Effectively Train Your Company's Next Superstars with a High-Potentials Leadership Development Program in the Knoxville area

Growing a successful business takes patience, skill and a good eye for talent. Without the right constituents, company profits remain flat, month upon month; conversely, the optimal combination of ingredients can cause rapid business growth. Setting aside essential equipment, adequate premises and other factors, the most vital part of your company is the human element — and certain individuals display particularly strong potential. To properly harness their abilities, you need an effective high-potential employees development program.

Who are High-Potential Employees?

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.

What Do High-Potential Development Programs Do?

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.

Why Are HiPo Employees So Hard to Identify?

All employees play vital roles in their employers’ successes: Naturally, some people outperform others, and they tend to be seen in a more favorable light by line managers and HR personnel. “High potential” and “high performance” are not interchangeable descriptors, however. High-potential employees form about 3 to 5 percent of any company’s workforce, and the following characteristics can make them easier to identify:

  • Though high-potential and high-performance employees both achieve consistently good results, only high-potential individuals reliably perform well when they’re promoted.
  • High-potential employees have a deep-seated desire to learn and then to use what they’ve learned to tackle challenges.
  • High-potentials, also known as HiPos, have dynamic instincts, which make it easier for them to assess situations and avoid risks in real time.
  • High-potential employees aren’t afraid to travel off well-beaten paths to find new ways forward and to discover new solutions to old problems.
  • HiPos have an almost compulsive drive to succeed, even if it means that they have to stay late, put in more effort than teammates or even exhaust themselves.
When managers and existing executives identify high-potential employees, and create a high potentials employee development program to help those individuals succeed. In turn, they stand a much better chance of promoting from within when vacancies arise.

Why Are HiPo Development Programs Vital?

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

What Makes a High-Potential Employee Tick?

To create effective high potential development programs, trainers must understand the hardwiring behind HiPo individuals. At first meeting, HiPo employees are often mistaken for more conventional high achievers, but they are actually quite different from their talented peers. HiPo employees are certainly gifted, but they possess more than just raw talent—and their nuances are sometimes hard to see. Identifying your high potential employees can be a daunting task. Employee potential assessment tools like the nine-block grid are helpful, but are subjective and far from perfect. There are important characteristics that high-potentials possess and more sophisticated high-potential assessment processes capture. A few of HiPo characteristics include:

  • Element One: A Desire to Learn
    Lots of people love to learn, but high-potential individuals have an insatiable learning capacity. More than that, HiPos enthusiastically internalize information, process it and then use their newfound knowledge to solve unusual challenges—and all of that in a surprisingly short time span. A rare confluence of cognitive ability and common sense consistently gives HiPos an edge over their peers, making them invaluable employees.
  • Element Two: Sensitive Instincts
    HiPos might call it a hunch, a certain je nes sais quoi or just a particular feeling, but what’s really going on is superb instinct. Gut feelings lead high-potential individuals toward lucrative bargains, interesting career opportunities and, occasionally, risky prospects. That’s where the flipside of HiPo intuition comes in: a well-developed dynamic sensory drive, which can help them avoid disaster. These highly sensitive instincts make high-potential personnel vital components in deal-making teams.
  • Element Three: A Drive to Succeed
    When is good not good enough? When you’re a HiPo. To feel content at the end of any project, high-potential individuals need to feel that they’ve excelled. HiPos frequently stay late, make real sacrifices for the team and push themselves to the max because they want to succeed at almost any cost. This drive can be a blessing if it leads to a research breakthrough or a sales record, or a curse if it leads to exhaustion and illness.
  • Element Four: A Trailblazing Personality
    Most people stay well within their comfort zones unless they’re pushed out by force. High-potential people, on the other hand, happily trail-blaze and let their enterprising spirits guide them as they go along. They find excitement and opportunity where other people see only risk. Driven by the desire to advance, HiPos love to craft new solutions to old problems and see advantages in walking where other people fear to tread.
You can use these defining features to select suitable candidates for your own high-potential employee development program as you work to build your company’s future executive roster.

Consider the Top 10 %
Many organizations identify their high-potential employees by simply asking the supervisors for their top 10%. Then within an HR facilitated nomination committee determine which of the 10% would be ideal candidates for employee development. A high-potential leadership development best practice approach includes rolling out a pilot program for the first year, typically including training, assessment and feedback, and either one-on-one coaching or peer-to-peer coaching. Cultivating Prosperity with a Custom-Designed High Potential Development Scheme
Many businesses go for ready-made training programs in the belief that they offer good value for money. Conversely, truly savvy company owners opt for custom-designed HiPo programs, which help high-potential employees develop fully and according to strategic priorities. The master trainers and employee development experts at Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions work with both small and large groups of high-potential employees, training and teaching them how to expand upon their existing skillsets, how to work successfully in teams and how to reach the top of the business ladder.

When to Hone High-Potential Employees

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.

  • Early-stage HiPo development courses leverage technology, internal mentoring, cross-functional exposure initiatives and existing resources to hone skill in a cost-efficient way. The earlier high-potential individuals begin training, the further they may go.
  • Succession planning initiatives that include middle-management and later stage high potentials can embrace high potential development programs best practices by leveraging the experience and knowledge of more senior employees.  Often this type of program requires more customization and thus a little more investment, but can reliably help talented managers and even executives excel in senior management positions. An effective high-potential employee program does not exclude late-blooming high potentials. In fact, the more experienced hipos add significant value and depth to an executive potential program. We encourage our clients to consider a customized, top-down development approach to capture the wealth of experience gained in a lifetime on the job.

In either case, effective HiPo development programs help drive company growth and give businesses unique competitive advantages.

High Potential Leadership Development FAQs

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.

Without the right leaders and skilled innovators, your company can't compete or grow. A high-potential development program is a proven way to find future managers and executives or develop and recognize the leadership you already have. At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we believe it's important to invest in all your people, but we also know that HiPos perform and react differently from other staff. By customizing leadership programs to account for their inherent talents, we help high potential employees hone those skills faster and most appropriately for use in a business environment. Your customized high potential employee development program may include any number of options, including your choice of the following:

  • Coaching
  • Active Learning Workshops
  • Shark Tank Style Capstone Projects
  • Business Simulations
  • E-learning Modules
  • Group Coaching or Peer-to-peer shared intelligence Sessions
  • Lunch and Learns
  • High Potential Employee Assessment
  • Gamification
  • Soft skill development as well as business competencies such as finance fundamentals, business acumen, critical thinking, strategic planning, etc.
  • Key stakeholder input / supervisor feedback
  • 360 assessments and more.

 

Support high-potential employees,

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.

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