Using a High-Potential Employees Program to Cultivate Company Success in Lansing, MI

How to Make High Potentials Leadership Development a Driving Force in Your Company in the Lansing area

Business success trickles down from the top. Enthusiasm starts at the upper echelons of a company, and it spreads through the ranks, empowering department managers, salespeople, customer service reps and other vital staff members. Because of this, it is vital to ensure that your executive roster remains filled with competent talent over time. When people retire and vacancies present themselves, many companies opt to fill them by placing ads on external sites, hoping for an influx of gifted applicants. Unfortunately, studies have shown that businesses stand a better chance of long-term success by training and developing potential leaders from existing high-potential employees.

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.

Companies Must Work to Identify HiPos

According to data from the Harvard Business Review, most organizations are simply not adept at identifying and developing high potential employees. HBR reviewed data regarding 1,964 individuals who were identified across three organizations as high-potential workers. The reviews included feedback from multiple assessors, who agreed that as many as 40 percent of the identified employees were not, actually, HiPos. Instead, companies were identifying candidates with strong technical skills who consistently honored commitments and took initiative. Those are all great strengths for employees — and certainly are traits that might show someone belongs in development or leadership training. They don’t, however, mean someone is HiPo. Why does it matter? It’s not that HiPos are the only employees your organization should invest in. It’s that HiPos tend to respond to training and development in different ways than other talented employees. Therefore, it’s important to align the components of a program to the level and talent set of the employees. Some participants may warrant a workshop only, while others, such as your HiPos may benefit from Shark Tank style capstone projects, or peer-to-peer shared intelligence sessions. Simply put, it’s important to customize the program to be challenging and relevant to the high potential employees.

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.

Our Benchmarking Process Establishes Standards. This Lets You See Who's Rising Above Them

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.

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.

Businesses frequently hold hidden gems in their ranks: high-potential employees who could move all the way up to executive level if they were given the right type of training, coaching, and mentoring. High-potential leadership programs give these gifted individuals the specialized attention and coaching they need to develop their innate talents and lead teams to success. Such targeted training programs pay for themselves over time as recruitment and turnover costs go down and profits increase as your company structure, strategic readiness and competency improves. In the end, your HiPo employees and your company both benefit equally.

 

Give your high-potential employees the learning opportunities they need

with a high potential employee development program built with best-practices and proven models. Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions is here to support you. Call us at 281-469-4244 today.

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