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.
All your employees are valuable, useful and vital parts of your business, and without them, your company would cease to exist. High-potentials are upwardly mobile employees with the capacity to move easily through the ranks and positively influence the staff members they manage. Also known as HiPos, these unique individuals are relatively rare and achieve consistently good results under challenging circumstances. When correctly identified and trained, HiPos can help shape the future of your company for the better.
Most industry leaders believe that all employees benefit from competency development training programs designed to help them harness their talents. High-potential employees are frequently already in charge of other people — or they’re earmarked for management positions — so HiPo development programs usually have a positive effect within your company. High-potential Development programs work like this:
Stage One: You identify your HiPo employees and create a list of potential course objectives and attendees.
Stage Two: You implement a custom-built high potential development program in which participants benefit from one-on-one mentorship, individual feedback and development planning, face realistic challenges during simulations or shark tank style workshops and gain access to multidisciplinary training opportunities.Stage Three: Newly energized and inspired, HiPo employees drive growth and move your company forward.
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.
Forward-thinking organizations set themselves up for success by providing well-constructed, high-potential employee development programs for their high-performers. By offering your HiPos a plan for managing their careers and creating a path for promotion, your organization not only builds more competent employees but cultivates a greater probability of business success. HiPo training programs make your most promising employees and leaders more effective by teaching them how to leverage their natural talents. In turn, HiPos generate new ideas, encourage other members of staff and generally strengthen your business from within.
During high potentials leadership program, trainers frequently tackle the following topics:
When equipped with the above three skills, high potential employees bring even more to the table and your business benefits accordingly.
One of the reasons companies struggle to discern between high-potential employees and other high achievers is that they sometimes look the same, especially if all you consider on a regular basis are performance metrics. In fact, a potential HiPo that hasn’t been developed is actually likely to have lackluster performance metrics, especially if they’ve done the same task for some time and are bored with the work. At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we encourage executives, managers and HR staff to look beyond performance metrics. Through regular communication and working side-by-side with your staff — and even participating in team development programs with them — you can better identify individuals who have traits associated with HiPos. Some traits to look for include:
If they’re exposed to the right potential development training program, high-potential employees thrive no matter when they’re identified.. Developing high potential employees requires thoughtful consideration of where they are in their careers; as newcomers may require a different approach than an employee with more experience. Thoughtfully designed high potential leadership programs treat these two HiPo types differently to ensure optimal development.
Early-stage high potential employee development programs may combine 360 feedback, coaching, and mentoring with technology-enhanced learning tools and group-reinforced training methods. When they’re caught early, HiPos usually develop quickly and often provide their parent companies with years of service.
Late-stage HiPo employee development programs require greater sensitivity in the set-up phase. It’s important to foster engagement by leveraging the experience of more senior employees. When encouraged through recognition and personalized learning goals, more experienced employees often help create a rich learning environment.
Taking time to fully customize a program is considered an important high potential development best practice and by taking advantage of the group’s collective wisdom, high potential programs for employees can achieve impressive results.
In short, company owners should invest in both early-stage and late-stage high-potential employees to cultivate success.
Q: Why should I give high-performing employees special attention?
A: All employees benefit from excellent training courses, and business leaders looking to achieve real success should invest in every employee. By identifying high potential employees and crafting a plan to retain high potential employees, HiPo development programs create a succession strategy and ensure the underlying structure of a company can survive beyond the current executive team. Additionally, in a rapidly changing business environment, employees require specific training and encouragement to ensure innovation, interpersonal effectiveness, and the other leadership competencies required to create a lasting competitive edge.
Q: What is the payoff of a high potential assessment and development program?
A: During high potential training courses, attendees learn how to hone their instinctive skills and how to communicate effectively with others to achieve success. When training programs conclude, attendees emerge with new enthusiasm, fresh ideas and vision for the future. More specifically the ROI of retaining high potential employees yields reduced employee turnover costs, knowledge capital retention, and greater returns due to employee engagement and competency.
Q: What do effective high potential employee assessment and high potential leadership development programs look like?
A: High potential leadership development programs vary depending on the participants, the company goals and budget. High potential employee development programs best practices include leveraging more experienced HiPos and customizing the program to be strategically aligned with the long-term goals of the organization. Best practices include using relevant high-potential assessment tools and online 360 feedback tools, personality assessments such as the DiSC or MBTI plus individual development planning, coaching, mentoring, shark-tank style capstone projects and group coaching, to name just a few options. TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions specializes in custom-engineered high potential talent development programs that deliver multifaceted learning opportunities to help participants advance.
HiPo management isn’t without struggles. Aside from being hard to identify, HiPos can be difficult to keep because they need to be challenged. High potential employee assessments and high potential development programs let you identify and cultivate gifted individuals within your organization, providing them with relevant skill sets and practice so they’re ready to take on new challenges with your company. Our high-potential employee programs let you take advantage of proven, high potential employee development best practices and our experts who understand what works and what doesn’t. We engage with our clients to create custom training for your HiPo teams that include any number of unique components. Including:
at your organization with help from Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions. Call us today for a complimentary organizational development consultation: 281-469-4244.