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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Gifted individuals frequently excel without encouragement, but they do even better when placed in a custom-built high potential development program. HiPo programs are carefully constructed to bring out the best in your most promising people, so your investment pays off in the long run. Well-developed leaders tend to inspire their peers as well as the staff members who report to them directly, and inspired employees tend to deliver consistently great results. In a nutshell, the right executive development program applied to the right people can make your company a leader in its field.
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.