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.
According to an international survey by the Corporate Leadership Council, approximately 75 percent of companies are concerned about staffing leadership positions in the future, with almost two-thirds of all companies identifying themselves as ineffective at identifying potential leaders. Does the use of high potential employee development programs make a difference? A Hewitt Associates study of large companies in the United States shows that the answer is yes. When companies deliberately identify and train HiPos, their total shareholder return (TSR) goes up, sometimes dramatically. TSR continues to increase when companies track the progress of their high-potential employees, performing regularly in the 75th percentile. Not surprisingly, HiPo employees who've been properly identified and trained tend to be promoted more quickly than other employees. Whether this is a result of excellent selection at the identification stage or on-target training and development programs is moot. Whether nature or nurture lies behind their success, the value of HiPo development programs is apparent.
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.
Because you're in search of potential rather than achievement in identifying employees for a high-potential program, it's all too easy to overlook hidden gems and focus instead on the obvious people. Complicating matters, the capabilities and traits of a HiPo don’t always show up in performance reviews. But if you miss these individuals and don't funnel them into appropriate training, you're likely to lose them entirely to companies where they'll be better appreciated. So, what should you look for when selecting HiPos for a high potential development program? Consider these key factors:
Potential Pitfalls to Avoid in Your High Potential Employee Program
A high-potential employee development program is vital to maximize the talents of your employees and plan for future leadership, but it's easy for such a program to lose its way without careful planning and expert knowledge. At TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions, our professional coaches and master trainers keep a sharp eye out for these potential pitfalls:
The Right Coaching for Your HiPos
High potential programs for employees don't just happen, and they don't look like other leadership training programs in their specifics. Many high-potential individuals become bored with traditional leadership training, or they move so fast within a company that they skip right over it. As a result, they may not learn the lessons absorbed on the ground by leaders moving at a more sedate pace. At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we follow high potential employee development best practices in designing our coaching and training programs, always seeking the right fit for these unique individuals. With our customized leadership development training and coaching programs, you can maximize the talent already present in your company while avoiding the pitfalls that can accompany high-potential programs.
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.
The need to retain high-potential employees coupled with expected high turnover rate in the coming years means now is the time to invest in a high-potential employee program. At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we have the expertise to create a custom program that addresses the unique needs of HiPos within your organization and your strategic priorities. The right leadership development and HiPo development program lets these talented individuals take on new challenges with authority, engage in fruitful leadership and inspire others in your company to succeed.
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.