Many companies spend sizable portions of their yearly budgets on recruitment, hoping to find star players hidden in the stacks of resumes they receive. When opportunities for growth are limited, internal key players leave to seek better prospects elsewhere. It’s a vicious circle, but it can be broken when businesses learn how to identify high-potential employees and invest in their development. Business owners who opt for customized HiPo training programs improve their companies’ structures, making them more resilient against industry change.
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.
High-potential employees frequently perform better if they’re given a little extra attention. Paired with experienced mentors and leadership coaches, HiPos soak up information and use their newfound knowledge to solve unusual problems in record time. High-potential individuals relish challenges and enjoy being put on high-visibility teams, given meaningful assignments and recognized for their efforts. Considering how important they are, high-potential employee development programs aren’t always designed or implemented very well. The following statistics, retrieved from a recent Gartner (formerly CEB) study, illustrate the difficulties some businesses experience with their HiPo programs:
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.
When you can use a high-potential program to target these employees, this results in satisfied individuals who are more likely to stay with the company over the long-term. Of the current crop of millennial workers, who made up 53.5 percent of the labor force in 2015 according to U.S. Census Bureau data, 91 percent said they plan to stay at their current job fewer than just three years. With such high turnover rates, it’s vital that companies first identify talented individuals and then invest in HiPo leadership programs to combat attrition. When a company is able to engage in accurate high-potential employee development programs, they benefit from:
Systematic high-potential employee identification also erases the perception from other employees that high-potential employees programs are not applied consistently, or that only a few employees are targeted for HiPo programs. To ensure high-potential programs are applied consistently and that appropriate participants are identified from all levels and departments, companies can engage in the following steps:
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.
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.