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.
Many managers believe that the terms “high potential” and “high performance” are interchangeable. In fact, these two types of employees can be quite different from one another. HiPos can certainly perform well — and most generally do — but not all high-performance employees are HiPos. These similarities can make it hard to distinguish between HiPo employees who perform well and high-performance employees. Recently, the Harvard Business Review explored several different HiPo traits in a comprehensive report about high-potential team players. With that in mind, many HR professionals, department heads and other decision-makers now use the following list of characteristics to pinpoint HiPo 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.
Recent surveys by Training Magazine and Clear Company shed new light on HiPo employees’ needs and HiPo programs in general. When combined, their data shows an interesting juxtaposition between what high potential employees look for in a job and what they often get when they’re hired. According to the Training Magazine data, for example, 97 percent of all HiPo respondents said that they actively seek companies with Hip Potential leadership development programs while on the hunt for a job. The Clear Company analysis reveals, however, that 55 percent of HiPo employees actually drop out of their companies’ HiPo programs within a couple of years. Why does this happen? Because high-potential employees naturally push themselves toward ever-increasing success — and would presumably want to stay in a high potential leadership development program that helps them achieve this success — the TM and CC data seems to indicate a fault within High potential employee programs themselves.
A critical success factor for effective high potential development programs, is first the ability to properly identify your HiPos and understanding that high performance does not always mean high potential. Many organizations use the nine-block method for high potential identification, while other companies use performance reviews and supervisor nominations. A best practice approach includes these methods and also integrates job-benchmarking assessments and high potential assessment tools. All of these methods are useful and TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions is happy to recommend a process and advise on best practices. When companies do identify HiPos correctly and then offer them tailored HiPo development programs, the results are often outstanding. According to another Gartner study, high-potential employees exert about 21 percent more effort than their peers, and the more training and learning opportunities they receive, the better they do. HiPos also love working with and encouraging others to fulfil their potentials, whether those other employees are HiPo or not. Inspirational managers are, without a doubt, invaluable wherever they’re found. The long-term effects of high-potential development programs become clear when existing executives retire or resign. At that point, well-trained high potential employees rise to the occasion, filling your executive roster with ready-for-action talent. In short, a well-conceived high potential development program for employees benefits your company now and also in the future.
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.
Training high-potential employees can be a way to turn around the leadership development path at your company. The earlier you can identify high-potential employees, the more likely your organization is to benefit from their development and training. At TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions, we're ready to help you develop a customized HiPo development program that helps you identify these up-and-coming stars and harnesses their potential without burnout or loss of morale. Now is the time to implement a high-potential employee development program so your organization can be ready for tomorrow.
at your company with a custom-created High potential leadership program from Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions. Call us today at 281-469-4244 for a complimentary Organizational Development Consultation.