Developing high potential employees in your business is one of the key strategies that will assist the company in achieving it’s goals. Not only does it help improve employee engagement and retention but it enables your business to challenge high performing employees with growing your business.
So what is the recommended strategy for developing your high potential employees?
Identify Them (Accurately)
While most organisations have in place programs to develop their high potential employees (known as HIPO’s), in many cases the programs are directed at the wrong people. According to CEB Global, only 1 in 7 high performance employees are classified as HIPO. Employees need to fulfil the following criteria to be deemed HIPO:
- Aspiration to rise to Senior roles
- Ability to be more effective in more responsible and Senior roles
- Engagement to commit to the organisation and remain in challenging roles
Performance reviews are a key time to both understand whether an employee can be considered HIPO by evaluating their performance and their ability to rise to more responsible roles and long-term engagement with the company.
Opportunities such as temporarily acting in challenging roles for short-term periods and both informal and formal career progression discussions are good ways to determine if your definition of high potential employees is accurate.
Quite often with HIPO’s, retaining them can be easier than it sounds. These employees may have developed relationships with head hunters or be in the consideration set of other organisations. To retain them, it’s best to understand what motivates them and what their long-term goals are. If they are wanting to increase their skills in an area, it’s in the best interest of the business to have them leading a project or strategy that will enable them to further extend these skills. Leading a group to complete a task, has an additional benefit for them to develop their leadership ability for future positions within the company.
It’s important that you don’t limit your performance discussions with your employees to the standard processes set by the business. To keep your HIPO’s engaged, you need to understand their level of engagement with the projects they are working on. Are they being challenged? Are they developing their skillset? Is the experience beneficial to their long-term development and how are they managing challenges that they are experiencing? Where do they see themselves long-term in your organisation and what is the best way for them to achieve this outcome? Having these discussions on an ongoing basis with your employees will increase their levels of engagement. If you require support or guidance on creating a program to help develop your high potential employees, Flexi can help.
Develop a leadership pipeline
Developing a succession plan is important in maintaining the long-term success of any business. It has an additional benefit of engaging high performance employees. If you want to retain these employees, make sure they can see themselves in your business long-term by building them into your succession plan. This can run across many of the leadership roles within your business and assist in the process of managing both the long-term goals of the business and your employees.
Keep them informed
Ensure you keep your high potential employees up to date with business movements that might impact them. If there are changes at the Senior or Executive levels of a business that might impact on the likelihood of them progressing or leaving the business, ensure they are kept informed of discussions.
For support with managing your talent pipeline, contact the HR Consulting team at Flexi Personnel.