High Potential employees are your future leaders and they can greatly increase the growth and productivity of your company, if you can identify and develop them. If you can’t, they can add that value to your competitors.
They have the potential to take on more challenging roles in the company; specifically, they’re capable of advancing at least two levels in the organization. They have worked on acquiring skills to enhance their innate talents and want to succeed in their careers
What are you doing to identify and develop these future leaders?
Common characteristics of High Potential employees
- Deliver results. They outperform their peers consistently and deliver results and achieve goals.
- Have credibility. They don’t achieve their goals through cheating, lying or stealing. They have outperformed solely on the basis of their talents.
- Show ownership. They accept accountability for the job at hand as though it was their own. They don’t shrug away from responsibility or act as though the problem is not theirs and the solution will depend on someone else.
- Collaborative and Trusted. They have many friends in the company. They often find solutions to problems by collaborating with others. They know that maintaining good relations with peers is a key ingredient to their success.
- Ambitious. They’re highly motivated and strive to meet the next challenge.
- Receptive to feedback. They’re not afraid of negative feedback and often seek feedback for self-improvement.
Often, the challenge to a company is nurturing and retaining them. High financial compensation is not enough to retain them because your competitors can easily match your financial incentives (unless you’re Google or Apple). These folks want self-improvement and growth.
There are also some key differences between high potentials and high performers. You can read more about that here.
Tips coaching & developing High Potentials
- Let them know you think they are High Potential. Because they’re interested in self-improvement, knowing that you consider them to be special and talented will continue to motivate them.
- Involve them in decision making. Instead of setting a goal and expecting results. Present the problem and work with them to craft a solution.
- Communicate with them to determine their goals and match company needs to their aspirations.
- Give them assignments that require responsibility. Allow room for mistakes. Trust that they’ll try their best, that’s why you have identified them as rising stars.
- Be flexible. Try to come up with creative solutions to accommodate lifestyle needs. Allow them to work in different areas of the company. Cross train them across departments. Variety in the type of work and ability to balance their work and lifestyle will be helpful in nurturing and retaining them.
What do you do to develop these employees at your company?