Filling your company’s leadership pipeline with top talent is one of an executive team’s most important strategies for the future growth and health of the organization.
Yet few companies do this well.
They may identify high potential employees and have a HIPO program to groom them, but their selection criteria are often flawed and the programs typically miss the mark in terms of retaining and creating high performing leaders. If you have chosen a few stars to ride the roller coaster to the top, make sure you have reviewed the following tips on how to do it right.
• Choose high performers carefully.
In singling out high performers for special treatment, be sure you consistently and fairly apply the right criteria. Certainly they need to have the ability. But many companies make the mistake of assuming that the ability to perform well in their current job role qualifies them to perform well in other, broader and more significant roles. As best you can, make sure they have the technical, emotional and intellectual capabilities that strong leaders need to succeed in progressively higher level and more complex positions.
In addition, check out their true level of engagement with your company. You should not assume that they are as committed to the organization as you are to them. Our own employee engagement research tells us that up to 25% of high potentials expect to be looking for another job within the year. Additionally, clients tell us that as many as 20% of high potentials do not believe that their personal goals align with what the company plans for them. These statistics highlight a serious disconnect and a big opportunity.
• Treat them well.
High potential employees are more demanding and yet, many believe, they deserve to be. In terms of rewards and recognition, they should earn more because they work harder and are significantly more productive. Even in downturns when money is tight, experts recommend that your top talent be regularly rewarded—if not financially, then in any way you can. High potentials count on being noticed and appreciated for their contributions. If you want to promote high performance, make sure that those who contribute the most receive the greatest share of the rewards.
Treat your top talent specially but do not protect them from the realities and challenges ahead. They should have assignments that test their flexibility, their willingness to learn and their ability to handle risk, failure and stress. That’s what the best leaders must do to succeed. Make sure the top talent you are grooming to lead has what it will take to shoulder the future demands of the business.
• Share current and future corporate strategies.
To keep high potentials engaged, give them opportunities to share in high level discussions about the future direction of the company. They need to feel confidence in senior management and in the plans going forward. When they are given a role in planning the company’s future, they are much more committed to staying right where they are. Invite them into the executive suite to learn about the concerns and responsibilities of leaders. Rather than assign them to line managers for their “business education,” give them a chance to learn at the feet of successful leaders.
Engaging and retaining top talent matters. Don’t risk losing your rising stars. Select them thoughtfully, recognize them with special rewards, and challenge them to help build the company in a way that keeps them aboard.
We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.
Director of Human Resources
LSA has added tremendous value and intellectual rigor to help take us to the next level. They have been a training outsourcing goldmine for us. Their flexibility, expertise, and speed has been extraordinary. I am a big fan and recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business value.
Global Financial Services Company
Director, Organizational Effectiveness
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.
Director of Human Resources
What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.
Director of HR
We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR
We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.
Vice President, Human Resources
We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.
Vice President Human Resources
I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.
LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”
Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources
Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.
VP Human Resources
Our relationship with LSA has been fantastic. We actually brag about their business value all the time. Their flexibility, focus, and ability to continuously deliver true results has been extremely refreshing and different than any other training outsourcing firm we have engaged.
Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Senior Vice President Learning & Development
LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.
Learning & Development
LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.
Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.
SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO
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