Are You Making High Potential Talent Mistakes?
Most talent management strategies involve focusing time, attention, and training on targeted high potential employees — also called HiPo’s. HiPo’s are a fundamental part of talent management plans to ensure a effective leadership succession and to see that you have the right critical talent in the right place at the right moment. Smart talent leaders know to pay attention to four specific high potential talent mistakes because research on HiPo program success rates is a bit alarming.
SHL recently reported that:
Four Field-Tested High Potential Talent Mistakes to Avoid
Let’s look at two of the high potentials you have identified, Chris and Alex. They have both proven themselves in their current roles. They are smart, above-average performers, good communicators, and respected by their managers and team mates alike.
But is that enough? Our experience says, “No.” Here is where and how your choices may run into high potential talent mistakes and not measure up to fulfill your hopes and expectations.
Can you say with confidence that Chris and Alex have the characteristics that will allow them to be successful in more senior and responsible positions?
Our employee engagement survey data scarily finds that 1-in-4 identified high potentials intend to leave their organization within the year. Chris and Alex may be less engaged than it seems. In fact, high potentials have special needs and expectations for themselves, their company, their co-workers, and their leaders.
When there’s an expectation mismatch, high performers become a big retention risk. To decrease their risk of leaving, ensure their positive engagement by checking regularly on their satisfaction levels with their career progression, trust and belief in their leaders, perception of their co-workers’ commitment and capabilities, and their personal alignment with organizational values and strategies.
HiPo’s need to be able to handle the stress of leadership decision making where there are high levels of visibility, strategic ambiguity, and high stakes consequences.
The other natural tendency is to hand HiPo development over to the line managers who recommended them. If they are truly high potential employees, we believe that the company needs to spend the time to carefully oversee their grooming for leadership. The future of your company may depend upon how well they have been trained and coached for leadership.
Actively involve your high potential employees in the strategy design and high stakes decision making processes whenever possible.
The Bottom Line
High potential talent mistakes can derail your talent management strategy. If you want to protect your succession pipeline, focus on future performance, do not underestimate the chances of disengagement, codify a targeted development plan, and actively involve them in important strategy conversations whenever possible.
To learn more about creating a winning talent strategy, download The 3 Research-Backed Ingredients Required for Talent Management Success
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