Better Identify High Potentials (HiPos)
We define high potential employees as the most talented 5-10% of an organization. If you want to better identify high potentials, start by creating a common definition of high potential. From our perspective, HiPos:
Someone could make a fortune if there were an invention that could clearly discern employee potential – whether or not a “pawn” employee has what it takes to become a king.
Challenges of Identifying High Potentials (HiPos)
One of the problems in identifying high potential employees is that too many of us measure future potential by current and past performance. This is a mistake. An employee who excels in one job may not have the ability or the desire to excel in another.
How many top engineers have you seen promoted into management who fail miserably in their new role? And it was most likely not their fault. They probably had no preparation for becoming a new manager. They had the analytical and problem solving skills that served them well in their previous position but not the leadership, decision making, or communication skills they needed to successfully lead a team.
Pitfalls of Not Identifying High Potentials (HiPos)
Conversely, failing to identify, develop and promote HiPos can lead to increased attrition and succession planning problems. Our annual employee engagement research found that almost one-third of high-potential employees are looking for new jobs. Can your company afford that?
Guidelines to Select High Potentials (HiPos)
So if you can’t predict success from an employee’s current or past track record, what guidelines are there to help you select those high-potentials worthy of grooming for leadership positions? As a bare minimum, the employee should want the leadership position and be willing to do whatever it takes to earn and secure it. You also want to be sure of the employee’s commitment to the organization. They should be highly engaged in the company’s mission and totally committed to and representative of the company’s core values.
Once you have a preliminary list of likely HiPo candidates, you need to measure them against a proven leadership profile of the critical few competencies you and your team have determined are essential for future success at your company based upon your unique business strategy and corporate culture.
The Six Most Common Traits
While each company and organizational culture is different, here are six of the most common traits our high performance clients consider when they are looking to develop a group of high potentials. These are clients who understand the importance of planning for the future. The best leaders know that it is in the best interests of the company to select and prepare their successors.
Look for candidates who are:
The Bottom Line
There may well be other characteristics that you want to include to better identify high potentials in your specific high performance leader profile that is designed for your unique strategy and organizational culture. Remember not to look just at current performance but at the whole person who exhibits leadership qualities but perhaps has not yet had the time or the experience to fully develop them. That’s what “potential” is all about.
To learn more how to better identify high potentials, download The Top Skills for High Performing Leaders
4 Keys to Keeping Talent Up to Date
Why Employees Change Their Mind
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Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance
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 custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
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.
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Kim Silva, CFO
LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.
Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President
I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.
Human Resource Manager
The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.
In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.
Firmware Engineering Supervisor
I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.
Chief People Officer
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
Vice President, HR and IT
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.
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Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
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