4 High Potential Employee Strategies for High Fliers

A team of sky divers = high potential employee strategies

High Potential Employee Strategies and Talent Management
High potential employee strategies (also known as HIPO Strategies) should be an integral part of your overall talent management strategy to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent.

New High Potential Employee Strategies
One of our favorite high potential employee strategies is to find a mission-critical initiative and put HIPO’s on the team together. While many organizations like to spread their high potential employees across the organization to develop and mentor others, there are some eye-opening statistics about the effectiveness of a team built of mostly “A” players.

What Recent Research Says about HIPO Teams
You would expect that such a team would perform at a higher level than one made up of average workers. But look at what the studies from Bain & Co have found:

  • A team of 5 star employees is able to produce 16 times the output of a team of five average players working individually, and
  • A great leader can raise the productivity of an average team by about 10% and, when in charge of an team of star players, can raise that team’s productivity by more than 10%, all while that team of all stars was significantly higher to start with

Who wouldn’t want to be able to claim such multipliers of productivity?

The Four Steps to Include in Your New High Potential Employee Strategies
Here are 4 HIPO steps to incorporate into your talent management strategy to increase performance:

1.  Know Who and Where Your HIPOs Are
Rather than rely on subjective assessments of who represents your High Potential Employees, track the performance of all employees so you have a reliable measure. Get a sense, too, of each individual’s special talents so they can be placed in a position that takes advantage of their unique skills and where they will have the greatest impact.

2.  Cluster HIPOs Together
Team assignments should be based on your strategy to perform and win in a way that aligns with your mission, vision and values. The output of some teams will matter more than the output of others in your short- and long-term plan for success. Build your teams with a view toward assembling all-star high potential employees together when that team’s goals are a high priority.

You are much more likely to see stellar performance this way than if you average-out your teams in a misguided effort to be “democratic.” Mission-critical initiatives deserve your best shot with your highest performers.

3.  Ensure Your Underlying Systems Support a Team Approach
Does your company reward only individual and not team performance?  If so, this is hardly conducive to building strong teams where all members pull in the same direction toward a common goal. Take a close look at your reward and recognition programs and the opportunities for development and career advancement at your company.

Make sure they reward and encourage the kind of team behavior you seek.

4.  Keep Their Eyes On The Prize
As high potential employees reach high performing status, they often develop egos to match. Because of this, the team leader faces a common high performer challenge…to keep team members focused on the overall goal of the team. There should be no vying to stand out as a single star.

Rather, each team member needs to understand that unless they all win, no one individual wins.

The Bottom Line
The way you deploy your high potential talent can have a huge impact on your organization’s productivity. Prioritize your company goals, plan the strategy, and wisely use your high potential and high performing talent to make it happen.

To learn more about talent management and high potential employee strategies that work, download Why Talent is Surprisingly Only  1/3rd of the Recipe for Talent Management Success

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