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.
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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.
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide 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
Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.
Senior Project Manager
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.
Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources
LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.
Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region
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
The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.
Firmware Engineering Manager
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
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
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
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
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