A 3-Step Plan for Nurturing High-Potential Employees

A 3-Step Plan for Nurturing High-Potential Employees

Performance and potential are two very different things, and to grow an organization successfully, leaders must be able to correctly distinguish high performers and high-potential employees, and manage them accordingly.

Obviously, you need high performers, those associates who are great at what they do and bring value every day to their position. Being great at one role, however, does not necessarily mean an employee will make a terrific manager or supervisor down the road.

Meanwhile, high-potential employees might be working in positions in which only some degree of their talent is being used. To build a thriving workplace, you must identify those “HiPos” and develop a challenging, fulfilling path that keeps them engaged and maximizes their abilities.

Step 1: Identify

High-potential employees are almost never low performers but, at this stage in their careers, they might not yet be the highest performers, either. That can make them difficult to spot. To make sure they don’t get lost in the crowd, the HR team and executive leadership should formally write out the attributes and abilities most valued in the organization. After all, how can you find something if you don’t know what you’re looking for?

Once you’ve named these big-picture characteristics, managers will have a better framework within which to evaluate their employees. Instead of just looking at the easy-to-find, right-this-minute results, they’ll be able to think longer term and look for signs that an employee has leadership potential or the ability to make other strategic contributions.

Step 2: Assess

Employees, of course, are individuals—no two are exactly alike! But all will fall into one of these four quadrants:

* High performance, high potential
* High performance, low potential
* Low performance, high potential
* Low performance, low potential

You organization should assess where each employee fits and create development plans accordingly. Each category requires a tailored strategy for performance improvement and talent management.

Step 3: Develop

If only all employees were high performers with high potential, right? But in the real world, managers must have an approach to every kind of employee, with the goal of moving them to higher performance if not also higher potential. Here’s one plan to try:

* High performance, high potential: Consider promotion and provide greater independence.
* High performance, low potential: Offer constant encouragement, challenging assignments and soft-skill development.
* Low performance, high potential: Pair with a high-performing mentor, move to a new role that aligns better with the employee’s skills, provide training and offer greater responsibility.
* Low performance, low potential: Institute a performance-improvement plan or, if necessary, terminate.

Creating mentor relationships can benefit both parties. Often, high performers can have “loner” mentalities; they want to be left alone to get things done. Partnering them with high potentials brings the high performers back into the fold and can give them a stake in something bigger than their own work. The mentee, naturally, gains the benefit of the mentor’s skills and experience.

High potentials also can thrive by being challenged with new and larger responsibilities or cross-training opportunities. If they succeed, it might signal that it’s time for them to be moved into a different role full time.

Bolstering your talent pipeline can have a huge effect on your organization’s long-term future. For more such insights, download our free whitepaper, The HR Pro’s Guide: 5 Ways to Make an Impact at Work.


Source: The New Talent Times

More to Discover

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Remote Workplace

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Remote Workplace

Remote employees are more common than ever before. Employing a remote workforce can retain top talent, reduce expenses, and boost engagement for your organization. Learn best practices for creating HR policies, training and engaging your remote employees, and supporting leaders. We will explore new trends of today’s remote workforce. Speaker: Sarah Laboranti Sarah Laboranti is a motivated HR professional with over nineteen years of experience. She is passionate about bringing new ideas to the workforce and leveraging HR’s important role in the organization. She has an upbeat attitude toward the role of Human Resources, in which HR is empowered to “do the right thing” for employees, leaders, the business, and the community.

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to Get C-Suite Support - Part 3

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to Get C-Suite Support - Part 3

It can be frustrating and demoralizing to present your ideas and initiatives to the C-Suite, only to have them relegated to the back burner. Without the resources and support to contribute in a more strategic and future-focused way, HR professionals are limited to focusing primarily on short-term issues. In this webinar, we'll diagnose any pitfalls or bad habits that are holding you back from getting buy in for the C-Suite. Speaker: Deb Calvert Deb Calvert is the president of People First Productivity Solutions where she works with HR and sales team to build organizational strength by putting people first. She is the co-author of “Stop Selling & Start Leading” and author of “DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected” (named one of The Top...

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 2

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 2

It can be frustrating and demoralizing to present your ideas and initiatives to the C-Suite, only to have them relegated to the back burner. Without the resources and support to contribute in a more strategic and future-focused way, HR professionals are limited to focusing primarily on short-term issues. In this webinar, we'll diagnose any pitfalls or bad habits that are holding you back from getting buy in for the C-Suite. Speaker: Deb Calvert Deb Calvert is the president of People First Productivity Solutions where she works with HR and sales team to build organizational strength by putting people first. She is the co-author of “Stop Selling & Start Leading” and author of “DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected” (named one of The Top...

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 1

Why HR & People Practices Struggle to get C-Suite Support - Part 1

It can be frustrating and demoralizing to present your ideas and initiatives to the C-Suite, only to have them relegated to the back burner. Without the resources and support to contribute in a more strategic and future-focused way, HR professionals are limited to focusing primarily on short-term issues. In this webinar, we'll diagnose any pitfalls or bad habits that are holding you back from getting buy in for the C-Suite. Speaker: Deb Calvert Deb Calvert is the president of People First Productivity Solutions where she works with HR and sales team to build organizational strength by putting people first. She is the co-author of “Stop Selling & Start Leading” and author of “DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected” (named one of The Top...