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

Case Study: Baptist Bible College

Case Study: Baptist Bible College

In need of more robust HR & payroll technology to handle their complex needs, Baptist Bible college discovered an expert partner in Paycor. “In our industry, keeping up with payroll, taxes and compliance is very challenging. But Paycor’s specialized higher education team gives me the peace of mind we’re covered. From proactive compliance alerts and user groups to a dedicated industry contact, Paycor is a partner I trust to helps us eliminate risk." - Jason Todd, Vice President, Finance Why Baptist Bible College left their previous HR & payroll provider Founded in 1950 in Springfield Missouri, Baptist Bible College is a private Christian college that specializes in ministry and professional studies degrees. Like many small...

Mental Health in the Workplace: 5 Ways Employers Can Make a Difference

Mental Health in the Workplace: 5 Ways Employers Can Make a Difference

The effect of mental health on workers—and the workplace—is staggering. Just consider the statistics: 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Up to 80% will manage a diagnosable mental health condition during their lifetime (National Institutes of Health) In fact, 60% of American workers experienced at least one symptom of a mental health condition in the past year (Mind Share Partners) However, only 43.3% of US adults with mental illness actually receive treatment (National Alliance on Mental Illness) The results are stark: 200 million work days are lost per year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), while the World Health Organization estimate the cost to the global economy at...

Banker

CFOs’ Biggest Challenges in 2020

CFOs’ Biggest Challenges in 2020

It’s never a bad time to look forward to changes that might have an impact on the business… especially financially. Many CFOs find that they’re faced with four primary areas of focus in 2020: People, money, data and technology, with some overlap among the four. Here we’ll briefly cover our predictions for the challenges heads of finance will likely face in the coming year. Challenge 1: Attracting and Retaining Talent Finding new ways to thrive despite a very tight labor market continues to plague businesses overall in 2020. But the finance department is discovering that it’s increasingly challenging to find people to build out their teams. Ten years ago, the three areas finance hires were judged on were accounting, auditing, and...

Case Study: Detroit Zoological Society

Case Study: Detroit Zoological Society

Finding a partner with the same set of values led the Detroit Zoological Society to Paycor. “When we evaluate partners, it’s important to find someone with the same cultural fit as our organization. Paycor treats us as a partner, not a client". - Robert Schumaker, Director of Finance Why the Detroit Zoological Society Left Their HR and Payroll Provider The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability. A staple in the Detroit community for 91 years, the DZS employs up to 500 workers during peak season to serve thousands of visitors each year. But when their previous provider failed to deliver responsive and accurate customer service, they...