SUCCESS for organizations in today’s global economic scenario is driven by innovative, adaptable, engaged and a high potential workforce. Talented employees are business enablers and offer valuable knowledge and experience that help organizations become successful.
The findings of a study conducted by the State of the Urban Youth indicate that India will become the youngest country in the world by 2020 with 64 per cent of its population in the working age group. The study suggests that India is set to experience a dynamic transformation as the population burden of the past turns into a demographic dividend. This demographic potential offers India and its growing economy an unprecedented edge that economists believe could add a significant 2 per cent to the GDP growth rate.
Yet, in this Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world, exacerbated by a tight labor market, employers are challenged to attract and retain the talent they need to serve their customers with. This scenario of widening job market and shrinking workforce has led to a war for talent. It is thus even more imperative for organizations to identify the needs and understand the perspectives of the critical talent which is the focal point of their success.
What is it that a HiPo wants?
Years ago people wanted to earn a decent living and the work they did was a means to pay their bills. A greater number of people now want more than their daily routine. They don’t want to just work; rather they want to build careers. An individual who is intrinsically motivated towards the work she does and has potential which she knows is a strategic asset to any organization she would work with, no longer identifies organizations she wants to work for, rather identifies the career she wants to pursue and the career paths she wants to traverse.
She does not want a job. She wants a career.
Carving a unique Career Journey is now the new goal which is larger than the basic human ambitions. While the desire to excel and ensure that one’s name is remembered in the industry one works in, is age old, careerism is the new age desire of a HiPo. Career has an idea of virtue attached to it. Following a career path gives a HiPo a feeling of greater self-worth, greater contribution to the world she lives in and a way to approach some moral idea of achievement. ‘Work for profit’ levels all work equally but ‘work for honor’ makes it divine. A HiPo identifies organizations that can help her achieve her career goals in ways more than one and can support her in her journey to create success for herself and the organization.
A study conducted by Right Management reveals the 8 most important needs of a HiPo working in a corporate setting:
1) Understanding and support from the leaders: Every high potential works to create the desired career for herself and what she really needs is support from the leaders to achieve her ultimate career goals and reach the zenith of her potential.
2) Continuous Learning: A HiPo craves for constant learning which happens from multiple sources such as social media, forums, conferences, organization initiated learning intervention etc. She invests time in learning new skills in addition to being dependable and efficient and focuses on making her job an opportunity to develop new skills leading to her next position meeting her career goals.
3) Activity: A HiPo wants action. She looks at problems as opportunities and would develop a plan and work towards it, crossing all barriers and never giving up on her dreams.
4) Immersion: Work requiring a personal commitment and one that is above the norm is what a HiPo is enthusiastic about. She craves for opportunities that require going beyond the set framework and defined work.
5) Autonomy: HiPos are attracted to roles and opportunities that allow them to influence and shape how things are done on the assignments they work on.
6) Interest: She looks for roles and assignments that provide variety and stimulation. This keeps her motivated and helps develop herself to achieve her career goals.
7) Recognition: This is a food for the soul. HiPos know that they contribute effectively to the company’s success. They need to hear that often from the organization and feel valued.
8) Flexibility: A work environment that respects lifestyle needs and allows for fluid ways of working is important. Inflexible assignments can be morale busters.
Organizations that will help employees achieve their career goals within the organization will keep them motivated and committed to company’s success. Employees will then not feel the need to leave the organization in order to advance their career and the organization will thus be able to retain employees. This will ensure a broader depth of industry and company specific expertise from tenured employees. The dedication and loyalty that the organizations would gain from employees, who see the organization as a pathway to achieve their career goals and are also invested in the success of the organization, will be absolutely invaluable.