In every organization, there will always be a group of people who are more talented than the others. High potentials consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups. They achieve superior levels of performance, exhibit behaviors that reflect their company’s mission, vision and values in an exemplary manner.
Moreover, they show a strong capacity to grow and succeed throughout the organization more quickly and effectively than their peer groups do. These aspiring leaders face one of the most challenging stages of their professional life as they try to understand their environment, set goals and prove their growth. Today most organizations are of the opinion that if they don’t identify the high potentials, someone else eventually will.
Employers are more anxious about losing high potentials than any other employee. High-potentials are being targeted by other companies in their search for talent in a recovering job market. In addition, while high potentials are considered to be an important source of a company’s future management, many employers report they do not have enough of them on board. According to a study, nearly half the companies (49 per cent) regarded high potentials as their biggest source of future leaders. Yet, one out of four employers (37 per cent) reported they do not currently have enough high potentials on board. Dr. John Sullivan, professor of management at San Francisco State University and previous chief talent officer for Agilent Technologies, states that top performers have the ability to outperform their peers and colleagues by anywhere from 25 to 100 per cent.
High potentials are employees that have immediate as well as future benefits that every organization desires. They can save company’s money, increase employee retention and boost employee engagement.
At Q3 Technologies, coaching is a powerful retention tool because it signals to high potentials that employers are committed to their career development. In addition to coaching high-potentials, it also stresses the importance of offering guidance to senior leaders on how to better identify and then mentor the next set of high potentials.
Steve Shepherd, Group Director of recruitment & HR services specialist, Randstad, states that businesses need to address the gaps in their leadership pipeline early in 2014 if they plan to keep pace with the market.
It is never too early to seek out high potential employees. When you have a high potential on your team who is constantly striving to do better and sets a high standard, other employees will benefit from this type of role model. As Beth Miller said, “A rising tide raises all ships”, and that is true in this situation as well. Just be sure that the performance gap isn’t large because you might risk losing your high potential as they will become frustrated.