As organizations are proactively hunting for HiPos, their identification and nurturing has become the talk of the town. There are numerous views on the key characteristics in identifying HiPos and what makes a good HiPo program. All this to achieve one thing – Transforming the HiPos into HiPers.
Prashant Khullar, Director – Human Resources, Taj Group, in a conversation with People Matters said, “For every organization today, it is very important to identify who are their high performers and who are the high potentials as these are largely the future of the organization. High performers are essentially those high potentials who were picked up by the organization at the right time and were given the right kind of inputs to grow.”
So what is the best way to identify high potentials? Are we taking the right steps in identifying our talent or are we being hasty? Can we be completely sure of investing time, resources and efforts on training programs for the people we have picked up or are we risking our efforts? Getting the perfect HiPo program in place is secondary as the human resources today faces a humongous challenge in finding and implementing the perfect method for identifying HiPos at first.
“Identifying HiPos, which is the most critical for any organization in the first place, is also very tricky as most organizations rely on a set of data like KRAs, subjective feedback of managers and satisfaction scores of the product/service they are delivering. Organizations do this through assessment centres, putting people through role plays and other exercises to identify people who are scoring well. That is where I feel, we can go wrong in identifying the right potential as in a matter of 2-3 days we may or may not be able to fully gauge one’s abilities. Therefore, it makes more sense for organizations to use these tools only as an indicator towards the kind of potential one holds,” says Prashant.
It makes a lot of sense to have a set process of identifying high potentials, spread over a duration of say a year or two depending on the plan. At the same time, it is important to have indicators that can provide quick results and ensure the HiPos stay connected and motivated. Furthermore it’s important that the leaders put in efforts to retain the HiPos and therefore, provide them enough opportunities to explore their potential as the high potentials are very success hungry and can switch any moment they feel a shortage of prospects with their current employer.
Describing this aspect of the high potentials, Prashant says, “The HiPos are most vulnerable to competition, to issues at workplace as they always come with a sense of urgency in everything they do and they expect the same from their careers. Therefore, organizations need to chart out a map for transforming HiPos into HiPers”.
That’s where organizations need to have a brick-and-mortar plan to build credibility while carving out HiPers from their HiPos. This calls for involvement and support from all levels in the organizational hierarchies. It will not only help the high potentials emerge as high performers and future leaders, but also increase profitability and overall business success boosting employee retention and engagement.