The HiPo Week commenced with a webinar which received a lot of interaction and buzz from the industry experts and HR practitioners. But Day 2 of the HiPo Week was all the more enthralling and revealed two engaging events — an exciting radio show at noon, which was followed by an astute and discerning virtual classroom.
Engaging, managing and retaining high potentials have been the most challenging elements that organizations have dealt with. Such issues relating to high potentials have an insidious presence in all organizations and the businesses globally. This theme was picked and discussed in the Radio Show Fast Track or Smart Track, in which conversation between Krish Shankar, HR Head, Indian sub-continent, Philips, and Shakun Khanna, Country Head, Right Management engaged the audience with their insights. Among various other themes that were discussed included how HiPo programs should be developed for creating a differentiated experience and motivating the high potential employee; how technology plays an important part in HiPo management, and how the organizations are struggling with HiPo retention along with the measures they should take to effectively manage and retain talent.
Krish Shankar, when asked the reasons behind organisations’ struggle to create a conducive environment for HiPos, said that organisations falter in giving HiPos a differentiated experience. Stretching them by giving them different projects and job responsibilities and pushing them translates their potential into results. They may not always be a part of their defined career paths, but this is where their real development lies, which eventually results in the organisation’s success, Shankar added. And particularly here, the role of HR becomes important in aligning their career paths and diverse responsibilities. Both the speakers iterated that retention of HiPos is a challenge that companies face today. The key differentiator is the level of differentiated experience. A company must provide an experience that a HiPo is unlikely to get anywhere else – it includes giving them the right jobs and opportunities, the right exposure, and top level mentoring and coaching, explained Shankar. The conversation also centered on the role of mentoring which plays a crucial part in ensuring that the HiPos do not lose their way as they move forward.
The stimulating session came to a close with a few questions from the audience, which set the tone for what was to follow.
A cultivating virtual coaching session on Navigating my HiPo career path was scheduled next and was presented by Kulbir Ahuja, Executive Coach, Right Management, and Prashant Pandey, Vice President, Right Management. “The journey of a HiPo has not ended after being identified; it has just started,” said Prashant Pandey, and this rightly set the context of the next 90 minutes.
Kulbir stated the necessity of clear communication and the dialogue between stakeholders and HiPo at every stage of development. He mentioned that while breaking the news to the nominated HiPos, it is important to inform the HiPos about what the program entails for them, and stakeholders must be well aligned. At the development stage, the key is a dialogue with manager regarding the balancing currents and future roles. Dialogue becomes an essential component to ensure clarity of career aspirations, as in today’s dynamic environment, there is an increased need of flexibility and adaptability in HiPos, especially when career aspirations and development goals are involved. Dialogue is the answer to creating a win-win situation between the organisation and HiPo, argued Kulbir.
Another argument made by Kulbir was an intriguing one. He said, “A HiPo program doesn’t come with an assurance of success. It can only enhance opportunities that come in a HiPo’s way. But it is the HiPo’s prerogative to grab them and make success out of these.” The patience to seize these opportunities can ameliorate the retention rate of HiPos as well.
The session educated the audience on what is really meant by a HiPo program, the role played by HiPos in the program, the implications of a HiPo program on an individual’s career, and how HiPos deal with the constant pressures of a HiPo career, along with the things HiPos can do to drive their own career. The 90-minute class delved deeper into many other parameters and questions about HiPos.
An exclusive masterclass on customising the HiPo career map is also scheduled in Mumbai tomorrow. Stay tuned for more updates on the themes revolving around the high potentials.