Developing HiPos amidst Digital Disruption: A Practical View
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The HiPo Week Masterclass revolved around the topic of developing HiPos and preparing them for the technology of the future. In his session in Mumbai, Alok Sheopurkar, PCC, Executive Vice President & Head HR, HDFC started the concept of Customer centricity, collaboration and compliance. Alok talks about how organizational systems can unleash the potential in an employee.
He said, "Every person has potential, not necessarily high because one wrong move by one person can impact the brand. It's not a question of high potential investment vs no investment, but you can invest more in HiPo but solid citizens also need investment, and you can't ignore them. You may never know when a solid citizen will become a HiPo."
In the other half Ester Martinez, CEO, People Matters started the discussion with an example of a pharmaceutical company that is trying to align themselves with a purpose, and they concluded that the persona of their perfect employee is that of a woman. One of the CHRO’s mentioned "Last year we mandated that 50% of management trainees would be women. Unlike the perception, they have the ability to listen or understand"
Collectively here are some solutions given by CHROs to develop HiPos:
- Start at the beginning: Sonalika Bhaskar, Head of L&D, BASF advices to start identifying HiPos at the candidate level during interviews instead of identifying them later. This end to end talent management approach can be done when the talent management team starts working closely with the talent acquisition team.
- Check readiness: A CHRO shared his experience, “Our company ran modules and digital initiatives for mid to senior level people relationships, accountability, ownership etc. and mapped the HiPos on the scales of these learnings. The results of the research showed that the employees were pretty low on the digital quotient.” So, the company has now made digital awareness their key theme for the year by creating some programmes to enhance their digital skills.
- Invest in development of talent: A lot more time is consumed in developing a HiPo for a certain position than identifying them. Companies need to start being committed and invest more time and money in the development of HiPos.
- Declare the person is a HiPo: Usually, managers believe that once a person knows he is a HiPo, the demands of the employee will rise. In such situations, you need to trust your instincts and take chances on people. Your HiPo will not develop if you don’t give the person recognition, good projects or the budget or travel reimbursements.
- Shift from socialistic to focused: Prashant Pandey, Country Manager, Right Management India suggests, “Earlier companies tried to fit as many employees as they can in the budget by dividing the money equally. But now it is beneficial to take up a focussed approach. Identify the HiPo and then invest more in them as part of your investment-return strategy.”
- Recognize them: Clint Misquitta, VP -HR, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance says, “The approach managers adopt to recognise a HiPo is by giving them more and more projects irrespective of whether the employee understands this. The intent is to recognise them, but they don’t perceive it in the same way. You need to adopt a more direct approach for recognition of the employees.”
Think, Act & React Differently
The HiPos need to work in such a manner that they should keep up the pace with the change and they have to do it every day. Ravindra Kumar, G.P, CHRO, GE South Asia, said, “To succeed and make the organization successful, the expectation from HiPos are how they think differently, act differently and react differently.”
In the masterclass, Prashant Pandey shared the survey done by the Right Management team to understand the point of view of respondents on how digitization has impacted organizations and the readiness of HiPOs in the digital age.