Article: Learning Agility: A requisite for HiPos to succeed

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Learning Agility: A requisite for HiPos to succeed


Organisations should identify job roles for HiPos to maximize on-the-job learning, help them to gain exposure to new skills and projects, and provide them with challenging tasks and opportunities to harness their talent.
Learning Agility: A requisite for HiPos to succeed

The most critical component with or without these make life easy technologies are employees, and organizations will have to find a way to retain HIPO's as they are your key to become bigger and better organization under every circumstance. These few qualities separate HIPO's from the crowd; Learning agility, Formative experiences, Self-awareness, Leadership traits, Motivation to lead, Logic and reasoning, Derailment risk.

Organisations should identify job roles for HiPos to maximize on-the-job learning, help them to gain exposure to new skills and projects, and provide them with challenging tasks and opportunities to harness their talent. Learning agility is the key factor towards retaining and recognizing the right individual or high potentials (HiPos).

Let's see how learning agility improves and polishes HiPos:

Assess learning agility of HiPos

The most critical talent management activity for HR leaders today is identifying and managing HIPO. HIPOs contribute 21% higher performance, 50% more value than core employees, and are considered to be 3X more likely to succeed as future leaders. HiPos should be assessed on the basis of openness to new experiences, changes in work environment and functioning of the organization, flexibility to adapt and thinks of original ways of perceiving things and various possibilities to break the status quo.

HiPos are mostly motivated and seek feedback up front, reflecting and acting on feedback indicating strong willingness to learn from mistakes, draw lessons from previous experiences and incorporate them into future encounters. Cognitive abilities also play an essential link with learning agility. Abstract reasoning reveals someone's potential to quickly trace connections between seemingly unrelated data and pick up patterns which might be applicable in future situations.

Contributing factors in learning agility or becoming an agile learner

There are five dimensions to Learning Agility, and people score differently on each parameter showcasing a unique combination of learning strengths and development areas. The five focus areas of Learning Agility are:

  • Self-Awareness: Scoring high on self-awareness means being well aware of one's strengths and weaknesses and are development oriented

  • People Agility: People Agility scores help you understand if the employee is constructive toward others and if he/she is open to people with different backgrounds and opinions

  • Mental Agility: These are individuals who enjoy complexity and tasks that challenge their ability and problem-solving skills

  • Change Agility: Anyone who likes to experiment and try new things scores high on change agility as constant curiosity fuels them and are inquisitive in nature

  • Results Agility: Ambitious, confident with a tendency to remain calm under pressure, have a strong need to be successful and looking for the best way to achieve results are the traits of people who receive a higher score in results agility

Stimulating growth and productivity by encouraging Learning Agility

Learning Agility is a combination of personality and behavior and organizations should support the development of both characteristics. Management and Human resources need to create an environment that encourages growth and development in Learning Agility. Infuse Learning Agility in training with below-mentioned techniques:

  • Expand your zone, stretch your area of expertise

    Implementing a combination of new experience creation, supported by opportunities for continuous self-reflection and feedback to encourage Learning Agility in training for personality development in employees.

  • Assignments or projects that are not mainly from your field of expertise

    Assign projects that have at least medium stakes and success or failure of the project is worth fighting for. These projects have to be learning that will not only be beneficial for current job roles but for their future aspects as well. e.g., try volunteering to coach a team, or learn a new language. These extra-curricular activities open paths for new and unknown skill development and ability to work with diverse group of people.

  • Support behavioral changes:

    -To increase their self-awareness, encourage employees to demand real-time feedback from their colleagues and bosses.

    -Help identify their pain points to understand better their ways of operating and how one could channel their emotional responses.

    -Host a seminar to create a Mindfulness group that will enable employees to understand the need to pause and respond productively while controlling impulses.

According to research, only 5% of high-potential programs successfully drive development follow-through. Most programs underperform, and about 64% of HIPOs are dissatisfied with their development, and 95% of applications fail to inspire learning follow-through. Traditional HIPO development was focused on formal training. However, research shows that 70% of learning comes from experience, 20% from others and only 10% from formal training. Your learning and development programme should not be based on what is being taught but how do HiPos learn and grasp it. Programs and other activities that facilitate learning and development driven culture should be promoted as it would cultivate a high-performing workforce that will in return help the organization reach its goals.

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Topics: Learning & Development, #HIPO, #HiPoWeek

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