Blog: HiPo Program – is it leading to a flatout!

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HiPo Program – is it leading to a flatout!


Most companies today have very robust HiPo programs, churning out future leaders year after year. But how successful are these future leaders to meet the leadership challenges of their organizations. Are the HiPo programs even delivering on the promise that they were initiated with?
HiPo Program – is it leading to a flatout!

The world of work is transforming at a speed never seen before. 

Every day we hear and see new technologies disrupting the way we work. Changes in the world of work are accelerating at a pace and scale never seen before. Companies are operating in very uncertain markets. This new age of work will require a new handbook. Talent is going to be the key. Talent will define whether companies succeed or perish. 

This new era of talent being the key, is going to be even more pronounced in India. As India is the only major economy growing at 7+% annually. The war for talent is going to heat up even further. Indian employers report positive hiring plans for the second quarter of 2017. The Net Employment Outlook is +18%.

With the competition for the right talent heating up, organizations are making sure that they are investing and developing the best talent for their future needs. High Potential development programs are a step towards achieving this goal. Most companies realize that through HiPo programs they will be able to meet their future leader requirement, if not fully at least partially. 

Most companies today have very robust HiPo programs, churning out future leaders year after year. But how successful are these future leaders to meet the leadership challenges of their organizations. Are the HiPo programs even delivering on the promise that they were initiated with? 

I work with multiple clients today and experience that many a HiPo programs might not be delivering what they promise and this could be due to multiple reasons: Disruption of technology, millennials joining the workforce, the evolution of leadership in a VUCA world, globalization, tough talent war and many more. Some of the aspects could be beyond the preview of influence. However, they are inevitable.

There is plenty that can be done to enhance HiPo Programs in organizations. HiPo programs require a heavy investment from organization. Some of the key interventions that could be done to make HiPo programs more effective and up to date begin with a clear purpose and robust process of identifying a HiPo. A good start is half job done! Like an organization, even the HiPo's have their aspirations, if it isn’t addressed; the interventions may not reap benefits. Agility should be a key aspect considered while designing the program; it should be able to leverage technological disruption and be applicable to a global audience. 

The learning initiatives need to be appropriate to the audience, neither too tranquil nor too tough, which affects the productivity adversely. Also, the learning partners; such as mentors or coaches need to equally commit to instil the culture in the program. The program architecture should be on the lines of current aspects leadership, considering the VUCA World

One of the prominent reasons for attrition and lack of engagement of HiPo’s is the lack of continuous communication. Often ambiguous status demotivates or discourages involvement. HiPo’s are often unclear about their career paths, benefits of the program or the expectation from the program. Hence, the implementation must include the communication aspect so that HiPo’s look forward to the same. At the same time, it needs to walk the talk; false updates could not only affect a bunch of HiPo’s but also the credibility of Program. Hence what and how we communicate are as important as regular communication.

These facets comprise of small but highly significant initiatives, which lead to a successful HiPo Program by minimizing the chances of a flatout. This further leaves us with a greater ROI.

Topics: HiPoWeek, Life @ Work

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