aligning the stars of your organization: hi-potentials of tomorrow

By in Engagement and Leadership
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Hi-Potential individuals, also the ‘stars’ in your organization’ often bring high levels of productivity, resourceful thinking, and quick decision making while fore sighting the consequences of any decision. They have an innate sense of excellence, the resilience to absorb pressures of everyday work and in many cases may actually be motivated by it. They have an added sense of self-awareness and comfort with ambiguity across the board. The resulting business outcomes of a critical role in which a Hi-Po is placed often results in high degree of impact.

They are easily identifiable in a groups of peers they work in by their go-getter and think big attitude – in summary, this is an organization’s high ROI pool who are Risk takers, Crises Managers, High performers and display high potential in different and challenging situations.

It therefore is critical for organizations to reward and retain their Hi-Po s like aligning the stars!

How do organizations invest in hi-potential talent?

There may essentially be three types of scenarios :

  • Investing in the accelerated development of the individual: The most effective method of doing this is to identify Hi-Po’s in early stages of their career, evaluate their strengths by giving stretch assignments and right development interventions as per the career stage of the Hi-Po
  • Developing the star as successor to a critical role: This is a special case scenario. A shadow role can be created to expose the talent and quick and deep interventions such as external coaching maybe offered to the talent. A portion of the upcoming role can also be carved out for him/her
  • Engaging the stars on an on-going basis: The programs here may range from differentiated rewards for differentiated performance/potential, equity offerings, selective cases of retention bonuses supported by conversations in situations of organizational turbulence and selective development investments

While most organizations are able to well identify their hi-potential talent either organically or using scientific measures and tools, what still needs finesse is the consistency in engagement and utilization of this pool towards the goals of the enterprise.

A sustainable shot for a long lasting impact is creating an organizational environment that fosters the coming forth of hi-potential talent, impactful engagement and continuous development.

An environment like this should comprise mature people managers who are sensitive and committed towards developing their teams, a high performance culture with high quality meaningful work. This environment also rewards the right behaviours and high standards of success, stretches willing individuals in work areas of their interest and of value to the enterprise, creates a space for intellectual experiment with a room for both failure and learning. An environment of honest communication, where mentoring is a way of operating rather than a one-time intervention.

Such an environment soon becomes embedded in the culture of the enterprise and once created, ‘letting the algorithm run’ without excessive intervention will yield vastly more impact than a bouquet of offerings with each offering solving for a different purpose.

And while the Pareto Principle of 80% of enterprise impact created by 20% critical organizational roles will still be valid, the rules of engagement and productivity cut across the board: an 80% or more engaged workforce is immensely necessary for an environment such as this to be self-sustaining.

By Niyati Goel
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