An important strategy for any organization is identifying and successfully developing their high potential employees – HIPOs for short. Within your Middle Market organization, you probably are already focused on building your HIPO employees. But, one question you should be asking is how effective your current program is.
Evaluating if your HIPO identification and development processes are actually making a difference is imperative to ensure you aren’t wasting time, money or talented resources.
How do you go about deciding if your program is working?
Identifying Possible High Potential Employees
The first step of working with and developing your HIPOs into strong leaders within your organization is obviously figuring out who has the potential. It can be hard to determine if you are being successful in locating HIPOs, plus you are working within an already small field of players.
Questions you should be able to readily answer if you have a robust identification process:
- What is your process for determining who is a HIPO?
- How is the process documented?
- When is the process reviewed and evaluated?
- What regular steps do you take to evaluate all your employees?
- What criteria do you use in identifying HIPOs?
- How do leaders and managers identify, track and pass along information?
Developing Your HIPOs To Be Valuable Assets
Once you’ve figured out who your HIPOs are, the process of training, developing and shaping them into valuable company assets and future leaders begins. As important as it is to figure out who could be your potential future leadership, knowing how to effectively train and develop their talents is also key.
To know if you are being effective, you’ll need to analyze the training programs you have in place.
- What formal training process exists for your HIPOs?
- What informal training process exists?
- How do you measure if training and development initiatives are successful?
- What benchmarks do you utilize?
- How do your HIPOs compare to your competitors?
- What documentation is in place?
- How do you know when someone has completed their training?
The End Goal
One thing that can trip up many Middle Market organizations is what to do with their HIPOs and when. It’s all well and good to identify and train these employees, but you must have places for them to grow into and depending on the size and hierarchy of your company, that can get tricky.
- What openings will you likely have in the future?
- How will you utilize the employees you’ve spent time and money on?
- What current positions exist for HIPOs to grow into?
- Are there roles you are developing for future growth?
- What will you do when a HIPO is developed without a clear role in mind?
- How will you keep HIPOs engaged if there aren’t immediate growth opportunities?
- How long would your average HIPO take to develop?
- What areas of your business can most benefit from HIPOs?
If you have a smaller organization, it might be worth your time to evaluate exactly where HIPOs make the most impact and where you should be focusing your efforts.
Having a sense of the efficacy of your high potential employee identification and development program is an essential step to ensuring your time and expenses involved are worthwhile to your Middle Market firm.
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