It is every company’s goal to develop, nurture, and maintain high potential (HiPo) employees for they eventually will spearhead the company’s success. It is up to human resource managers to spot them. They, however, need to know the difference between HiPos and high performers. While people having the ability to meet or exceed key performance metrics are great and efficient, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be great leaders. As per CEB, a team advisory company, only one in six of high performers possesses the qualities that shows potential.
Why high performers are not enough?
No matter how efficient and effective to the company’s best performers, they tend to be ambitious and won’t stick around for long. Therefore, ensuring HiPos are developed and nurtured, the company is guaranteed to have a stable talent pool and robust succession plan. Alternatively, companies may replace top performers with external entrants, which tends to be costlier and the chance of success is very meager. Truth of the matter is, even when companies appoint people with the right skill sets, they tend to have a hard time adapting to the new culture and environment due to differing values and conducts.
How to spot HiPos?
As per Corporate Research Forum’s recent industry research, it is found out that 53% of organizations are not happy with their HiPo programs. Coefficients Co. Ltd, for one, has an effective program and key performance indicators to develop, nurture, and sustain their employees. Those who are unsure on what to look for in spotting high potential employees, below are the traits HR managers should look into to identify them.
Passion to Take Leadership Roles
When an employee openly stated that one day they want to have an executive position, or have shown interest to the suggestion, it is crucial that they show their desire and passion to climb up the corporate ladder and take a leadership role.
Business Mindedness
HiPos are driven to find new business opportunities that will be beneficial for the company. Employees who are identifying potential opportunities and pitching how the company can take advantage of them have the right state of mind to lead the organization’s success.
Independence and Initiative
It’s inevitable for employees to ask for clarification and guidance from time to time, and that is fine. However, if a staff is approaching you every ten minutes to ask what needs to be done and does not have the drive and initiative to find and kick start new projects, they do not have what it takes to be a leader.
Can Guide and Manage Teams
This may seem a like a given trait, but this aptitude is often overlooked. Employees who are getting rave testimonials every time they lead a team, and were able to surpass client expectations have the potential to be a leader. Otherwise, how can they be trusted to guide and manage the whole organization if they can’t supervise a small group?
Shows Interest and Care for the company
A lot thinks that when an employee has been with the company for long time, they automatically care and have interest in it. This may not be always the case. To prove they have high potential, they should keenly show interest and care in what the company is up to, its initiatives, mission and vision, and want to see the company to thrive.
Flexibility and Ability to Adapt in a Fast Paced Work Environment
C-level workers are always on the go and hustling on a fast paced setting. High potential employees possess the ability to adapt and compete in this high-pressure environment, and the flexibility to deal with other tasks should unforeseen challenges happen.
Ability to Make and Act on Decisions
Only a select few can make decisions and then execute them flawlessly. The ability to identify the alternatives, choose the right course of action with confidence and vigor, is a sign of a great leader.
Putting It In Action
While skill sets and performance are vital in determining HiPos, put into consideration the above traits. Those who show strength in all of those areas are found to be 11 times more likely to prosper as leaders as compared to those who lack some or all of the aforesaid traits.
Human Resource Managers who reference this list next time they do performance reviews have higher odds of identifying high potential employees that they might have overlooked before.

Author's Bio: 

Founded in September 2011, Coefficients Co. Ltd. is currently headquarted in Lucena City, Quezon Province, Philippines and is one of the province’s leading business process outsourcing of customer interaction and back-office services