HiPo Programs 101: Building Blocks for Success

2024 | 06 | 27

By investing in high-potential programs, you are not only preparing for the future but also fostering a culture of growth and excellence within your organization. Don't wait—start building your talent pipeline today!

In today’s competitive business landscape, identifying and nurturing high-potential employees (HiPos) is crucial for sustainable growth and innovation. High-potential programs are designed to recognize, develop, and retain employees who demonstrate exceptional potential for key positions and future leadership roles. In this article, we will delve into what HiPo programs are, their benefits, and the four critical stages of implementation.

What is a HIPo Program?

A HiPo program is a strategic initiative within an organization aimed at identifying and developing employees with the potential to assume key roles and leadership positions in the future. These programs are essential for building a robust talent pipeline, ensuring that the organization remains agile and prepared for future challenges.

Benefits of HIPO Programs

There are widespread advantages of effective High-Potential programs for both employees and organizations alike. Here are a few examples:

1. Retention of top talent: Investing in employee development reduces turnover and retains valuable talent. According to Harvard Business Review, “Employees with access to the professional development opportunities given to HIPos have 34% higher retention than those who do not.”

2. Improved organizational performance: Cultivating leadership talent leads to better decision-making and improved business outcomes.

3. Enhanced leadership pipeline: HiPo programs ensure a steady supply of capable leaders ready to step into critical roles as needed.

4. Increased employee engagement: Recognizing and developing high-potential employees boosts morale and motivation across the organization. According to DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast, employees who have been notified of their HiPo status are more likely to commit energy to growth and development opportunities and more engaged.

5. Diversity & inclusion: HiPo programs are an opportunity to support the growth of diverse talent.

The four stages of implementing a HiPo program

Step 1: Define what is potential

The first step in implementing a HiPo program is to define what potential looks like within your organization. Potential can be assessed based on various criteria, including leadership qualities, behaviors, motivation and drive for results. It’s important to establish clear, measurable criteria that align with your organization’s strategic goals and culture.

Step 2: Review and assess existing talent

Once potential is defined, the next step is to review and assess the existing talent pool. This involves using a combination of performance data, manager assessments, peer reviews, and self-assessments to identify employees who meet the established criteria. Tools like 360-degree feedback and psychometric assessments can provide valuable insights into an employee’s potential. SuccessFinder is a behavioral test that reveals people’s natural preferences with remarkable detail and nuance. Learn more about SuccessFinder assessment.

Step 3: Support Development

After identifying high-potential employees, the focus shifts to their development. This stage involves creating personalized development plans that include training, mentoring, coaching, and stretch assignments. Providing opportunities for HiPos to work on cross-functional projects, attend leadership workshops, and receive regular feedback is crucial for their growth. An important component of high-impact development plans is to make your high potential talents more self-aware of their strengths, development opportunities and barriers to their growth that might get in their way. When development plans are anchored in a true understanding of someone’s unique profile, you increase the likelihood of having employees invested in their development journey and truly work on their behavior agility.

Step 4: Measure and Track Progress

The final stage is to measure and track the progress of your high-potential employees. Regularly reviewing their development plans, performance metrics, and feedback helps ensure they are on the right track. Key metrics to track include performance improvement, engagement levels, promotion rates, and retention rates. For a comprehensive list of metrics to track throughout your HiPo program, refer to this article.

Ready to get started?

Implementing a successful HiPo program can be transformative for your organization. Our experts are here to help you get started with a clear view of your workforce and behavioral insights to help you design and execute a tailored HiPo strategy that aligns with your business goals. Book a demo with us today and discover how we can help you unlock the full potential of your employees and drive your organization forward.

Keep your high-potentials development efforts on track. Discover key considerations and questions for each essential stages of your High-Potential program.

Download now