Are You Driving Your HIPOs Away?


According to Sean Dineen, Principal Consultant, Right Management, there are three sure-fire ways to drive High Potential Talent (HIPOs) away from your organization:

·         keep their value a secret,

·         assume that every high performer wants to be a leader, and

·         let them develop on their own.

Even organizations that have a well-defined succession planning process and a sophisticated management development program can fail HIPOs. Usually HIPOs are taken for granted because they perform at optimum levels consistently. It becomes the new norm for them to perform so well. Has anyone told them that they are valuable to the organization?

Sometimes organizations just assume that the HIPO wants to be in leadership. It is imperative that an open discussion be held to find out what their passions and career aspirations are. Best to find out early rather than after the company has invested time and money.

The majority of organizations do not have a systematic way to develop high performers. It can be risky to just let employees find their own ways to develop. When high-potentials’ careers are not managed systematically, they may lose faith in the company and pursue their careers elsewhere.

The most important thing that an organization can do is to develop their managers’ coaching skills. If the manager knows how to forge a partnership with HIPOs, inspire commitment, and provide valuable feedback along the way, HIPOs are more likely to stay. Remember that effective coaches are developed, not born.