How to nurture HiPo’s to benefit your business

High potential employees or HiPo's

High potential employees or HiPo's can increase the value of a business. You are able to recognise HiPo's through their work ethic and performance, their ability to lead and their confidence when they are challenged.

They are able to outperform their peers, learn quickly, are reliable and can work well under pressure while needing minimal supervision. They can be a huge asset, but it is important to nurture them to ensure that they do reach their potential.

Nurturing HiPo's

Once you have identified HiPo's in your business, you need to remind yourself that these individuals are not fully-fledged leaders, ready to step into a leadership role just yet. They will need your help and support to get them to the right level.

Coaching will help them to develop personally and training – both onsite and offsite – will ensure they have the right skills. The most beneficial training is dealing with real-life scenarios, but make sure it's not too much, too soon.

Reducing risk

SHL's eBook – Beyond the HiPo hype – talks about reducing risk in your HiPo program. It explains how you can assess the three most important attributes of any HiPo: aspiration, ability and engagement to identify the high potential employees you have, but also to help you avoid the most common risks.

The main risks are:

  • They won't rise to a senior position, as expected.
  • If they rise to a senior position, they won't be able to handle the challenges associated with the role.
  • They will leave the company and join a competitor.

Benefits of a successful program

Investing in the success of your HiPo's, means you are investing in the future of the company as a whole. They represent the future leaders, so it's worth your while to identify, develop and invest in employees with exceptional aspirations, rare abilities and greater engagement. The result will be the next generation of leaders within your organisation will be equipped to boost performance, foster innovation, and maximise growth.

What are you doing with your HiPo's? What successes have you had? If you have stories to share, I'd love to hear them, email me on

You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professional's specialist here.

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