Four reasons to invest in a high potential program

Most of you would likely agree that developing top talent is critical to a company’s survival. A high potential program does just that – it invests in the development of employees to create a talent pool for future leadership roles.

At Faith Technologies, we recognize the value a high potential program can bring; that’s why we implemented our own program several years ago.

Are you wondering if a high potential program makes sense for your organization? Here are four specific reasons why every organization should consider investing in one:

1. It’s the key to succession planning. If an organization wants to maintain growth and competitive advantage, it can’t afford NOT to implement a formal program for internal high-potential development. As baby boomers retire, the demand for leaders of tomorrow is rapidly outpacing the supply. This results in a strong need to promote people at younger ages. A high potential program can help combat this issue and accelerates the development of its leaders. At Faith Technologies, approximately 30 percent of our participants have been promoted into leadership roles within three years as a direct result of their involvement in our high potential program — a clear indication of the positive impact this program is having on our succession planning efforts.

2. It positively impacts business performance. By offering a comprehensive high potential program, we are being innovative, progressive and forward in our thinking. By being forward-thinking or staying innovative, we are able to position ourselves for greater business performance because we are doing some things that set us apart from our peers. This gives us the opportunity to bring in and retain top talent. While deploying a comprehensive high potential program is not a guarantee of success, it does provide identified talent with access to, and time for, learning new skills in a consistent and cost-effective manner, which positively affects the bottom line.

3. Employees are more committed and engaged. When the organization invests in talent, employees feel more closely tied to the organization and the work – whether out of loyalty, gratitude, or intrinsic feelings of connection. At Faith Technologies, we often see this reflected in participants’ comments about their participation in our own high potential program. As one of Faith Technologies’ high potential participants articulated, “I want to express my appreciation for being a part of the program. It makes me feel that all of my efforts and hard work are not only noticed, but appreciated.” Furthermore, being part of a high potential program, employees have a picture of where they are going and an understanding of next steps in terms of development, experience and movement. Both of these things lead to a greater sense of commitment and engagement. Greater levels of commitment mean talent is more likely to stay with the organization, and greater engagement means talent is more likely to be energized, satisfied and productive in its work.

Matt Jones, keynote speaker at Faith Technologies’ 2014 high potential event.

4. High potentials help develop others. While high potentials are the recipients of increased opportunities and investment, they also help develop talent in the organization. Many actively identify and develop potential in others. They have insight and experience that is needed for developing the next layer of high potentials, as well as the larger talent pool. Because of the influence that high potentials possess, they can play a significant role in identifying and developing the organization’s next generation of future leaders.

Have the courage to identify and invest in your high potential talent, and you will prepare your organization for future success.

Organizational learning and development consultant Kristi Millhiser addresses participants in the high potential event.

Jill Hermans is director of learning and development for Menasha-based Faith Technologies Inc.

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