While every employee who has the skills and experience to do a job deserves the same opportunity to grow and progress in their career, identifying high potential employees is important. A survey of 45 companies worldwide done by Harvard Business Review indicated that half of the respondents said that their top teams allocate less than 10% of their time to identifying high potential employees and making provisions for their outstanding ability to be developed.
How to Identify High Potential Employees
However, 98% of the companies studied said that they do purposefully identify high potential workers. While organizations have different definitions of this select group of workers, the broad definition is that these are workers who consistently and significantly perform better than their peers in completing the same tasks even when they are done in different settings. Furthermore, these workers are often conscious of the brand or business they represent and their behavior is always exemplary. High potential employees show a strong capacity for growth and success and therefore climb the rungs to higher positions faster.
What to Look For
As a business owner or manager, the following are some specific traits to look for when identifying high potential employees:
There are those who turn up at work to do what they need to do mainly for the paycheck. Then, there is that driven employee who will want to do more than the minimum; they work late and start earlier, have no problem working on the weekend or taking work home with them. They have the drive to do more and do it to the best of their ability.
b) Catalytic Learning Capability
High potential workers have what human resources experts refer to as a catalytic learning capability. Catalytic learning capability is the capacity to come up with new ideas rather than just work with existing methods or systems. When they are taught something, these employees also have the cognitive capability to absorb what they are taught. Additionally, those with this skill can take what they have learned and use it to make business operations more efficient, more profitable or faster.
c) Born Entrepreneurs
High potential workers are trailblazers. They don't have comfort zones when it comes to their job. They are always looking for and coming up with solutions that completely revolutionize the way things are done. These employees are willing to take risks to discover or explore potential solutions and opportunities.
d) Dynamic Sensors
This select group of workers has dynamic sensors that give them the ability to analyze and understand the risks associated with new ideas and possibilities. When an employee has a lot of potential, she has a sort of intuition that gives her the ability to completely grasp ideas. It seems that workers like this just have a knack for being at the right place at the right time.
Tomorrow's Great Leaders
Identifying high potential employees is important and coming up with ways to develop their ability is even more important. They are the ones who make the impossible possible and the undoable a reality. Pay attention to the ones in your organization; they are the ones who will turn things around completely with ground-breaking ideas.