Once a HiPo, always a HiPo?

photo: pixabay.com

Today, when organizations are fighting the war for talents and unemployment rate is at an all-time low in many countries, organizations are struggling with different people related topics. Though I can name different topics that are on the table of many employers, we know that the greatest challenge that employers are facing is Employee Engagement.  Especially, how to keep your people engaged and engage those that are disengaged. But should organizations focus on all employees and try to engage all of their people or should they focus on some specific group?

Well, that is definitely a great question with no one right answer. Yes, of course, employers should take care for all of their people, we know that employee turnover is really expensive for organizations and up to some point it is definitely worth do avoid that. But. Yes, there is again a but. In all organizations, there are high performers (a.k.a. high potentials) and there are low performers.

HiPo’s contribute 21% higher performance, 50% more value than core employees, and are 3X more likely to succeed as future leaders. So, should they be treated the same way as low performers? When we are talking about talents and HiPo’s in organizations then according to Gallup this is what we must bear in our mind:

– Truly talented people are rare.

– They are the most expensive to replace.

– They may take other high performers with them if they leave.

– They are the easiest to engage.

– And they are the quickest to leave if they are disengaged.

The same has been found in research conducted by Jean Martin and Conrad Schmidt, who found that under normal circumstances, high potentials put in 20% more effort than other employees in the same roles.

In case HiPo’s are so valuable to an organization then what could employers do to keep them engaged? Here is what I would recommend:

create a program for your high performers to develop them. According to this AON report, this is something that attracts and engages them. They do not want to listen to empty promises; they want to see the actions. “High performers need to see the development opportunities, not just hear about them. Without this line of sight, high performers may get frustrated and leave.“

– offer them new career opportunities in your organization. For instance, you can motivate your HiPo’s with a new, exciting and challenging task that makes them go the extra mile or you can promote them to the new challenging role. According to the beforementioned AON report, HiPo’s were roughly three times as likely to leave if they had poor perceptions of career opportunities.

praise them for great work done. Everyone wants to be noticed and recognized for their contribution and achievements, and so do HiPo’s. Even if they know how valuable they are for you and for your organization they still want to get feedback from you. If their work goes unnoticed they will be disappointed with that and might leave your organization.

listen to them. Talk to them and listen to what they have to say. They are the people whom your organization needs to perform so well so definitely do not underestimate what they have to say. Organize think tanks or Thank God it’s Friday meetings, as done in Google (though I do not think that this the best name for such meeting).

– offer them fair compensation and benefits. Money definitely isn’t the only reason why they are so great at what they are doing, but it is important. In case they are not paid fairly for their contribution they definitely will get disengaged and starting to look for new challenges outside of your organization.

There are actually a plenty of ways what organizations can do to engage their HiPo’s and to create a happy workplace. In case you want to learn more about them then have a look at different ideas in here.

Let me know what do you do in your organization to engage your HiPo’s!


Sources used in this post:




Click to access Engaging_and_Retaining_Top_Performers.pdf




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