How do we engage the “high potential employee?”

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The true potential of an employee can only be perceived at the hiring stage. When an organization or an HR firm conducts interviews, it uses its list of requirements along with its observation and analytical faculties to judge whether the candidate is a suitable one or not. But what happens if the talent so acquired is mismanaged and his/her true potential is not harnessed by an organization? Even the most talented employee turns out to be an underperforming asset. Principal at the Center for Human Capital, Allan Schweyer, has said that employees are a core corporate asset, which must be carefully managed just like all other assets. In fact, they require closer attention because they, unlike machines, cannot be treated in a uniform manner at all times. Schweyer also goes on to say that strategic thinking is required to decide how an organization must invest in human capital and how their performances must be measured and optimized.

The words have flown out, but figuring out how to optimize and measure its return has been a major concern in today’s corporate scenario for managing the talent. It is a thought that may be quiet old, but which will always have value, irrespective of the type and size of the organization.

It’s just like many companies putting a lot of effort in recruiting but doing very little to through talent management and talent development.

What can we think about in today’s time for engaging the “High Potential Employee?”

Starting from shifting the focus of HR from “talent management” to “managing talent”-

There is always a placard of TALENT MANAGEMENT in every organization, but are they really managing the talent? Some have an ill-conceived notion that talent management is an inherent skill that one must be born with. In fact, this is a skill that can be learned and developed. Just like a person grows from strength to strength in an organization based on the skills he/she hones in the company, similarly, one can improve on this skill. Talent management is not about being a yes-man or being socially significant. It stems from a belief that having better talent in all levels of professional hierarchy will enable the company to surpass its competitors’ performances.

Perhaps ‘Give them high-visibility assignments’-

A simple way of managing talent is to make them feel important by assigning more vital tasks to them. This improves an employee’s self-esteem and the company benefits from the job getting done and a more enthusiastic employee in the organization. Other methods would be to let the employee multi-task, swap his/her positions for some time, provide regular coaching to them and come up with other activities, which require them to utilize the knowledge they gain with experience.

We can ‘Pair them with effective mentors’-

This tool can be a great retention approach. Amentoring initiative can not only lead to higher retention, but also attract new talent by demonstrating the company’s commitment to professional development through mentoring.

Free channels communication

Just like a successful conversation is possible with both people willing to listen and speak, it is possible to have a seamless and tension-free system of communication in an organization if the channels of communication at all levels are open. All employees should be aware of what options they have when it comes to communication with their immediate superior. This should be available not only to flag issues, but also highlight the outstanding performances of an employee. At times, positive mass communication works much better than individual emails to drive the point home.

Investing in their ‘learning and development’-

Coming up with innovative and interactive means of training the employees is a popular mantra for many organizations now. Employees have mostly had enough of the classroom lectures and they are now ready to learn more in a different way. Of course, the company’s objectives should be met with at the end of the session, but thinking out of the box certainly pays well – you improve a person’s knowledge without making it a regular grind of the mill. For example, you can blend technical training with personal development.

Let’s ‘Measure Progress Often’ – ‘Not Annually’-

Another motivational factor for the development! Rewarding, appreciating and recognizing it often will only make it more meaningful and complete cycle of development.

Measuring an employee’s performance as an active interest rather than a mandatory chore makes the work interesting for you and not a mundane routine. Every organization should have adequate time and supplies invested in reviewing their employees’ performances. Also, finding out what their additional competencies would help when internal job posting makes rounds in an organization.

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