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How to manage Hi-Po's (High Potentials)?

 In almost every organization, you can find a group of people who are high achievers, and often thought to be the leaders of the future. These are people who are critical for the success of your business, given their expertise, creativity and productivity. They are also those who expect long term developmental opportunities from the organization, in order to ensure that they stay. Managing these high potentials or Hi-Po's can be quite intimidating and difficult, unless you know what makes them stay. Here are some tips on how you can manage this group of people and retain them for your future success.

  • Challenging work experience: Most high potentials or Hi-Po's are known for their need to be in challenging situations at work. Challenges at work will help develop their expertise and take it to the next level. It is important that they work with the experts in their field to ensure consistent growth and development. They should be given different kinds of problems to solve, which will intrigue them and keep them motivated enough to stay.

  • Respect and recognition: High Potentials or Hi-Po's need to be recognized and respected for their expertise as well as their contribution towards the success of the company. It is important that they are involved in activities and tasks that allow them to display their potential to the fullest while also being rewarded and recognized for the same. Such people usually have a desire to see their contribution and its impact. It is essential to understand that these are intrinsically motivated people who need to know that their investment into their education is paying off.

  • Freedom and long term perspective: It is important that people with a high potential are involved in long term developmental projects. These are projects, which will help them become creative. Additionally, the consistency and constancy that is available in a long term project helps keep them motivated, which is absolutely essential when managing them or retaining them. It is equally crucial to give them the freedom to experiment and try new things without falling into any kind of bureaucratic problems. When both these aspects are found in their jobs as well as the organizations offering them, they tend to stay in their jobs. However, if there is no such long term perspective or freedom in the way they do their jobs, they tend to move on.

  • Supportive relationships: Another factor, which is very important in managing high potentials or Hi-Po's, is that they are always on the lookout for supportive relationships, whether from their seniors or their peers. If they are at a high position in the organization, it is important that they are involved in strategic planning activities, within their own field of expertise.

  • Managing performance: Often it is seen that managers who have persons with a high potential working under them are not adequately equipped to deal with the task of managing their performance. It is important to set up a system, where managers can assess achievements while also understanding issues and challenges to recognize what good performance is, with respect to these specialists. It is important to set up systems and link them with other experts in the field to ensure that these people are given the best opportunities and assessments. 

With the help of these basic factors, it is possible to understand and manage high potentials or Hi-Po's easily.

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