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Managing High Potential Employees: 9 Derailers To Watch For

High-potential employees are your company’s future, and in today’s tight labor market, you can’t afford to lose a single one of them. But here’s the challenge: High potential employees are more likely to leave than average employees. In fact, high potentials typically only stay with a company for about two years.

If you can improve your ability to retain and manage high potentials, you’ll benefit from solid business growth and strong performance in the market. If you can’t, then all your energy (and dollars) will be spent replacing good employees.

Being a high potential employee doesn’t mean there’s an easy road ahead.

These employees haven’t proven themselves yet—hence, why they’re called “high potential”—and they will face many challenges as they grow in their careers.

To better manage your high potential employees and help accelerate their development, watch for these potential derailers:

1. Appears stressed, overworked, or beginning to burnout.

2. Resisting change. If the person has been successful a certain way, change may look like a platform for failure.

3. Blaming others for their mistakes or failures. They don’t want to look bad because they know other people’s expectations of them are high.

4. Taking on all the work themselves because that’s what’s made them successful so far. They’re used to being independent and taking the initiative.

5. Lacks trust in his or her team. They’ve been recognized for their work and dedication, and they don’t want to let that go.

6. Spends most of their time completing tasks versus thinking strategically about ways to improve the business.

7. Lacks important knowledge about other functional areas and/or the long-term goals of the organization.

8. Doesn’t seek out opportunities to connect with others, or is unable to effectively engage and influence their superiors.

9. Lacks visibility across the organization.

The people closest to your high potentials—and most likely to spot these derailers—are your organization’s managers. How confident are they that they can mitigate these derailing behaviors? According to a recent poll, only 6 % said “extremely confident.”

Managers have a huge influence on the career trajectory of your high potential employees. For insight on how to equip them to be better coaches, as well as strategies for retaining high potential employees, watch out webinar on-demand: How to Get the Most Out of Your High Potentials

 

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