“Is Focusing on High Potentials a Blessing or a Blunder?,” a terrific article that our friend and training colleague Brad Federman recently posted on his F&H Solutions Group Blog, explores an issue that all professional trainers should be thinking about.
Brad correctly observes that some companies place almost exclusive emphasis on singling out and training high-potential employees, or “HIPOs.” Other companies, he points out, train a larger selection of employees.
Which Approach is Better?
Brad believes that the better choice is to deliver training not just to a select group of employees, but to many. And we agree with him. When an organization takes that approach, it enjoys many benefits. Here are some that Brad points out . . .
- The company dispels any impressions of favoritism.
- Thanks to training, many employees will demonstrate the drive and abilities to develop into HIPOs.
- Studies have shown that employees in many organizations feel that they have talents that go unnoticed. When you train employees and discover their abilities, you go a long way toward eliminating that problem.
Conversely, Some Employers Hesitate to Train High-Potential Employees
Brad points out that some companies hesitate to train HIPOs in the belief that if they do, those high-potential employees will be more apt to leave the company sooner.
How is that for illogical thinking? What sense could it ever make to refuse to train employees so that they under-perform and stay around forever?
“In my personal opinion,” Brad writes, “it is far better to train your workforce and lose a few employees than to keep a mediocre staff.”
We agree with that thinking. We, like Brad Federman, believe in the power of training to unlock the full potential in any group of employees. It would be hard for us to think of a single time when good training turned out to be a mistake. Can you?