Organizations have a large stake in the effective management of
high-potential employees' careers. Organizations
can be managed in ways that help these employees more successfully
meet their own career objectives, while at the same time contribute
to organizational effectiveness.
Traditionally, many organizations did nothing to facilitate employees'
careers, assuming that "the cream would naturally rise to
the top." Whereas this approach to career development may
have worked in the past, it is no longer an acceptable model to
follow in today's organizations, especially for high potential
employees, who may leave if they feel their career is approaching
a dead end.
There are several approaches to identifying and developing high-potential
employees. Many programs focus on selecting employees with high
potential for key jobs and then carefully managing their development
through on-the-job experiences and enrichment training.
We typically recommend that high potential identification be
accomplished through the use of a formal assessment
center, in which candidates demonstrate their skill levels
in specially designed simulations reflecting key job demands.
Alternatively, candidates can be identified through a 360-degree
feedback process, which is often combined with a candidate
referral process. Once selected, high-potentials should be rotated
through positions in order to develop critical skills, maintain
optimal challenge and continuous learning.