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How to Successfully Identify High Potential Employees - Dale Carnegie of Orange County

How to Successfully Identify High Potential Employees


Your high potential employees are your business’ security for future success. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle to effectively identify, develop, and retain high-potential talent in their organizations. This makes it difficult for the organization to continue to grow.

In this article, we will provide three high-level evaluations, so you don’t wait for high-potentials to emerge; you have the ability to identify them.

3 Methods to Identify High Potential Employees

When you review your top performers in the following three areas, you will better understand who is best suited for growing responsibility. Once you have done this, you have the ability to provide them with the right amount of training needed to make them successful in future roles.

1. Review Top Initiatives: Why Did They Do It

When you are reviewing your high-potential employee’s track record of initiatives, it’s critical to look not only at what they accomplished, but how they accomplished it. Determine if their initiatives align with your organizational values. For instance, ask yourself if this person embodies the mission and vision you have for the company.

2. Review Their Attributes: What Is Their Work Style

Some employees may be among the top performers but achieve without collaboration or sometimes at the cost of others. While this may not be an issue right now, this type of attitude will catch up to the employee as their responsibility grows. It is important that you don’t just consider their current performance, but ask yourself if the employee has the right attitude and work style to be a future leader. If you’re only looking at the results, you may miss some key attributes a high potential needs.

3. Review Their Growth: How Are They Changing Overtime

Organizational leadership should establish an individual development plan (IDP) for each employee to successfully identify high-potentials. The IDP finds the gap between what the individual does now and what he or she must do. As a result, the plan gives them to tools to better function at higher levels of responsibility. Think of the IDP as a learning contract. Encourage your leadership to build out IDPs with their high-potentials so you can see their growth over time.

Note: Action items on the IDP may include training courses inside the organization, external seminars or conferences, internal job rotation experiences, and many other competency-building efforts. To learn more about the IDP, we encourage you to enroll in our Developing High Potential Leadership course.

How Dale Carnegie Can Help

Dale Carnegie has proven training techniques that give organizations real transformation. By providing tailored professional development and training solutions in the core areas of Leadership, Presentations, Interpersonal Skills, Team Building, Sales and Customer Service, Dale Carnegie is able to develop your future generation of leaders. Training is primarily delivered through corporate solutions and public programs. Additionally, we also have some live-online workshops to match every person’s learning style, schedule, and location.

Learn more about our leadership development programs by visiting our website.

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