PROVO, Utah, March 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- What good is potential if you don't live up to it? A new study by experts at VitalSmarts, a leadership training company, shows 70 percent of managers currently have at least one employee, classified as someone with "high-potential" (HIPO), whom they are considering letting go because their performance is unacceptable.
The study of more than 1,000 managers and employees also revealed that, even if they're not considering downsizing their team, 88 percent of managers have at least one HIPO direct report who doesn't live up to his or her HIPO title. Peers were even more discerning, with 96 percent saying they have at least one HIPO teammate who regularly fails to meet performance standards.
So, exactly what characteristics elevate employees from standard contributor to HIPO? According to the managers in the study, there are many. Exceptional ability related to decision-making skills, technical skills, analytical skills, interpersonal/people skills, communication skills, teamwork skills or time-management skills can make a person stand out as a high-potential.
While there are many qualities that set HIPOs apart from their peers, managers attribute their gap in performance to just a handful of factors. The top three reasons managers attribute to their HIPOs falling short include:
According to David Maxfield, New York Times bestselling author, behavioral scientist and expert in workplace productivity, we're seeing this performance gap as HIPOs push their productivity habits to the breaking point.
"These high potentials have been successful," says Maxfield. "They have strong track records that have gotten them to where they are. But often, the productivity practices they've used in the past aren't up to the new challenges they face at work. As a result, tasks and priorities get misplaced, lost or forgotten."
Maxfield's colleague, Justin Hale, productivity expert and training designer at VitalSmarts, says HIPOs suffer from what ails most employees: committing to more work than they have time to complete.
"These days, we're not only expected to do a lot of work but also manage incoming distractions such as emails, texts, sticky notes or a 'drive-bys' from a boss," says Hale. "In this perfect storm, most of us don't know how to quickly reprioritize current projects in context of the new tasks we just agreed to; or if we should change priorities at all."
Respondents agreed. When asked why they think HIPOs get overwhelmed:
Why is this trend so disruptive? Both managers and employees said this performance gap comes with great costs. Nearly half of managers (48 percent) said this gap costs the organization more than $25,000 per low-performing HIPO. They also identified negative impacts to other key metrics with quality and customer relations being most affected.
So how can HIPOs reclaim their lost potential? According to the survey, employees and managers said it was important for HIPOs to learn to say no, ask for help, stay focused on the job at hand and learn how to better manage their time.
Maxfield and Hale provide a few skills failing HIPOs can learn to close the performance gap. They also provide skills for managers to help their HIPOs realize their full potential.
SKILLS FOR HIPOs:
SKILLS FOR MANAGERS:
Note to Editor: Maxfield and Hale are available for interviews. An infographic of the research is also available.
About VitalSmarts: Named one of the Top 20 Leadership Training Companies, VitalSmarts is home to the award-winning Crucial Conversations®, Crucial Accountability®, Getting Things Done®, and Influencer Training® and New York Timesbestselling books of the same titles. VitalSmarts has consulted with more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies and trained more than 2 million people worldwide. www.vitalsmarts.com