April 13, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

High-Potentials: Spot, Engage & Empower Top Talent for Your Team

5 min read

As a current business leader, one of your responsibilities is to groom the next generation of leaders. It is up to you to assist and encourage the knowledge, skills, style and abilities of potential leaders and prepare them for more challenging roles.

This in itself is a challenging task because securing these high-talent employees is crucial for your firm’s future success.

The first step is to have the appropriate processes in place that assist you in hiring the right candidates from the get-go.

Just as important as a person’s skills and experience is their ability to fit in with the culture of your firm and to work well with the employees that you currently hire. This is particularly crucial in ensuring that people are wanting to take on leadership positions in your firm and are invested in their work in the company.

To ensure that you are able to spot these high performers and give your business a boost, read on to learn the leadership and talent management principles that help you spot, engage and empower top talent for your team.

How to spot?

In a perfect world, every member of your team would be a high-performing, ambitious worker; however, the reality is that this is very rarely the case. Depending on the size of your firm, it can be challenging to distinguish who is a high-potential employee.

Who is going to be able to play a leading role in the future of the firm?

One of the vital signs is when a worker is not just intelligent and hard-working, but also shows signs of genuine and unbridled ambition. Not only do ambitious workers have self-motivation to find ways to improve themselves and operate at their highest ability, but they are also employees who are going to drive your entire company to success.

Due to this ambition, these top talents are able to generate creative ideas and innovation. They will push the company forward because they are continuously looking for ways to innovate or upgrade a process.

If you notice signs of this type of ambition in a worker, then you may have spotted a top talent.

Ask yourself, who routinely puts in the additional effort needed to make things even better? Who usually springs at each chance for professional development? Who is already showing they have a propensity to lead?

Additionally, you want to find someone who chooses to take ownership over work and tasks and who often puts themselves into a position to drive projects. While they may come off as bold, this type of behavior is showing a driven streak for their work.

A top talent employee won’t wait to be told what to do. They think creatively and knowledgeably about ways to get the job done and they build relationships successfully due to their reliable and insightful manner.

While they may often seek direction from you (after all, they have to be able to surrender their ego and ask for help when in unfamiliar territory), they never come just looking for the answer. They want to be a part of the solution.

With the top talent, you can be assured that they won’t solely do what’s required, but that they will go further, as proven by their fantastic work ethic and excellent commitment to perfection.

How to engage?

Once you have spotted a top talent, it is then time to engage them. It is crucial to remember that these employees have been detected as having “potential” to be a leader, and so they are going to need training and nurturing until they fully reach that point.

If you want to maintain the employee’s morale and productivity, it is essential to start engaging with and focusing on the development of the individual as soon as possible. After all, if you don’t communicate to them that you have spotted them for future leadership roles, then they are highly inclined to start searching elsewhere for employment, as top talent are usually aware that they are outperforming their colleagues.

Take advantage of their driven and practical manner and encourage them to examine the opportunities a bit further. Urge them to seek out professional development workshops and other further training.

The most obvious way to engage with these talented individuals is to present them with the opportunity to lead. After all, you are never going to know how they honestly act in a leadership role until you give them the chance to show you.

When presenting them with a leadership role, it is necessary for you to resist micromanaging them and instead trust in their abilities to follow the project through.

By making sure that your business has the appropriate strategies and tools in place to spot and engage these talented individuals, you are committing to a process that, over time, will become more comfortable and an integral part of your business strategy.

How to empower?

After you have engaged the top talent, you also have to find strategies and methods to empower them through their work. The primary key here is to ensure that you are setting them up for success. You don’t want them to fail, both for their sake and yours, as well as for the good of the entire company.

Therefore, make sure that they know you have their back and that you sincerely trust in their capabilities. Never wholly abandon them, but know just enough about what they are doing so that you can balance giving them enough freedom to succeed while also not meddling. Never overlook the power of taking the top team to leadership training opportunities.

Additionally, depending on the industry that your firm operates in, you may have to provide these top talents with the necessary technology required actually to do the job.

How does your firm strive to spot, engage and empower top talent? What strategies have you found that work? Are you having a challenging time attracting and keeping top talent?

Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.