Even if you are in the position of being able to say that every single person in your organisation is fantastic, it’s likely that there are a few employees who really
stand out.

These are the employees who excel at their jobs, outperforming their peers. You see them modelling and teaching successful winning behaviours. They are people simply fizzing  with potential and heading towards leadership and affecting business success. This cohort is what is commonly called High Potential Talent.  

Understanding who your High Potential Talent are, and how you are going to continue supporting them is so important. Your goal should be to keep them engaged, and IN your business.

When you are building a Leadership and Career Development Strategy for your workforce, it’s important you take into account those talented individuals who have the potential to really add value to your business.  

Here are some tips to consider when looking at your Leadership and/or Career Development Strategy:

Identify your talent

First up, identifying talent is the key to initiating your plan. While you may have a sense of who these individuals are, data and feedback will provide your confirmation. Reviewing performance appraisals and speaking to key leaders are two places to start.


Tell your High Potential Talent that they are your high performers! It’s both flattering and supportive, and will help keep your talented workers engaged. Share your plans with them and get their feedback, ensuring you’re on the same page in terms of their development.


Have a think about when your ‘High Potentials’ will be ready to take the next step in their career. How many roles do they need to move through, to ultimately be the successful candidate for their dream role when the time comes?


What training do your High Potential people need to complete to ensure they are ready for their next step when the opportunity arises? This might be formal internal or external training, or it may even be informal learning from colleagues or internal mentors.

Build a plan

Once you have collated the above essential information, put it all in a plan. Present it to your key stakeholders (if required) and set key dates for review throughout the year. Having a master plan that cascades down to individual plans for your High Potentials will enable tracking of success, and preparation for the individual’s development.

Move your talent around

If it’s possible in your business, it will be highly beneficial for both your employees and the business to move your High Potentials around into different roles within your organisation. This is a great way to reduces silos, challenge comfort zones and promote continuous improvement.


Putting a plan into action for your high potential employees is invaluable for retention, as well as helping your employees to achieve their very best at work.  At the same time it’s also great for your employment brand, demonstrating to the candidate market that you don’t mess around when it comes to your people, their development and the planning for their future.

The People Place can help your business with a Leadership Development strategy. Please do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how we can assist, you can phone us on +64 9 300 7224 or email hello@thepeopleplace.co.nz.