Connect The Dots

Organizations may also use an assessment center to evaluate HiPos by putting them through higher-level scenarios to see how they perform. Once they have been assessed and their strengths as well as their areas for development have been identified, the organization builds its talent pool. This is done by creating an individual development plan (IDP) with each HiPo. These plans are designed to take the information gathered and develop a plan to help employees achieve their professional goals over the next several years.

The IDP details several elements:

1. The potential jobs the employee wants that are realistically achievable in the established timeframe (i.e., 2 to 3 years rather than 10 years)

2. A timeline to determine when the employee might move to the next level

3. The competency gap between where the employee currently is and the competencies needed at the next level

4. Measurable learning objectives

5. Strategies and resources needed to accomplish these objectives

6. Identified means of collecting evidence of accomplishment and a method for tracking.

Building the talent pool improves the quality of employees internally. However, there are both positive and negative aspects of developing and hiring within. Building from within can improve employee morale because employees see that they are being groomed for a higher level in the organization; the agency is hiring a “known quantity”; and institutional knowledge is retained.

On the other hand, there are downsides to developing and hiring within:

1. Sometimes it makes people feel there is a guarantee they will be hired for a higher-level position.

2. Internal competition among staff can escalate and must be monitored.

3. There is a heavy load on training and development.

4. Those not involved in the talent pool may need more nurturing.

Understanding these issues and controlling them can diminish their impact on the agency and staff.

Facilitating Development Opportunities

There are several different development opportunities an organization may provide, such as lunch-and-learn programs, in which the employees build knowledge and common understanding. There are also many leadership conferences and classes to which organizations can send employees.

Another choice is establishing a mentoring program. This can be a one-on-one program or a group program; it can also be peer-mentoring between employees of the same level or supervisory-mentoring between a supervisor and a respective subordinate.

Many different avenues may be taken, but it is important for the organization to initially understand individual learning styles–some employees respond better to a conference, while others learn more efficiently using a mentoring program. It is up to the organization to understand its employees’ learning styles and select the program that will be most effective.

After completing these steps, an organization should be better prepared for the future loss of upper- and middle-level employees, and be able to move on seamlessly with a small learning curve.

Work cited:

Rothwell, W. J. (2005). Effective Succession Planning. New York: Amacom.


Dane Boudreau is a graduate student at Illinois State University.

Amy R. Hurd, Ph.D., CPRP, is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology & Recreation at Illinois State University. She can be reached at (309) 438-5557, or via e-mail at

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

Related posts:

  1. External Mentorship
  2. 7 Secrets of Successful Succession Planning
  3. The “I Don’t Have Time To Succession Plan” Plan
  4. Thirsting For Knowledge
  5. Want To Become A Better Manager?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.

  • Columns
  • Departments