Formal and informal status of high-potential employees

Importance of formal recognition of high-potential employees

The more detailed view of high-potential employees is seen on the illustration. Formally recognised high-potential employees feel more valued then those with more informal status.

In other words, high-potential employees who are formally recognised as such, are more likely to be ready to take more serious assignments and meet challenges. Positive informal feedback doesn't have the same effect.

Formal recognition of high-potential employees makes them feel more valuable. This form of approval means that their actions contribute to the success of their organisations. This motivates them even more.

The dark side of formal recognition

The formal status recognition of high-potential employees has a dark side which has to deal with a pressure. On the one hand, employees are proud that their organisation value what they do. But they also feel the pressure.

The following questions should be asked:

  • Does your organisation admit that high potential employees are under higher pressure than other categories of employees?
  • What measures does your organisation take to provide support for high potential employees?
  • Are these supporting measures, like additional working meetings formal or informal?

If high potentials don't have a formal status, they feel even more pressure. This comes from misalignments in expectations and real situations. When the employee is said they have high potential, but they have no formal status, no additional supports and are assigned more difficult tasks, they might feel manipulated and challenge the sincerity of their managers.

This might fuel their apathy or disappointment.

The business model

An organisation’s business model sits at the heart of its business strategy, and at the centre of the business model sits people.

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