Podcast0EP 55: High Potential Mentoring Programs with Traci Scherck

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High Potential Mentoring Programs

When we have the right processes in place, our people should be able to thrive in their positions. If your staff—whether high level or not—are not exceeding in their positions, it’s so important that we are able to diagnose that problem correctly. So, in this episode, I will be discussing high potential mentoring programs, specifically how we can implement these in our organizations and the benefit of having them in the first place to avoid “people issues” down the line.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • What high potential mentoring is. (2:50)
  • The difference between high potential and high performance—and how to measure this. (4:40)
  • The benefit of having feedback opportunities throughout your program. (9:00)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Make sure your programs have meaning for both staff and leaders. (14:20)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Create your people plan to maximize your business results. (13:50)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“Every business problem is a people problem.” - @TraciLScherck Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Welcome to talent optimization my name is Tracy Scherck and we are chatting today about mentoring, is the topic of our month.

Traci Scherck: And today’s conversation is looking at how do we create mentoring programs for high potentials and, should you.

Traci Scherck: right so as we look at that I really want you to think into your organization and say.

Traci Scherck: What is that business strategy as an organization that we have and what are those key business results that we’re looking to get if we’re not getting them why.

Traci Scherck: here’s the thing every business problem is a people problem, and when we don’t have the right people to go into the management and leadership roles, or those senior specialized positions inside of our organization.

Traci Scherck: We not only have a business problem because we’re not able to meet her business results for the month quarter or year.

Traci Scherck: But we also have a people problem because we don’t have that talent pathway in that pipeline to ensure that we have the right people in the right seats on the right bus inside of your organization.

Traci Scherck: And so, as we talk about this high potential mentoring program today one of the things I just want to chat about first and foremost, is ensuring that we are putting the right solution to what the problem is, and if the problem is.

Traci Scherck: retention in the first 90 days.

Traci Scherck: If that’s your biggest problem, then we want to look at a different type of mentoring program or even orientation and onboarding versus a high potential mentoring Program.

Traci Scherck: So we always want to say what is that problem that we specifically have and then let’s ensure that we have the right solution so there’s times, where we just need a backup and understand the problem first.

Traci Scherck: And we’ve talked a lot of solutions on the podcast and I just wanted to take that second to back up and say, make sure we understand that problem and we’ve diagnose that correctly.

Traci Scherck: And if you need help with that inside your organization, it is something that we can help with the predictive index.

Traci Scherck: And we’ll have different podcast on that later on, but I just wanted to give that qualification first, so what the heck is high potential mentoring.

Traci Scherck: And you know high potential mentoring is really looking at individuals inside your organization, who display the motivation ability and organizational commitment.

Traci Scherck: to rise and succeed in senior positions so that’s the working definition that we have and that specifically you know kind of comes down to they deliver strong results, so they have the credibility.

Traci Scherck: They can master new types of expertise.

Traci Scherck: They recognize that behavior counts right, this is a big one, is what is that behavior and they recognize when it counts their self aware enough to know.

Traci Scherck: Okay, and these situations, I maybe need to back off a bit or I might need to utilize the different type of approach.

Traci Scherck: And they have that X factor so that’s that drive to excel, and that is that that spirit that that dynamic right.

Traci Scherck: Sometimes i’ve heard individuals call this they’ve got this lightning in a bottle and I don’t know where they get it from but that’s exactly what they have right.

Traci Scherck: So that just kind of takes a look at what is high potential mentoring so it’s looking at these individuals and saying how do we get them the support that they need to move into the senior level positions inside of the organization.

Traci Scherck: Now I want to give a caveat here there are potential issues with high potential mentoring programs specifically.

Traci Scherck: You know, when it comes to diversity right, so we want to make sure that we don’t inadvertently discriminate against individuals, by creating these types of programs because guess what the.

Traci Scherck: You know the pathway is not always equal right so in the playing fields, not always equal, so we want to make sure that we definitely pay attention to that.

Traci Scherck: And then we also really want to note the distinction between high potential and high performance and so.

Traci Scherck: there’s a forbes article that notes this one of the main reasons why high potential programs fail, is that they focus too much on.

Traci Scherck: Sometimes exclusively on performance versus on where they can go right.

Traci Scherck: So here’s a couple key notes within that so businesses are usually not very good at measuring performance.

Traci Scherck: And even if they are good at measuring performance many top performers will fail to perform well at the next level right so there’s a big distinction between you have the potential to grow, specifically in your role.

Traci Scherck: And that performance side of it right so just because you have the potential doesn’t mean you’re going to perform.

Traci Scherck: And so we definitely need to track that and ensure that we have some items in place to to ensure clarity and one of the key things we find is.

Traci Scherck: Do we have clarity around the expectations for this individual and Have we given them enough runway on that learning curve to get there, and to get there successfully.

Traci Scherck: And that’s where these high potential programs can become incredibly powerful inside your organization again there may be people that are.

Traci Scherck: Not necessarily considered high potential that have huge career trajectory and we need to make sure that we still create an environment for them to succeed in this doesn’t become some exclusive club right because that can create some issues.

Traci Scherck: And attorney Bob Greg will be joining us next week from he’s with boardman and Clark and he’s going to talk to us about what are all the pitfalls with mentoring program so no that’s on deck.

Traci Scherck: So let me go ahead and go back a second here, so what is high potential mentoring, and these are individuals that show that potential to move into that senior leadership position.

Traci Scherck: And why do we even have high potential program so we talked about the dangers of it right so let’s talk about why we have them.

Traci Scherck: So we have high potential programs because.

Traci Scherck: What what we have found, and this is a gartner research, study shows that high potential employees bring 91% of our value to organizations, the non high potential employees and they exert 21% more effort.

Traci Scherck: They have their peers that’s a huge impact right like that’s something that we want to capture that lightning in a bottle and let’s make it go faster right and let’s make sure it’s fulfilling to those employees that we are serving.

Traci Scherck: And so what’s the impact of high potential mentoring programs one is it improves roll proficiency.

Traci Scherck: that’s why 84% of leaders who received mentoring reported becoming proficient in the roles faster.

Traci Scherck: and leadership coaching that includes those goal setting and feedback has been shown to increase productivity by up to 80% and that’s from a Harvard Business Review study.

Traci Scherck: And that was specifically relating to see you always need more mentoring and what that specifically looks like here’s another reason for mentoring.

Traci Scherck: It gives better job satisfaction and higher confidence levels and more opportunities for growth and this came from a torch article.

Traci Scherck: And so, with That being said, there’s significant research into why high potential mentoring programs are beneficial, we just need to make sure that we ensure that.

Traci Scherck: That outweighs some of those other things, and that this is the right solution to the problem that you have inside your organization, because this is not going to be for every single organization right.

Traci Scherck: So, now that we know what a high potential individual is and we know why we do it let’s chat about what a program looks like right.

Traci Scherck: So one of the key things we want to look at is you know if we’re creating a high potential mentoring program, we need to look at and say what are the results that we want to get from this program again this needs to be aligned with your business strategy and your business results.

Traci Scherck: And so, with that we need to first name that again, this is a part of that people strategies, so we need to make sure that it is the right solution.

Traci Scherck: And it’s important that when we look at that we can specifically name here’s the reason why we do it.

Traci Scherck: here’s how we’re going to set up some feedback mechanisms and ensure that we’re hitting those targets right.

Traci Scherck: So there’s a couple different types of feedback mechanisms that we want to put in place, one is feedback for the employee right, so how we typically do this is we’re going to do a.

Traci Scherck: A survey at the beginning, a survey in the middle of the mentoring program and a survey at the end of the mentoring program a lot of times, these are you know what is your confidence level on a.

Traci Scherck: scale one to five within these key areas that are important to the organization and critical for that next level that the individual is stepping into.

Traci Scherck: The next one, is to get feedback from the mentor right, how was this person on day one, how are they in the middle and how are they at the end with achieving these specific areas right.

Traci Scherck: Because it isn’t an both it’s a trusting relationship between those individuals that we need to ensure.

Traci Scherck: is in place, and then the next one is you know what’s this person promoted right.

Traci Scherck: You know, so if our goal is to promote 10% of the individuals inside of our mentoring programs and that’s a key metric that we want to look at.

Traci Scherck: Or maybe it is with this we specifically want to look at did we bring in more sales did we decrease the number of customer complaints, whatever it is, we want to have some metrics around that.

Traci Scherck: Now, if we go back to some of the pitfalls of mentoring programs, especially for high potentials that distinction between performance and potential as organizations, we do not always do a fantastic job.

Traci Scherck: at being able to measure performance right, so this metric is specifically based on performance, along with based on did we promote this individual so.

Traci Scherck: You know, there may be some clarity that’s needed before we even get to this point about how do we ensure we’re measuring performance accurately inside of our organization and that we have clarity around the expectations for our staff.

Traci Scherck: here’s the positives of really having in place some specifics that allow us to measure the impact of these programs it boost the confidence of the employee and mentor on how far they’ve come.

Traci Scherck: I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that experience, I know I have to look back after a year long program or six month program ago Oh, my goodness, I don’t even recognize myself.

Traci Scherck: You know from that time period, you know, and so I think that that’s something that’s really important and guess what we all want feedback we all will have imposter syndrome, from time to time, and sometimes we just need.

Traci Scherck: Some time that we can have our brain think right and have that person that we can walk through those things with it’s been there and already done that in the organization.

Traci Scherck: One of the other things that’s important when setting up a mentoring program is what is the training that is actually given to the mentors right so that’s incredibly important, because the mentor.

Traci Scherck: is typically an individual that’s been around the block a couple times, but they also need to have some of those leadership traits and training.

Traci Scherck: In order to ensure that they can actually take someone under their wing and effectively mentor them versus just give them what their experience has been so that’s a key piece of the mentoring program that we see a so often missed.

Traci Scherck: is how do we train mentors to be successful and we’re going to hear more about that next week from Bob Gregg.

Traci Scherck: So the next thing I just want to talk about is depending upon the type of program you’re running, we need to figure out how are we going to match our mentors with our mentees.

Traci Scherck: So we’ve already determined these high potential individuals are going to be a part of this mentor program right.

Traci Scherck: So how do we match them is this somebody inside of our organization or we matching them with a mentor from an association so, for example, like a local shorter chapter.

Traci Scherck: Are we matching them from other CEOs in the area or other, you know.

Traci Scherck: types of like businesses in the area, so we just really need to look at who are where’s our mentor pool coming from and how are we matching.

Traci Scherck: And there’s typically three different ways that we match mentors with mentees right The first one is to let employees self select.

Traci Scherck: The second one is to have the program administrator really determine what that is you know and play matchmaker.

Traci Scherck: And then the third is to use a matching survey and algorithms to do that right so there’s different levels of complexity to this and there’s different results that that can get.

Traci Scherck: So as you’re thinking about these mentoring programs just really pay attention to what’s the end outcome that i’m looking to get.

Traci Scherck: The output is that we’re going to be doing a mentoring program how are these individuals, going to be matched, how do we ensure that you know with this matching we pay attention to diversity right we pay attention to opportunities that are given to these individuals.

Traci Scherck: So with That being said, i’m going to shift into our key takeaways for this today.

Traci Scherck: So for CEOs listening in today is, you know, one of the things I really want you to take away is create your people plan to maximize your business results.

Traci Scherck: mentoring programs maximize those business results because they give attention to individuals that are moving through the organization into the positions that you need them to be in.

Traci Scherck: It gives some credibility to them as they’re in that learning curve of that, and then it also gives the ability of the institutional knowledge swap that happens between positions.

Traci Scherck: And the key takeaway for our HR listeners is again that business strategy is so incredibly important, but we want to make sure.

Traci Scherck: That programs have meaning for both the leadership team and staff to ensure that there’s a win, win and that that meets the needs of the organization.

Traci Scherck: The individual and that we can hit our business results with it, because those are all incredibly important.

Traci Scherck: You know, and as we go to close today, you know there’s several different mentoring programs that i’ve been in throughout my career and that we’ve set up in lead.

Traci Scherck: And you know the high potential programs we typically will see you know in larger organizations is internal in smaller organizations, sometimes it is things like the leadership development academies through local chambers and.

Traci Scherck: So, you know that can potentially be some great mentoring as well because it’s introducing individuals through into.

Traci Scherck: Different community leaders and there’s structure to what that specifically is so with That being said, thank you so much for joining us on this episode of challenge optimization.

Traci Scherck: If you are curious about how do you create a mentoring Program.

Traci Scherck: What does that look like we will be launching our hire program in February that will start in March and we’re going to be in that specific program addresses mentoring for new employees coming in and then our inspire program will launch in.

Traci Scherck: March and start an April and that’s really how do we build mentoring programs throughout our organization, how we build talent pathways, how do we build those pipelines and performance management, so if any of that is interesting to you.

Traci Scherck: We will have the links in our show notes and thank you so much for joining us and come back next week, Bob Gregg is going to have so many tips and tricks for us on legally what and what not to do in these programs have an amazing week and we’ll see you next week thanks so much.

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