The Six Traits of High Potential Employees

Woman Engineer On Building Site

Workplace Resilience

Regular Wise Seed readers will recall our ongoing advocacy for all humans to develop ‘everyday resilience’ and flourish in the face of adversity.

More recently, we’ve started to explore the interplay between everyday resilience and its role in the often less-than-delightful corporate workplace.  Rest assured that we’ll have more to share on this topic in the future. However, we came across an excellent paper by MacRae and Furnham (1) discussing the traits associated with ‘high potential employees’ that warrants your immediate attention.

What are high-potential employees?

High potential employees (HPE) are talented individuals who achieve significant workplace success in terms of promotion, performance rating, income, and perceived contribution to overall organisational success (2).

The Six Traits of High Potential Employees

Building on earlier research (3), the authors confirmed six recurring personality traits associated with HPE’s.  These are:

1. Conscientiousness – Being self-disciplined, organised, and able to moderate impulsive behaviour.

2. Adjustment – A combination of emotional resilience, orientation to positive thinking, and perceiving the world in an accurate and non-biased way.

3. Competitiveness – A drive for self-improvement alongside a desire for individual and team success.

4. Curiosity – An openness to new ways of completing tasks, novel business ideas, and different opinions.

5. Ambiguity Acceptance ­– Being able to tolerate and adapt to unpredictable environments or uncertain/new situations.

6. Courage – The ability to mitigate negative or threat-based emotions (such as anger and fear) and instead broaden the potential range of emotional responses.

Take Home Message

The authors discovered that Conscientiousness, Adjustment, and Competitiveness are significant predictors of general success at work.

In contrast, the traits Curiosity, Ambiguity Acceptance, and Courage appear to play a larger role in senior management and leadership positions (4).

Please click on the link below to download your free PDF.

Free PDF

The Six Traits Of High Potential Employees

References and Further Reading

1              MacRae, I., & Furnham, A. (2020). A Psychometric Analysis of the High Potential Trait Inventory (HPTI). Psychology, 11, 1125-1140. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2020.118074

2              Ibid.

3              Teodorescu, A., Furnham, A., MacRae, I. (2017). Trait correlates of success at work. Int J Select Assess, 25, 36-42. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijsa.12158

4              MacRae, I., & Furnham, A. (2020). A Psychometric Analysis of the High Potential Trait Inventory (HPTI). Psychology, 11, 1125-1140. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2020.118074

Acknowledgements

Images by Ridofranz and warrengoldswain

Author

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David

David

Dave has a highly successful background in the government, corporate, entrepreneurial, and not for profit sectors. All that aside, Dave is best known as a quiet guy with an unembarrassed love of the mountains, a passion for protecting animals, and as being a great support crew for his wife during her marathon running.

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Disrupted sleep increases anxiety and depression. Yoga Nidra is an effective method that has helped many people overcome insomnia.

Beautiful Woman Running On Treadmill

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