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[Excerpt] The average firm spends 27% of its learning and development budget on its high-potential (HiPo) programs, and two-thirds of companies divert budget away from other talent investments to fund HiPo initiatives. Companies believe in the value of HiPos and are thus heavily investing in them, however many are struggling to generate a return on investment. In fact, research from the Corporate Executive Board shows that 73% of HiPo programs show no return on investment. Bleak ROIs are resulting in some companies reevaluating their strategies for these formal programs or considering de-investing in these programs altogether. Prior to de-investing it’s essential to weigh the options of modifying the program in place versus reallocating the budget for investments in alternative talent development practices.


Suggested Citation
Fitzpatrick, S., & Tao, J. (2017). What is the payoff of HiPo programs, and are companies de-investing in them? Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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Copyright held by the authors.