Leadership Development Plan: HR’s Guide to Identifying Gen Z HiPos

By XINNIX | August 1, 2022 | Leadership

When we talk about ideal members in the workplace, we’re referring to high-potential employees (HiPos). These are people who have exceptional ability, focus and the motivation to exceed expectations in senior or significant roles.

In Gen Z, numerous HiPos await to become critical assets for a lucky company. You just need the right leadership development plan to help you find them.

A Deeper Dive Into the Preferences of Gen Z Employees

Before we even start leadership development planning, we must first understand who Gen Z is in the workplace.

Who Is Gen Z?

Gen Z consists of anyone born between 1997-2012, which means this generation is aged between 10-25 years old. Gen Z strongly values:

  • Care for their own health.
  • Support for human rights and equality.
  • Expression of individualism.

Gen Z has changed the way a traditional lifestyle is understood. For instance, in past generations, many prioritized graduating college, getting married and having kids by 33 years old. With Gen Z, however, their lifestyle is more fluid and individualistic. Their passion and self-confidence are now entering the workforce and you need to know what qualities to look for in a HiPo to create the best team possible.

What Does Gen Z Look for in the Workplace?

Gen Z prioritizes innovation and self-expression through their work. They also look for the following:


Gen Z tends to value great benefits and perks to make their jobs and personal lives stable. Gen Zers also prioritize job security, which is influenced by the fact that they grew up during the 2008 recession.

Opportunity To Grow

Gen Zers are very competitive and eager to prove themselves. When looking for their ideal job, they look for ample opportunities to scale upward within a company. They also thrive when they are provided with the right tools to succeed.


One luxury Gen Z highly values is flexibility with their schedule. Because they focus on balancing emotional, mental and physical health, they prioritize open-ended schedules. This allows them to optimize their work and personal lives to maximize their efficiency.

How To Identify HiPos? Don’t Risk Overlooking Them

The main reason many miss out on finding HiPos is because they overlook or dismiss certain traits. Not every employee learns or works in the same way, but high potential takes form in many ways. Flexibility and the ability to find key traits are crucial to a strong leadership development plan and for locating Gen Z HiPos.

How Do You Identify a High Performing Gen Z Employee?

During your leadership development planning, you should list the following as ideal traits to look for in high-potential Gen Z employees:

  • Capacity and willingness to learn new concepts.
  • Drive and initiative to take on new challenges.
  • Aspiration and motivation to exceed expectations.

Access this toolkit, "Building a Culture of Excellence", complete with helpful  proven strategies that support the four vital steps in driving engagement with  your employees to lead to a culture of excellence.

How To Transform Your HiPo Employee Into One of Your Top Performers

Finding a Gen Z HiPo doesn’t only happen in the hiring process. In fact, you may have a HiPo in your organization without knowing it! We’ve given you the traits to look for, but here’s our leadership development plan for HR to create transformational leaders out of your HiPos:

  • Encourage your high-potential employees to realize their own ambitions and true selves.
  • Use actionable data to instill desirable behavior, manage expectations and understand biases.
  • Streamline and prioritize orientation between management and employees.
  • Present potential future growth opportunities as your company evolves and expands.
  • Discover new ways to maximize strengths and work on weaknesses through promotions for your team.

Looking To Create a Culture of High Performance?

Finding HiPos is a great leadership development plan to implement, but transforming your team into HiPos is even more rewarding and efficient.

At XINNIX®, The Academy of Excellence, we’ve created a guide to help you extract the most potential out of your team to make them HiPos that will be cornerstones for your organization for years to come. 

Don’t just stop at identifying and training your high-potential employees. Focus on creating a culture for success! Download our free eBook to learn how.

Build a Culture of Excellence