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The Cohort Group

How a simple, cost and time effective approach can help you retain and develop your best employees.


Over the past few years, an interesting trend has emerged… The universal need to hold onto and retain top talent. With limited resources and tightening budgetary restraints, employers are faced with a conundrum. They fully understand that their top performers deserve to be developed. They recognize the need to nourish those incredible brains of their top talent but are limited in options due to budgetary restrictions and business need. So how do you do both?  


One solution to consider is to form a cohort group for development: 

  • Identify 16 – 20 high potential employees

  • Have the group go through an abbreviated 4-month leadership development journey 

  • Limit training to one full day per month for a total of 4 months.  


Each day is packed with learning from two, 4-hour instructional blocks on two separate subjects. The beauty of this scenario is that your employees would only be away from their work areas for one day out of the month, yet you are still able to provide them with eight 4-hour blocks of leadership development within a very short period of time. 


So yes, this is cost and time effective, but the true benefit is the effect on the high-potential employees. 


Keeping your high potentials motivated and challenged:

Individuals with this type of skillset have to be set apart from the large employee population and recognized for their talent and achievements. The work ethic of a high potential is not like that of an average employee. High potentials need to be challenged and developed in order to keep them motivated and interested. The cohort option provides them the opportunity to do both.


Creating relationships with others like them:

The cohort group format allows for the high potentials to interact with other employees of their own caliber, forming bonds and socializing opportunities that encourage interaction and allow the members to bounce ideas off one another. 


Safe space to practice and learn from peer coaches:

The cohort group scenario also provides a forum to practice the many concepts learned over the 4-month period as the members tend to reach out to one another regarding pre-work and post-work assignments.


The curriculum for the 4-month, eight workshop journey is always customized for each individual group of high-potentials depending on current training offering and/or the organizational expectations for the participants. A typical 4-month journey may include topics such as emotional intelligence, stress management, time management, corrective counseling, performance appraisals, situational leadership, coaching, etc…


There is one huge benefit from the high-potential cohort group format. When you develop your high-potential employees, the likelihood that they get bored, frustrated, and/or begin looking elsewhere for what they desire goes down dramatically. They are interested, engaged and motivated to go above and beyond for their organization. Not to mention, they are prepared to take on a higher role. 


Still wondering if it’s important to develop your high potentials? Ask yourself the following question: “What if they leave?”and “How hard would it be to replace them?”


At Sharp Leadership Development, developing customized training programs to develop/retain your high potentials is one of many areas we can assist you with in the arena of leadership development. Interested? Visit us a

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