The Keys to Creating an IT Talent Culture

Finding and retaining the right people to do the job is the No. 1 obstacle CIOs face in achieving their objectives, according to the Gartner 2016 CIO Agenda Report. (Funding comes in at No. 2, and culture is No. 3, says the survey of 2,944 CIOs representing $250 billion in IT spending.)

Dan Roberts, president and CEO of Ouellette & Associates Consulting, says that in his 30 years in working with CIOs he has noticed that talent is a centerpiece of organizations with high performing IT cultures. By that he means such companies build IT talent brands, which enable them to attract top talent, and they have processes and strategies in place to continue to engage and retain their top performers.

To help organizations do that, Ouellette & Associates has created the T.A.L.E.N.T. Model. The T stands for transparency and clarity; A is for analytics; L represents learning agility; E equals employee engagement; N has to do with navigating internal mobility; and T emphasizes the importance of building a talent brand.

meetings-1149198_640When he talks about transparency and clarity he’s referring to the need to clearly articulate company values and vision to every member of the organization. That should involve defining and discussing the core competencies the organization values and the end goals.

In terms of analytics, Roberts explains, he suggests organizations provide employees with the ability to assess themselves based on the competencies their employers value most.

That leads us to learning agility. Roberts says enabling learning agility entails an organization not just fostering intellectual curiosity, but taking the extra step of providing a framework that allows for learning, such as in-person or online seminars.

Employee engagement is a term we’re probably all familiar with by now. Indeed, as Roberts reiterates, disconnected employees can cost a business in both customers and dollars, while engaged workers can build customer loyalty and result in better financial results. But how does a company go about engaging its employees? Roberts suggests it start by creating an expectation that all managers meet with their reports quarterly to discuss their professional development, both in terms of how to expand their skills and in terms of where that could take them in the organization.

Navigating internal mobility, of course, ties into that last point. As Roberts notes, top performers will almost certainly move on if they’re not provided with a path for career mobility within their existing organizations.

That takes us to the theme of this article: developing a talent brand. And developing a talent brand is what happens when organizations successfully implement the first of the five above-mentioned steps in the T.A.L.E.N.T. model.

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