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Evaluating IT Talent: What It Takes to Deliver a Competitive Advantage

Posted 10-10-2012 Print

Wells Fargo Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Rhein reveals how the company goes about exploring partnerships and the characteristics of talented team members.

What the Organization Can Do

I've described a lot of characteristics we expect from IT talent, but the organization has a role to play, too. Here are some of the ways Wells Fargo nurtures team member engagement:

1.    Recognition. Organizations need to cultivate open, positive cultures with regular recognition for great work.

2.    Growth and development. Ongoing learning and development opportunities are important to technologists who value training as much as compensation. It's also important to have performance discussions on a regular basis. We expect managers to have at least two performance discussions a year with team members.

3.    Diversity and inclusion. I talked about the importance of personal diversity earlier. Organizations must provide opportunities for team members to express themselves and learn from each other. At Wells Fargo, we have nine major team member networks and scores of communities of practice and numerous site diversity teams across our footprint.

4.    Engagement. I'm a firm believer in Gallup's measure of team member engagement. According to Gallup, to have satisfied, loyal customers, you need engaged team members. At Wells Fargo, we place a high priority on this and measure team member engagement annually. Our teams develop action plans that address strengths and areas of opportunity to increase engagement.

As part of engagement, I also believe it's important that managers identify each team member's unique strengths and ensure they are in a job that leverages their strengths.  A manager's ability to manage is monitored carefully as well. Time and again, we've found team members don't leave companies -- they leave managers.  I believe the single most important investment a company can make is improving the quality of its managers and supervisors.


This is an exciting time to be in technology. Everything from infrastructure to entertainment is dependent on technology. And customer expectations for the availability and usability of that technology increases daily.

For those who desire it, there are significant opportunities in technology and operations to be an organization's competitive advantage. But it takes leaders, managers, and team members willing to flawlessly execute the fundamentals of their business, develop deep partnerships with their product and channel providers and build an environment that embraces engagement, diversity, and inclusion.

Kevin Rhein is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Wells Fargo & Company.


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