Vanguard CIO: Retaining IT talent begins with developing strong leaders

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CIO The hidden benefit of keeping the teams intact

Engaging and retaining our crew (Vanguard’s term for employees) is critical to the long-term success of our company. At Vanguard, we are strong believers in the Gallup Q12 process to manage crew engagement. We find the Q12 to be a great tool to help front-line managers identify areas of improvement for their team and facilitate team action plans. Empowering and developing front-line IT managers with the right tools and competencies is critical to engaging, motivating, and retaining talented IT employees. As the saying goes, “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” And we know that IT managers play an important role in overall team success and individual employee satisfaction.

Developing employees, managing employees, and relationship management are all critical competencies in Vanguard’s leadership standard. We emphasize that it’s not good enough for our IT leaders to be strictly technical.

To help our IT professionals achieve this high bar, we have a robust leadership development curriculum, starting with our entry-level Technology Leadership Program. Participants in this two-year rotational training and development program learn different roles in IT while simultaneously receiving targeted leadership training. We also provide higher-level leadership and management curriculums as careers progress through our Vanguard University. Vanguard IT also has an “A+ leadership” initiative focused on providing managers (who come from technical backgrounds) with the necessary tools and training to also be great people leaders. This effort drives consistency with important activities such as performance reviews and team meetings, as well as within our talent management processes. We want to ensure that we have the right talent identified across the organization in order to cultivate our future leaders and managers.

And if retention isn't a core focus for you, consider the significant step-function cost of replacement. Acquiring a new employee who has the talent and is a cultural fit in today's IT market can be a huge time and cost investment.

John Marcante is Vanguard’s chief information officer and managing director of Vanguard’s Information Technology Division. Vanguard is the world’s largest mutual fund company with more than $2.6 trillion in global assets under management. Marcante oversees all aspects of Vanguard’s worldwide technology agenda to serve clients and manage investments. Mr. Marcante, with more than 26 years of experience in the business and technology fields, joined Vanguard in 1993. After serving in a number of leadership roles throughout the company, he returned to the IT division in 2012 and was named Vanguard’s chief information officer and managing director. Marcante holds a Bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. from Saint Joseph's University.

John T. Marcante is an award-winning C-suite technology and business executive with expertise in digital transformation, business strategy, financial planning and wealth management, cyber security and technology risk. John is the US CIO in Residence for Deloitte and the former Chief Information Officer and Managing Director of Vanguard.