How Prudential Annuities CIO sparks talent transformation

Prudential Annuities vice president and CIO Glenn Siegmund was proud of his organization's successful multiyear IT maturation and modernization initiative. But something was still missing -- engagement. Here's how he implemented a roadmap to retain and attract elite IT talent.

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That involved creating a leadership team with stakeholders from Prudential AIT, human resources and the recruiting and sourcing organizations, as well as their direct reports -- the mid-level management -- and then one more tier below that, Siegmund says, to make sure that everyone had a voice and bought into the direction he wanted to go.

He also held information sharing sessions to make sure that strategic imperatives and directions were clear, and that everyone involved felt that they had a stake in the outcome.

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The Fifth Dimension

Siegmund used Prudential AIT's transformation roadmap as a guide when developing the talent transformation plan; it's anchored in a four-dimensional model by which an IT supplier becomes first a solution provider, then a strategic partner and finally an innovative anticipator of organizational needs. Siegmund and the Prudential Annuities leadership team then added a fifth dimension of “people and climate,” that further enables the other four dimensions.

This included the creation of a full-time IT organizational strategy (ITOS) leadership position, whose job it is to maintain the strategy and ensure organizational change and communication are aligned with the greater business strategy, he says. There's also a major emphasis on skill building for existing employees, and an Innovation Campaign, where innovative ideas and improvements are provided by employees and reviewed by senior leadership for implementation. 

Diversity and inclusion

AIT also has a team assigned to figuring out ways to create awareness of unconscious bias and the adoption of diversity and inclusion principles, Siegmund says. This goes hand-in-hand with creating a culture of innovation that's heavily focused on the use of data and business intelligence capabilities to help solve business challenges, Siegmund says.

Using these technologies helps Prudential Annuities better target underrepresented groups in hiring and recruiting, and also deliver new products and services that enhance the customer experience by making sure Prudential Annuities' diverse customer base is fully represented, he says.

To improve the hiring process and better attract new IT talent, Prudential Annuities' IT Staffing group is using new recruiting tools, including social media, to better target IT talent in different geographies, and using tools that integrate with platforms like Mashable and Crunchboard, where hot IT talent tends to congregate. Making sure Prudential Annuities is represented at major technology events like SXSW, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Technology and Great Minds in STEM is also helping ensure Prudential Annuities' brand awareness is high among millennials, women and other groups, Siegmund says.

"Making these connections between leadership, their direct reports and their direct reports; focusing on skill building and innovation, getting our brand awareness out there and making strides toward diversity and inclusion -- all of these things together means that everyone has a hand in changing the climate, in shaping the style of leadership within the organization. The biggest critical success factor is that IT didn't do it alone. We created a core team to transform this from a climate and leadership style standpoint that's really collaborative and visionary," he says.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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