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Q&A: How Dell Technologies Is Using an Outcome-Based Work Culture to Create Flexibility in the Workplace

Q&A: How Dell Technologies Is Using an Outcome-Based Work Culture to Create Flexibility in the Workplace

“We must continue to reimagine work not as a place and time, but as an outcome.” This is  one of the many thought-provoking comments that epitomize the culture at Dell Technologies, a 2021 Best Workplaces in Texas™ finalist.

With the great attention and care they have implemented a successful, hybrid workplace for all, it comes as no surprise that they have grabbed our attention at Great Place to Work®.

Kristi Hummel, SVP of talent and culture at Dell told us how they are caring for employees during uncertainty and encouraging positive change in the workplace, and in the community.

Q: You mention in your Culture Audit – part of how we measure and rank the Best Workplaces™ – your “Connected Workplace program,” which is focused on creating an outcomes-based work culture. How do you define “outcomes-based work culture”?

Through our Connected Workplace program established over ten years ago, we have reimagined work not as a place and time, but as an outcome by offering flexibility for our team members to work in a way that best suits their lives. We don’t need to define work as a 9 to 5 job at the office but by making sure we are getting our work done in a way that fits our schedules and needs.

We recently expanded our flexible workplace policies to all countries where we have team members and are allowing them to choose the work style that best fits them ongoing. Any team member who can be successful working in their role remotely can choose to do so, upon manager approval, and can work in a flexible capacity indefinitely.

Once our sites reopen, team members can still come into the office for face-to-face meetings and to collaborate with their teams in person. We are reimagining the office to reflect how people choose to collaborate, create, and innovate to allow them to be even more productive.

Q: Can you talk a bit more about how will you measure collaboration, ideation and innovation in the new hybrid workplace model? How does technology play a role in the hybrid or outcomes-based work culture?

We will measure collaboration by tracking use of the various spaces and collaboration areas.  We also will lean heavily on team member sentiment and survey results on the team member experiences when they do come to our sites through our ‘Tell Dell’ surveys.

Technology plays a critical role in the hybrid workstyle. Technologies like cloud, 5G and AI are game changers as we think about the future of hybrid work – and each of these innovations play a big role in the customer experience. Dell Technologies specializes in the tools and technology that provide an equitable collaboration experience between virtual and onsite participants. We will deliver solutions that make using physical space and connecting in an untethered environment intuitive and seamless.

Q: How has your outcomes-based culture served your teams during the pandemic?

Over the past decade, while many tech companies were investing in perks like free dry cleaning and on-site meals, we doubled down on flexibility at work. Here, work is not tied to where you are or when you work but what you do.

That mindset has paid off immensely during this time and has helped us avoid a huge culture shock at work – our teams know how to work remotely and have been doing so productively throughout the last year. With so much uncertainty in the world around us, to have the way you work remain largely unchanged has provided a sense of stability.

Technology readiness, leadership and a resilient culture are key to helping our teams do their best work. We prioritize making sure team members have the support and technology that allows them to work from anywhere, at a time that suits them best

Q: You have given your employees the option to work flexibly even after the pandemic. Is this something you see making Dell competitive in the job market?

With the impacts of COVID-19, it has become even more clear that the concept of work is being redefined and that this flexibility is needed to succeed in today’s world. Our teams continue to navigate many complexities and responsibilities, and we want to ensure they have the space and flexibility to work in a way that best suits their lives.

The past year has made it clear, that people will be looking for flexibility in their future jobs and that’s something we not only offer but know how to implement well.

"Being recognized through lists that require direct feedback from our team members, help us share our company culture with the communities in which we live and work."

Q: You said Dell is using its values to develop new ways of working. Can you give a specific example of how your values inform your future workplace and/or ways of working?

One of our values is “winning together.” We believe in and value our people. We perform better, are smarter, and have more fun working as a team than as individuals. We’ve always championed a workplace culture that allows you to bring your true, authentic self to work.

We had no idea how 2020 would bring that value even more into focus. This past year, we’ve welcomed babies, pets, and spouses into our virtual meetings with open arms – and it has truly allowed us to connect with each other on a deeper level.

That empathy comes from the top down, with Michael Dell leading a storytime for the kids of Dell Technologies team members during the early days of the pandemic. We’ve let our guard down, we’ve opened up, and we’ve become better professionals for it. We’ll continue to cultivate that empathy moving throughout 2021.

"That empathy comes from the top down, with Michael Dell leading a storytime for the kids of Dell Technologies team members during the early days of the pandemic."

Q: With many companies moving from California to Texas, the contest for talent is soaring. How does Dell build a competitive employer brand? How do awards like Great Place to Work Certification™and Best Workplaces lists help?

Our approximately 14,000 team members in the area not only directly support the economic development throughout the region, but they have also facilitated the growth of highly skilled tech talent – which we know has also made the region an attractive base for other tech companies.

Those looking to build careers in technology look to Dell as a top destination here in town. We are a purpose-driven company that allows you to innovate day in and day out as you grow your career. The entrepreneurial spirit you learn here inspires true change. We have several former employees who have taken that spirit to build other companies and explore other endeavors in the area.

Our team members are our priority, and we aim to create a great workplace for all. Being recognized through lists that require direct feedback from our team members helps us share our company culture with the communities in which we live and work and allow our team members voices to be heard.

Looking to foster more flexibility in the workplace but unsure of where to start?

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Kalia Simms