Building a Team That’s Proud to Work at Dell

Dell’s employee-focused programs help increase one of our most important success metrics: our Employee Net Promoter Score.
Oct 5, 2018 9:05 AM ET

Our talented team members are the engine that drives Dell’s success. When our team members are engaged in their work, they’re more innovative, helping our customers transform their businesses and drive human progress. Research from the London Business School shows that employee satisfaction indeed drives good performance and that companies with high employee satisfaction outperform their peers by 2.3–3.8 percent per year in long-run stock returns.

At Dell, team member engagement, as measured by our Employee Net Promoter Score® (eNPS), is one of the four metrics we use to measure our success as a company. The other metrics are customer satisfaction (measured by our Customer Net Promoter Score), market share and financial results. Our engaged team members are fundamental to them all.

We are proud to report that in FY18 Dell’s eNPS score was very high. A global measurement tool used by most large corporations, eNPS asks team members how likely they would be to recommend their company as a place to work. Dell’s eNPS was 44, far exceeding the industry benchmark of 20 for high-performing companies (Bain & Company).

“This result is especially significant given this is our first full year of operation since Dell and EMC combined in 2016. We work hard to create an inclusive environment to help team members develop their skills and build their careers while maintaining work-life balance. We’re proud to see those efforts paying off.” – MARIE MOYNIHAN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL TALENT ACQUISITION AT DELL

Some of the factors that drove team members to have a higher eNPS score were: feeling inspired by their leader, being a member of an employee resource group (ERG), having the ability to work remotely and feeling connected to Dell’s corporate strategy. We have set many of our 2020 Legacy of Good goals to drive toward and track progress in these areas.

Driving inspirational leadership

We invest in leadership training for team members at all levels. In FY18, 21,000 employees completed 240 trainings in subjects including Leading and Influencing Project Teams, Building Your Career and Change Agility. The result? Dell team members who agreed their direct manager “inspires me to do my best for Dell” scored about 70 points higher on eNPS than team members who disagreed that they were inspired by their direct manager.

We know that when our leaders take the time to show their team how their work connects to the strategy and success of the company, team members feel more engaged and perform better. To that end, in late FY18 we launched Dell Technologies Advantage (DTA), a training that helps our leaders understand the larger Dell Technologies strategy and align their team’s work to it. We held more than 200 half-day DTA sessions, led by our executives, including Michael Dell, for 7,000 leaders across the globe. We also expanded DTA into a virtual training for all Dell team members worldwide.

Furthering our commitment to diversity and inclusion, Dell was the first IT company to participate in the Catalyst program Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) starting in 2014. Re-branded by Dell to Many Advocating Real Change (MARC), the program engages leaders in candid conversations about the role of gender and diversity in the workplace as well as topics such as unconscious bias, privilege and inclusive leadership. By the end of FY18, 61 percent of Dell’s executives have participated in MARC workshops and are advancing the initiative. We expect to reach 100 percent of our executives by the end of FY19.

Uniting team members through employee resource groups

More than 28 percent of Dell team members belong to an ERG, which connect team members who share common ethnicity, gender, nationality, lifestyle or sexual orientation. ERGs provide professional development through mentoring, volunteerism and community involvement. They also give team members an opportunity to make a positive impact on our business.

ERG members have an average eNPS score of 53 (compared to 44 for all employees). ERG members who attended more than six events had an eNPS of 61 - almost 20 points higher than the score of those who did not belong to an ERG at all.

“By being an ERG leader, I have had the opportunity to grow my executive presence, presentation skills, talk to the community about what we do well at Dell in the ERG space. I have been able to build community partnerships both locally and nationally,” said Kristine Biagiotti, principal IT business partner at Dell and chair of the Hopkinton chapter of True Ability, Dell’s ERG for people impacted by disabilities and/or special needs. Biagiotti joined True Ability because her daughter has Trio and Mitochondrial disease, and she’s used her advocacy experience to educate employees and shape Dell’s benefits.

Cultivating a flexible work culture

Sara Sutton Fell, FlexJobs CEO and founder, talks about the benefits of flexible work and Dell’s support for a flex work culture.

We want Dell team members to work hard for our customers while creating happy, successful lives for themselves. That’s why we have embraced flexible work as a key part of our culture so team members can leverage technology to get great results no matter how, when or where they do their jobs.

We offer team members the opportunity to leverage flexible work arrangements in ways that fit their work roles and lives. In FY18, more than 58 percent of Dell team members worked in some sort of flexible capacity, such as working remotely either full-time or a few days a week, job sharing, setting flexible work hours or working a compressed work week. We have reached our 2020 goal of having 50 percent of team members participating in flexible work programs. We will maintain our goal and keep evolving as needed to attract and retain top talent.

Team members who worked from home five days a week had an eNPS of 48, compared to 44 for those who went to the office five days a week. They were also more likely to take pride in their work and look forward to coming to work. FlexJobs recognized our flexible work culture by ranking Dell 9th on its list of Top 100 Companies with Remote Jobs in 2018.

Achieving external recognition

We continued to be recognized both globally and locally in the countries where we compete for talent, earning numerous awards, including:

2017 Change the World list 

Ethisphere® Institute 
World's Most Ethical Companies (fifth year in a row)

World’s Most Admired Companies list

#14 on 2017 Top Companies list

#9 on Top 100 Companies with Remote Jobs in 2018

Earned a 3.7 (out of 5) rating 

Engaging new graduates from day one at Dell

In addition to the efforts above, we are pioneering programs focused specifically on engaging certain types of team members. One of these is our new Graduate Engagement Program (GEP), a yearlong program to help Dell’s new hires from universities successfully integrate into our company. We designed the GEP to provide a standardized experience for all graduates working in Operations and Client Solutions worldwide. Participants were assigned mentors, attended networking and volunteer events, and received career development training. GEP participants had an eNPS score of 56, and we plan to expand the program in FY19.

“We focus on eNPS and invest in programs that enable our team members’ success. We want to attract and retain great talent that’s skilled and excited to do their best work for Dell and our customers,” said Moynihan.

These are the shared values of our Culture Code:

We believe our customer relationships are the ultimate differentiator and the foundation for our success.

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 believe our ability to innovate and cultivate breakthrough thinking is an engine for growth, success and progress.

We believe in being accountable to an exceptional standard of excellence and performance.

We believe integrity must always govern our fierce desire to win.

In addition to our values, our Culture Code outlines seven leadership principles: relationships, drive, judgment, vision, optimism, humility and selflessness.