07 Aug 2015 12:00:00 AM

Connected Workplace

Published on July 2, 2013
For more than 28 years, Dell has empowered countries, communities, customers and people everywhere to use technology to realize their dreams. Customers trust us to deliver technology solutions that help them do and achieve more, whether they’re at home, work, school or anywhere in their world. Learn more about our story, purpose and people behind our customer-centric approach.

Interview with Shankar Nagalingam, HR Director – South Asia and ANZ for Dell

Shankar Nagalingam, Dell’s Country Human Resources Director for South Asia and ANZ. During his 9 years tenure in Dell, Shankar has held key positions such as Director of Talent Acquisition for South Asia/ANZ and HR Business Partner leading Malaysia Services and Technical Support Contact Center Operation, Asia Sales Organisation and Global Business Operations and Marketing.

1. Can you explain the philosophy behind Dell’s Diversity & Inclusion policy?

Dell’s diversity and inclusion focus supports the company’s purpose and people philosophy. We build enduring relationships through the creation of a welcoming workplace where differences are embraced and people of all backgrounds come together. Support for the women is also part of our diversity and inclusion focus.

Dell’s People Strategy enables our team members to be their best and do their best work to service our customers. We believe that an engaged and diverse workforce is a competitive advantage to Dell. Therefore our People Strategy focuses on four priorities:
  • Developing inspiring leaders who are committed to helping our team members.

  • Championing team members by encouraging them to take risks and to feel supported, valued and proud to be a part of Dell.

  • Being the employer of choice for our team members to enable them to thrive, achieve their career aspirations and have fun.

  • Listening and sharing so as to give our team members a voice that influences leadership and shapes the direction of our company.

2. What was the inspiration behind the Connected Workplace initiative?

The Connected Workplace is part of Dell’s value proposition to attract and retain top global talents. It is a culture where business and team members grow and thrive. It is also a strategy that allows for cost savings. Dell’s Connected Workplace offers flexibility, mobility and agility to enable team members to deliver their best work.

The connected workplace benefits team leaders because it improves their engagement with team members and increase their capabilities in virtual leading.The connected workplace also represents a top down support for flexibility.

The connected workplace also benefits team members because it equips team members with technology and space for them to work collaboratively. Team members are able to determine where and how they get their work done.

We initiated the Connected Workplace also because:
  • It is the industry trend today. Our competitors and partners are also engaging in similar approaches.

  • The global trends today show that more women are entering the workforce and are driving the need for flexible work arrangements. The younger generation workforce also has differing needs, which call for more flexible and balanced career and lifestyle.

  • In Dell, we have our own Tell Dell opinion survey. Results of this survey indicate that team members view Dell’s flexible work arrangements as the most exciting and engaging part of their work life in Dell.

  • Customers are also seeking mobile and virtual work environment. By having our own mobile and virtual work environment, there are opportunities for us to help our customers find their own solutions.

3. Could you provide an overview of the different types of flexibility offered to employees through the Connected Workplace initiative?

Dell Malaysia offers the following flexible work arrangements to team members:
  • Remote
  • Team members can work from any location and come in to the office at least once a month unless requested by their manager.
  • Mobile
  • Team members are provided with the opportunity to come in to work 1 to 4 days a week whilst utilising the hot desks or the cafeteria to work.
  • Flextime
  • Team members are allowed to vary their start and end time of workdays.

Team members are to check with their managers on their eligibility to apply for the connected workplace.

4. What were the key steps in establishing a flexible work environment?

Prior to establishing the flexible work environment, a project team comprising members from Facilities, Human Resources, Information Technology was set up.This project team partnered with business leaders to analyse the situation and requirements. Once decisions and budget have been finalised, execution of workplace innovation is carried out.

5. What were some of the success factors for this initiative (i.e. leadership support, culture, etc)?

Dell has always practiced flexibility and it has been part of our culture. The leaders in Dell embrace the flexible work arrangement and this culture is cascaded down to the rest of the team.

6. How has this initiative benefited employees and the organisation and are there plans to expand the initiative to all employees?

Team members are measured on their performance and not where they get their work done. Dell’s Connected Workplace enables team members to be their best and to do their best work for the company.

7. What are some of the other initiatives that support Dell’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy (i.e. childcare, etc.)?

In Dell Malaysia, we provide designated car park for expectant mothers and ‘Mothers’Room’ for new mothers.