Reflecting on National Employee Appreciation Day

It seems like every square on the calendar is home to some sort of special day. Some funny, some serious, some just weird (False Teeth Day is March 9?).

And today is no exception. Did you know that today is National Employee Appreciation Day? Given my role as executive director of Dell’s commercial client business and the incredible team I work with, that is certainly something that I will proudly celebrate!

Dell Taiwan employee Lina Hsieh in her home office with her cat

Dell Taiwan employee Lina Hsieh shares her home office with a furry companion.

Today presents an opportunity to reflect upon what we do for our team members (and goals we work towards) and to share our learnings for the benefit of employees at other workplaces large and small. In more than 30 years of doing business, Dell has always strived to best serve our customers by making Dell a great place to work and keeping our fellow team members happy, engaged and motivated. In the spirit of the holiday, we wanted to share three key areas that we’ve found to be important in developing a great working environment for our team in hopes that it might inspire your own organization.

First, employees want the latest and greatest technologies. This may seem obvious when we’re talking about a company like Dell, but this applies to a huge range of businesses. There’s a shift in how senior executives perceive the importance of technology as well. According to our Evolving Workforce Survey, 50 percent of Fortune 1000 CEOs now believe the type of technology they provide to their workforce is key to recruiting and retaining top talent. Thin, light and portable is key here, since the average modern employee is constantly walking around with his or her device as they bustle from their desk to a meeting, or to their favorite couch in a common area… so clearly, large and clunky notebooks need not apply.

 Dell Canada employee Mo Chahdi enjoys having dual screens in his home office.

Dell Canada employee Mo Chahdi enjoys having dual screens in his home office.

Beyond mobility and utility (and every IT person’s must-haves, such as industry-leading manageability and security), we want our team members and customers alike to feel proud to carry our technology. We want them to take it home and have their kids say, “Wow, I want one of those!” This thinking is exactly what went into the design and development of our all-star, newly introduced Latitude portfolio. They’re powerful and beautiful (the experts agree!) – and it was none other than our customers who helped guide us toward conceptualizing and making these flagship machines a reality.

Next, we’ve found that the modern employee grapples with different challenges more so than those from even a decade or two ago, such as longer, more arduous commutes. Indeed, more than 600,000 Americans are “mega-commuters” who travel in excess of 90 minutes each way. One solution we’ve found to help ease some of these challenges is through remote working. Dell builds technologies that enable people to do their best work anytime, from anywhere in the world, so it makes sense that we were early adopters of flexible work arrangements for our own team members. At this time, roughly one in four eligible Dell team members works from home, and our goal is to eventually reach 50 percent global participation by 2020.

 Dell Panama employee Cristina Pereira works while her cat sits between the keyboard and monitor on her desk

Dell Panama employee Cristina Pereira's work-from-home companion presents a fun challenge sometimes.

There’s also an environmental aspect to flexible work arrangements. In our operations, the biggest environmental benefits of flexible work include reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions that come from maintaining a smaller real estate footprint.

Programs like this, which improve team members’ lives while mitigating environmental impact, also serve as a reminder that we’re working toward the greater good. This is the final and perhaps the most important way we serve our customers and team and express our values. At Dell, we are committed to putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet – and we have outlined the specifics in our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan to help inspire our people.

Naturally, there is more work to do, but we are constantly exploring ways to make our team members’ experiences great, and we’re proud to provide the technology that helps enhance our customers’ experiences as well. We’re thrilled to recognize National Employee Appreciation Day, and we’d love to hear about what you do to create an environment for your employees that shows how much you value them!

About the Author: Raza Haider