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Employee development at Dell is a collaborative process

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Incorporated in 1996, Dell India has been among the fastest growing technology companies in the country. With around 27,000 team members, Dell India is the largest operation for Dell outside the US and has presence across eight cities Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Delhi, Pune, Noida, Coimbatore and Chennai. Vijay Bharadwaj is Vice President HR, for all Dell businesses in India. Vijay has rich and varied experience of over 25 years in industries like manufacturing, automobiles, chemicals, banking, IT and ITeS. Prior to joining Dell, his last assignment was with Deutsche Bank as the Group Head HR for software and banking operations in South Asia. T he Hindu Opportunities spoke to Vijay Bharadwaj about HR practices at Dell. Excerpts: T o what extent does Dell prefer social media as an option to recruit new talent? At Dell, social media is becoming a part of everything that employees do. It has used social media in internal collaboration, product development, social commerce and talent acquisition and management. Dell uses social media very effectively for new talent attraction through platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and its very own Direct2Dell blog. For example, Dell has over 314,000 followers on LinkedIn; on Facebook, Dell has region specific career pages and specific Job Search and Career Fit widgets to optimise talent acquisition. The Dell India Facebook page has attracted 4,25,000 likes! The specialised Job Search widget helps people search for jobs available at Dell anywhere in the world directly on Facebook. Social Media Training: More than 75% of our India Talent Acquisition team is SMaC (Social Media and Communities) certified. They have been introduced to social media as a platform and have been trained to leverage its benefits. They are also given specialised training on building relationships and communities on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Social Media Outreach: Post training, our talent acquisition team members, go to their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and post jobs and employment branding related content. The jobs we post are linked directly to our Careers Website, where people can apply for that specific job or search for other relevant jobs. Does the company have a policy and/or does it in any way to encourage employment of people from the immediate community? Yes, Dell does support the community. The Dell plant in Sriperumbadur, Chennai is a clear example. Today, women workers constitute about 50% of the total workforce (700 employees) at the state-of-the-art, Dell plant. Most of these women hail from the villages of Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, Ramnad districts of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Projects like Further Education Programme help these women employees equip themselves with education and achieve a good personal and professional growth path. All women employees have access to the counselling sessions through Well@Dell initiatives which plays a major role in helping them cope with the day-to-day challenges of life. What are the unique features of Dells induction and on-boarding programmes? The on-boarding process begins with an online pre-on-boarding and welcoming process prior to the start date of a new employee. Dell India has recently initiated an online on-boarding process. This helps prospective new joiners complete their joining formalities and paperwork online, prior to their actual date of joining. This is followed by a 2-day new hire orientation programme during the induction week. We also use the New Leader Assimilation (NLA) process as an on-boarding tool for leaders who are leading new teams or have acquired new team members. NLA acts as a catalyst to accelerate the process of integration within the teams by setting the tone for listening, sharing and breaking down barriers. What are your initiatives regarding employee relations, employee development and growth? Employee development at Dell is a collaborative process between individual team members, leaders, mentors and the organisation at large. As part of this career development philosophy, Dell fosters a 70/20/10 model of development which encompasses personalised development in three distinct categories: 70 percent on-the-job experience 20 percent learning through others 10 percent formal classes or training Keeping in line with the career development philosophy at Dell, each individual team member has been provided with a vast array of resources and tools related to self and career development. These resource tools are available to the team members via Dells web portal Career Resource Centre. T ypes of welfare and development activities for employees: Some highlights of Dells welfare and development programmes include: Flexible work arrangements: Dell provides the facility of working away from office through connected workplace and work from home programmes. Well@Dell: Dell provides a forum, where employees are offered key insights and initiatives on healthy life practices. Medical camps, awareness sessions and doctor visits are conducted on a periodic basis. An employee assistance programme also provides counselling to employees. What are your initiatives to promote gender equality and diversity? Diversity and inclusion is core to Dells values and winning culture. Dells diversity practices include: Global frameworks and programmes like Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): At Dell ERGs represent a community of team members who have common interests relating to things such as ethnicity, gender, nationality and lifestyle. Currently, Dell has 6 ERGs of which Women in Search of Excellence (WISE)

is the largest ERG meant for team members whose interests align with womens issues. Each of these groups provide team members an opportunity to collaborate on issues like workplace advancement, flexible work solutions, personal and professional development through mentoring, volunteerism and community involvement. Women Inspired to Learn and Lead (WILL). It is a mentorship initiative for developing women leaders in India. Dell periodically also recognises women and their contributions to the business by organising womens day celebrations, acknowledging working mothers and publishing a newsletter with inspirational stories about working women from different locations. Working Mother magazine named Dell as one of the Best 100 Companies in 2011 for the fourth consecutive year. As a part of our focus on diversity, Dell India has launched the IT is not just for geeks programme. It is designed specifically for girls in the age group of 14-15, to help them think differently about careers in IT and engineering and how to be successful in professional work environments. We believe that this will help increase awareness, student focus and the value of school curriculum. How are employees encouraged to volunteer for social causes such as education, cancer support and disaster relief among others? Recently, Dell launched Powering the Possible, a platform that unifies all of Dells Corporate Responsibility programmes and initiatives. It includes Disaster Relief, Social Entrepreneurship, Youth Learning (formerly called Dell Youth Connect), Childrens Cancer Care and Environmental Sustainability. To strengthen our initiatives, Dell recently announced an additional funding towards its CSR initiatives in India, making it a total of $9 million till date. Make a difference is the name of Dells team member engagement initiative and our online community. It allows team members to find charities to support, organise and track volunteer time and financial giving activities. By January 2012, nearly 13,000 Dell employees in India contributed more than 52,500 hours of volunteer time. Sometimes, inadvertently or otherwise, employees tend to cross the line during the course of their work. What are the rules that govern Dell employees to ensure ethical practices? At Dell, we take our commitment to ethics and compliance seriously because acting legally and ethically is the right thing to do. Our stakeholders, including our customers, expect this of us. We are committed to making ethics personal by ensuring that team members understand what is expected of them and providing them with the tools and resources to be successful. Dell has dedicated resources and mandatory annual compliance training for every team member to help them be their best in their career. This is because employees need to be equipped to handle business situations in the most ethical way possible. We continually listen to our team member feedback and use that as a catalyst for ethical programme development. Driving