Article: Inclusion is the skill that makes diversity work: Ritu Rakhra, Dell Technologies

Talent Management

Inclusion is the skill that makes diversity work: Ritu Rakhra, Dell Technologies

“Diversity continues to be our focus even in a remote environment. We firmly believe that ‘Diversity’ makes companies more successful, and ‘Inclusion’ is the skill that makes diversity work,” says Dell Technologies’ Ritu Rakhra.
Inclusion is the skill that makes diversity work: Ritu Rakhra, Dell Technologies

Ritu Rakhra is the Regional HR Head, India, at Dell Technologies.

A passionate HR leader, Ritu has a rich experience of 26 years with organisations such as Hewitt, IBM and Dell of which the last 19 years have been with Dell. 

A strategic Human Resources leader with a track record of building and delivering on the people strategy, Ritu brings an entrepreneurial attitude and deep experience in multiple HR functional areas. She has led team members from diverse cultures and backgrounds and believes that the key to success is inclusion. Ritu’s inherent belief is that everyone comes to work to give their best and the onus to create a successful environment lies with the organisation and the leader.

In this exclusive interview with People Matters, Ritu talks about Dell’s ‘Connected Workplace’ philosophy, designing a competitive and effective EVP, the three employer brand essentials and empowering employees with the ‘freedom to think big’.

Here are excerpts of the interview.

What does Employee Value Proposition (EVP) encompass for Dell Technologies in the new world of work?

Dell Technologies is a ‘People Centric’ organisation and heavily focuses on team member’s well-being. Our ‘Employee Value Proposition’ consists of several key elements further defined by our work culture.

We have a deep entrepreneurial culture that provides our team members with a strong sense of empowerment, where they can contribute and share their ideas without holding back.

Our strategy revolves around:

  • The freedom to dreaming big and developing one’s career within or across functions
  • Emphasis on work-life balance: Respect for a full and fulfilling life, and not just a full and fulfilling career
  • Focus on nurturing highly ethical and inspiring leaders
  • Diverse and inclusive work environment 
  • Commitment to community and the environment
  • Collaborative and flexible environment, where team members can pick and choose where, when, and how they want to work - an environment where we help our employees grow both professionally and personally

How is Dell Technologies enabling awareness, access, and adoption of the offerings within revamped Employee Value Proposition (EVP) for existing talent? How does it differ for potential talent that you are looking to hire?

Dell Technologies has a strong, employee-influenced, and creatively communicated EVP, which not only empowers us to recruit new team members, but to retain the ones we already have. We are focused on communicating three specific aspects of our EVP: 

  • The freedom to dream big
  • The opportunities for career development 
  • Providing collaborative and flexible environment, where we help our employees grow both professionally and personally

For many organizations, EVP emerges as an afterthought to rising attrition rate. What are your thoughts on this? 

At Dell Technologies, we have always put our people at the centre of our strategies and decision making. Our people philosophy is our commitment to providing them with limitless opportunities, flexibility, and an inclusive culture, where employees can be their true selves at work. 

Organisations who invest in employer branding and take the time to define their EVP can really differentiate themselves from the rest.

The EVP strategy needs to be holistic; it must be embedded throughout the employee lifecycle of attraction, experience, development, growth, culture, and leadership. The three top factors that a company considers for its employer branding today must include:

  • Work Culture
  • Work-life balance
  • Career progression opportunities

Flexibility, wellness and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are on top-of-the-mind for organisations across the globe as they enhance experience for their remote/hybrid workforce. What risks do organisations carry if they lose focus on these elements amidst a desire to return to the workplace?

Flexibility, wellness, and DEI are our top priority at Dell Technologies, when we introduce any new initiatives. We have championed the remote work culture for many years, and we call it ‘Connected Workplace’. The recent pandemic has shown that proximity to a specific location doesn’t have to be a priority for everyone, and many of our team members are fully productive with home as their primary workplace. Dell has been constantly communicating its ‘Connected Workplace’ program and is focused on improving the same, every step of the way:

  • People Philosophy: Dell continues to help our team members find the right balance between their work and life. We have provided our team members with a range of resources that helps them strike just the right balance in terms of:
    • Body - Ensuring our team members have opportunity and choice to maintain and improve their overall wellness
    • Mind - Taking care of their mental and emotional health, which is essential for true and holistic wellness
    • Wealth​ - Helping them manage their financial wellness to feel secure for today and their future
    • Flexibility - Empowering them with flexibility around when, how, and where they get their work done, as well as paid time-away programs. This enables them to do their best work and lead a fulfilling life. Over the last year, we have been developing New Ways of Working – tools and resources made available to our team members whether they are working virtually, some coming onsite from time to time, and others being in the office five days a week, helping them adapt as we move into a more flexible reality

In addition to this, diversity continues to be our focus even in a remote environment. Diversity & Inclusion is in our DNA. It’s more than what we do, it’s who we are. We not only hire a good and diverse mix of team members but also encourage them to leverage our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs enable our team members to drive initiatives to support gender diversity, generational diversity and cultivate a more comfortable environment.

We firmly believe that ‘Diversity’ makes companies more successful, and ‘Inclusion’ is the skill that makes diversity work.

What is your advice for organisations seeking to reimagine their EVP? What should they be wary of?

Employee Value Proposition needs to be reflective of reality and should encompass an authentic message based on what the employees are actually experiencing. 

Organisations need to be grounded in reality.

One of the biggest challenges in cultivating an effective EVP is making it stand out when everyone is emphasising the same values, promises and opportunities.

A company can overcome those commonalities by striving for authenticity in the way it communicates its EVP, both internally and externally.

A key parameter to a successful EVP is incorporating feedback from employees and team members acquired through surveys, particularly if it’s related to what people seemed to be most happy about and what they valued the most. Employee feedback can also be helpful in identifying gaps between what management perceives to be the organisation’s value proposition and the reality of what employees live every day.

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Topics: Talent Management, #RedrawingEVP, #HRCommunity

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