TEPHI Talks Dell Technologies

TEPHI Talks Dell Technologies

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Good afternoon everybody my name is Janelle Rios with the Texas Epidemic Public Health Institute   this is a state agency in collaboration with  the University of Texas Health Science Center   at Houston and this is our TEPHI Talks so  welcome to TEPHI Talks and today we have a   special guest speaker who I will be introducing  in just a moment. first I'd like to tell you a   little bit about our structure. We're a new state  agency with three pillars: Readiness, Training, and   Communications. In Readiness, we have an early  detection program, specifically with wastewater,

which is very exciting. We analyze data, we have  a rapid assessment program, we have programs that   are specific to vulnerable populations and food  chain preparedness, and uh business operations   resiliency. TEPHI Talks is one of those um  is a part of business operations resiliency. We have a Communications core which supports  this broadcast or webcast, I should say, and we   have a strong Training and Resources core that  promotes training, delivers training, develops   training , both in person and online. We  have several different target audiences that   include scientists and healthcare providers; or, as  in this webcast business operators. We also have a   very strong training program for community health  workers across the state. And of course   

the lay public is welcome to attend any of these  events and all Texans can attend them at no cost.  So one training program that I'd like to  highlight is our Certificate in Pandemic   Preparedness and Response. Again this is free. You know, if you go through it, all the   courses it takes about 16 hours in total to  go through all five sections of the course   It's for anybody who is interested  in infectious diseases and preparedness.   It includes four self-paced asynchronous courses  and one online Capstone exercise that is live, but   online. We provide the textbooks and again this  is free to all Texans. So if you are interested in   this program please scan the QR code down on  the screen or visit TEPHI.texas.gov to learn more.

A few housekeeping things: when you entered the webinar you'll notice that we muted your   microphones and we turned off your cameras. We did  this so there are no distractions for our speaker. Closed captioning is available it's a button  that you just press and the closed captioning   appears for you - or maybe we've already pressed  that for you. When you have a question, and I   really hope that you do, please type them into the  Q&A box. We have a monitor who is taking a look at   that box throughout the webcast and she'll be relating those questions to our speaker. Please don't use the chat box the Q&A box is just easier for us to monitor.

At the end of this webcast, you'll receive a  a link or automatic direction to a satisfaction   survey. Please take that survey it really does  help us understand what we're doing really   well what we can improve upon and what  ideas you might have for future webcasts.  If you don't complete it we will send  you that link via email in in about a day. We are also recording this webcast and the  recording will be available in about a week on our   YouTube channel - and you'll also receive an email  with that link. So, with that, what I'd like to do is   going to try and put this in the chat - here we go.

I'd like to introduce Emily Dreyer. She's Vice President of Workplace Environment at Dell Technologies.   In this role Emily is directly responsible for  the strategic development and planning of   Dell Technologies real estate portfolio, team  member experience, space planning, and that's   always challenging, and environment health and  safety teams. So with that I'm going to stop   sharing and turn it over to Emily. Thanks again Emily for  being here.

Absolutely I'm happy to be here and I wish this was around when we were facing some of the things we faced during the   the pandemic. And and I'm really excited to  share what what we've learned. And I think we've   been planning this talk I think it's a popular uh  talk to do because we got we got into the agenda   I think we started planning this about a year and  a half ago. And at that time we were definitely at   a different stage in uh in the pandemic than we  are today and so when we revisited coming in and   talking I thought you know one thing we've been  doing is reflecting on the last two and a half   years uh and and by no means do we feel like you  know Covid is still around and so we're not saying   it's over but what have we learned and and what  are some of the best practices that that we've   learned and I'll talk a little bit about that  today. Ironically we ended up with seven lessons learned or best practices so I jokingly  said to my team we should coin it The Seven   Habits of Highly Effective Pandemic Managers but I  thought me maybe Stephen Covey was gonna have a   problem with that. So we won't plagiarize  any books but we want to talk a lot about what we  

learned as a technology company. As Janelle said  I would encourage you to ask questions I think the   thing we've learned the most over the last two  and a half years is that by asking questions, by   learning best practices, by sharing what we've done,  we've educated ourselves a lot. We've learned a lot   along the way and if we're faced with another  pandemic, epidemic or some kind of health event   like this again I think we've learned a lot, world lessons learned throughout that. And so  

what I want to talk a little about is you know  my job scope has changed since the beginning in   of the pandemic in 2020 until now and prior to  that I didn't have a background in environment   health safety and did take that on during the  pandemic and has been it's been like a fire hose   of learning information and learning from my team  and I will tell you one of the things is, no matter   what, when this all started happening, there was  just so much out there these are a few highlights   we pulled the highlights excuse me um headlines  that we pulled as we were going through this and   having to make decisions on things that we never  knew we were going to have never thought we would   have to make a decision on and didn't even know  sometimes which direction we should go and we'd   pick a direction and the next day something  would come out that would contradict that. And so I think really why this is important to  me is we'll get into it but it's it's really   what we've been saying from the beginning  as a technology company is using data and   science as best we can and really shying away  from making assumptions or or going with what   everybody else is doing but really kind of  settling ourselves in and we'll talk about   how we did that. And so as I mentioned I've  pulled seven of the lessons learned of things   we have done we did during the pandemic or  we discovered or problems we addressed and   then how we're using some of that in our regular  day-to-day interactions or business processes so   some things we started for the pandemic we're  actually using in a totally different way   um today but the genesis of the idea came out  as we were working through the crisis management.  So I would be remiss - we're a technology  company - if I didn't say we'll start the first one   with the digitization and the technology and how  we used it, Since March of 2020 and and keep in   mind we're a technology company we do end-to-end  technology services we're probably best known for   our desktops or notebook laptops um but we are end  to end. And so what that means is we had people   during the pandemic out in the field servicing  frontline workers, hospital data centers , trying   to get equipment in it technology pieces out to  those on the front lines trying to be the first   responders in what was going on and things were  constantly changing. I remember in March of 2020  

we were already working through what was  happening in Asia and trying to understand   that and trying to predict what would happen  next and I don't think anybody could have   thought through what was going on in December  then to what was happening in March of 2020. The first phone call we got was one of our  team members was in with a customer working on a   data center and was exposed and that was the first  time we were sitting going okay this is something   we're going to have to deal with. Well that one  turned into over 22,000 self-reporting cases of   team members across the world continuing to report  in. Those are just the people who actually reported   I'm sure there was a lot that were working for  home that didn't report. And we were working   with a very small EHS and nursing crew uh as I  mentioned where technology our health and safety   program is around workplace safety, not around kind  of in fact managing infectious disease. So we had   a lot to learn and we had one mailbox for Global  EHS where we were getting thousands of emails all   sorts of questions. And the first thing we said  is this isn't sustainable because what we were  

missing is maybe somebody who really needed an  urgent response versus someone who was just asking   a question and probably 50 other people have  that question. And so we started to look at our   processes and had a triage some of those requests  ask people to a few questions in advance through   a form and then be able to triage it and put it  to the right direct people to be able to respond   quicker. We are EHS staff and team members  worked really long days um you know seven days a   week like many did working through that they were  calling each person that submitted, so it's over 40,000   phone calls, emails, follow-up questions um just  to make sure doing contact tracing to answer any   kind of questions of support keeping in mind  that we still didn't have all the answers so   I think that was a huge knowledge of being able  to use technology to kind of triage and provide   the information was it one step to okay this  is a little bit more manageable we still felt   overwhelmed but that tool helped us going down the  path of what we needed to do. The second piece is   we actually helped we actually had folks from our  supply chain who took a leave of absence from   Dell and went and worked with the state to help  with PPE and other supplies that were really short and limited at the time and everybody was trying to  get them everybody I know I think every day I had   somebody else emailing me who had gotten into the  PPE business so we wanted to be really thoughtful   and careful one that we weren't getting a bunch  of PPE and taking it away from frontline workers   who needed it most um but that when we did buy  PPE we're buying it from a quality brand that we   could actually get out to our field delivery  teams. And so one of the things we did is we   vetted that using our procurement process and we  also actually um created SKUs for our PPE so  when we were going into hospitals and KN95 masks  or different types of equipment was actually a   SKU for our service delivery team. And so when  they were ordering parts to go to a customer  

they could also order their PPE through our  supply chain program and we were drop shipping to   people's homes again using technology and making  sure our team members had what they needed from   a standpoint of servicing and being safe at the  same time and then we had a dashboard to manage   our inventory so we leveraged our manufacturing  locations around the world as hubs to bring   the PPE in and then being able to ship it back  out. We also during that time helped get PPE to   healthcare workers and donating what we were  able to get a little bit quicker making sure we   were putting it back into the community and not  kind of monopolizing it since we didn't need as   much as some of the a lot of the hospitals and  others that were being overwhelmed at the time.  So a lot of this is the lessons learned from the  technology side and we also did a lot with hybrid   where we were doing for the first time ever  ISO audits were all done virtually via Zoom   We put a lot of our regulatory compliance  and third-party certifications were also done   virtually, and not in person, so a lot of  changes for us and I think for the most part   it was easier for us as a technology company  and that's what I would also say as we think about   this is there were some things we learned that  probably wouldn't be appropriate or make sense   for other organizations but for what we were  doing it the virtual part of this became easier   for us and it became a part of what we do. So today  our EHS functions leverage our tools that we   created for self-reporting we still do that we  do event management and we'll talk   about a little bit about what we do there then we  actually created our own health attestation tool   and we're leveraging that technology as part of  an application uh to use it for some of our hybrid   in some of our pilot spaces so a lot of  this technology and tools that we came   out in automation not only helped us during the  pandemic but we've transferred some of that over   to help streamline some of our current  processes as we think about or how our   nurses and and others respond to medical needs  for the team throughout the throughout the year. The other piece I would say that was really  interesting for us is as a global company, we   operate in 68 countries and 47 states around the  U.S and every regulation whether we needed a   temperature screening whether we need to do had  to have vaccines we had or doing required testing   what kind of PPE do we have to do health screens  all of that I was kind of looking for somebody to   say I've got it all in this tool I can just go  look and see how things are changing and that   didn't that didn't happen I didn't see it. And so  we actually developed in-house with our security  

resiliency office as well as our own organization  and our corporate affairs organization built a   database full of um information that was coming  in as regulations were changing. Because, again,   um we had we had field text that needed to  get out into the field and we need to make   sure that one they were protected from a PPE  and infectious disease perspective but also   protected from the standpoint if they were if  there was a lockdown and they needed to get   to a data center that they could have a clear  path to get there and they wouldn't be stopped   by government authorities because they didn't have  the right clearance or right card to get to where   they needed to go to fix equipment. So again  a lot of this relied on technology and moving   things along to try to react as quick as we could  especially given how quickly things were changing   and how much we we didn't know going into this  and what we could do to kind of come back out of  it. The biggest thing and I think this is something  that I talked a little bit and Janelle mentioned   my bio - is I have space planning uh as well as  EHS and one of the things that we've been doing   for over a decade at Dell is we've had a program  called Connected Workplace. So yes we had all these   field members out and about and we have our data  centers running and our manufacturing facilities   operating but then we have the rest of our teams. And so we were really lucky from a standpoint of   for over a decade, we used Connected Workplace as a way  to encourage teams to be able to work from home a   couple days a week or in some cases they work from  home 100% of the time. And so there was a weekend in  

March where we made the call to have globally all  of our team members work from home if they could,  which ended up being 90% of our team members. So the  only ones that weren't working from home were the   ones running our data centers, our factory, and then  we had people out in the field. But that also   changed from a health and safety perspective how  we manage remote work uh and so a couple things   we we did is we we worked closely with HR as a  matter of fact at Dell, environment health safety   facilities all reported to the chief HR officer  which makes this much easier as we think about how   we manage the organization and how we continue to  put people first. Sometimes you have organizations   like ours and they sit in a different group maybe  finance or legal or procurement. Sitting in HR   has allowed us to really put the team members  at the focal point of what we try to do and the   decisions we make and hybrid, and the emphasis on  hybrid and remote work is is no different. It's a   great example of that. And so while we had 90% of  our team members working from home one of the  

things we were concerned about - and I and I'll give  a prize if anybody wants to guess I'll follow up   with the team and send something out - a couple  of things when we sent people home was well let's   make sure when they go home that they have the  right IT technology that they need easier for   us to do because we're a tech company we make a  lot of it. So we sent people home we coordinated   pickups with their monitors their keyboards their  mice and the number one thing also was their chair. And the reason we did the chairs was because  we were observing via Zoom people sitting and   probably not the best ergonomic setup at home  whether it was on a couch or a kitchen stool.   And so we actually offered the opportunity  to bring your chair home uh and we we had   a significant number of chairs globally that we  shipped uh to people's homes so that they could   have a decent place to sit while they were trying  to work from home. We realized probably after two   weeks that it was gonna be much longer that people  are going to have to work from home and so if   anybody has any guesses of how many chairs we we  sent home with everybody um I'll give closest to   the to the number we'll send something out to you. But not only from a technology perspective in the  

in the tools um we also started looking at how  do we ensure the health and safety of our of our   teams while they're at home and so we continue  to offer ergonomic assessments but we reevaluated those to look at how do you do that  online. How do we do online ergo assessments? In some countries we actually send someone to  someone's home if they request to look at their   home desk set up. In other countries we're required  to take a picture of the home office and make sure   it meets all the qualifications for what a safe  office looks like when you're working from home.   The other thing that um was interesting for us  prior to the pandemic we had volunteers who helped   with emergency response. And so if we had a campus  or large building usually on each floor we'd have  

someone who was on site and prepared to deal with  an emergency should one arise now imagine we've   sent 90% of our team members home buildings are  kind of empty what happens if we have an event   that happens and there's not we can't we don't  have a way to react or find out who's there. So one   thing we have done is in certain locations we've  actually developed a visual check-in board to see   do we have emergency response team members on site  um and how many people do we have on site so that   we're prepared if something were to happen we know  we have the right resources to respond to that.   The same thing if I'm just making sure we know who's  in the buildings and then we're also working on   some more technology to see if something were to  happen to make sure we have real life reporting   back of how many people are on the in the building  so that we can respond appropriately. And that  

was a huge piece of this that we didn't think  about before because while we encouraged remote   or hybrid work um we still had a significant  number of people in the site. And now we're   looking at offices that we're consolidating. But we are looking at offices that have vast footprints   and sometimes we don't know who exactly is in the  building so we're focusing on that and continuing   to use that as a as an example for um for best  practice in the future. And the other thing that   we've done is we've taken a harder look at our  field delivery team. So I talked about our office   workers our manufacturing teams that stayed there  continuing to produce. We had a tremendous number  

of field services people that were on the front  lines trying to help customers and so we looked   at our scope of work and our processes for  getting them to understand what do they need   and what how do they need to be trained to be  protecting themselves and also how do we manage   customer requirements. We had field delivery teams  who were going into a customer in one customer   required temperature screening another customer  required a certain type of PPE and so making sure   we're keeping up to date with all of that. And  at one area we did that as we again added it   to a workplace app where people could check that. And again the same thing as customers requiring  

vaccinations or testing. All of that was trying to  figure out how do we support those field people   and health and safety took a different eye if you  will as a to just focusing on workplace safety   is really looking at how we have that in the  field and how we're looking at it in the field. So I'd say across the board that we're still  trying to figure out the right hybrid model and   hybrid approach but we're really putting a focus  on mental health well-being physical health   well-being all the things you've got to think  about in this new hybrid world and the other thing   we're talking about isn't we're a focus for this  year is if we're on Zoom with someone and we've   had a couple instances luckily nothing serious  where somebody did have a medical emergency and   if you're on Zoom do people know how to respond  um to that because in a lot of places you don't   just call 9-1-1. So we're working through what does  it mean to be health and safety from a more remote   population and work support and make sure we're  still giving the same duty of care to our team   members that we did pre-pandemic when everybody  was in the office. And I think so basically we   have the technology how we're looking at hybrid  work but none of this would have been possible   if we didn't do a good job of working together  cross-functionally which would be number three.

And some of these you know I don't think  they're in any type of order I think they're   all important um but what made me the most proud  during the pandemic was the ability for a company   of our size of over 135,000, to get stakeholders  together to make decisions to be agile to trust   leadership to trust each other to make the things  we need to do and to make them successful and I   will tell you one of the things that probably sets  us apart is our is our culture and our people and   putting the people first. When we would get on  calls you always heard executives say we've got   to think about the people what does this do the  business was of course important but we really   had to put a focus on the health and safety of  what was happening um and some of that looked   very different than what you would think of from  a technology company. So in one example when   the pandemic hit pretty hard in India we were  getting oxygenators and getting those out using   our processes and our tools getting oxygenators  out to team members in India and their families   who couldn't there was just not enough supplies  and there was such a shortage there doing vaccine   clinics that required a lot of cross-collaboration  because the folks that were sitting in India they   didn't have they were worried about their families  they didn't necessarily have the time to think   about how to kind of a broader Dell so we came in  and helped from a standpoint of outside of India   helping those team members to make sure we're  taking care of each other. And there was multiple   examples of that where we had to work with  different groups across the board and I think the   way this worked and we're still using this process  today is I would get on benchmarking calls and I   would hear of other company peer companies who had  these massive response teams for the pandemic and   I would look at our 40-person or so group who met  almost every day to talk about what was going on   from each area and I was like gosh they're really  you know they have a lot more people over here.  What I realized now is by having each function  represented at a senior level very core group   structured agenda we were able to make decisions  quicker and we were able to use the the data   and the information we had to make sure we could  trickle that information down and set up a really   good structure from a standpoint of how we were  dealing with this from a from a tops down and then   how we would get it all cross communicated across  the board. So I think another thing here is that   you know as we looked at this, we had so  many interactions within the company to get to   move the ship if you if you will it seemed a  lot easier during the pandemic and we kind of   scratched our heads and said shouldn't this be  like this all the time and so in certain things   where we're looking at our hybrid work strategy  or how we look at other things we put together   these smaller groups that are like tiger teams  to help make decisions and get decisions made   faster still using data and science to drive it  but taking out some of the bureaucracy so that we   can be more agile and get to the right solution  or change something if it's if it's not working .

And I think that was you know the other piece  of this and then one other example that I love   that we still use today is we have a pretty decent  talent acquisition team who was their primary job   is to recruit and hire for Dell. In the beginning  of the pandemic we didn't we weren't hiring none   of us knew what was going to happen we didn't  know what the economy would do so we weren't   hiring so we had TA resources who were strong  who had people who people who had strong skills   who weren't really busy. And so what we did is  reallocated them and so I had a couple of them   come over and help with PBE inventory in project  management um and what it translated into and we   had already started down this path is more of a  gig economy of leveraging resources if somebody's   not that busy on a certain project how could  they maybe help with another project. And again   it's just working together cross-functionally  to get that out of and it worked out really well   because those people were very familiar with Dell  processes and so we were able to pull them over   to our team they were able to help and then when  we started hiring again they went back to their   roles. So it was a really good way of keeping key  talent but also leveraging skill sets that are  

across that can be used cross-functionally um to  really get what we need the help we needed and the   support we needed at the time. So I think that that  was you know a lot of the of what we looked from   a cross-functional perspective. And then I'd say  the other piece that was very different for us   um and I don't want to say it was it was different  but maybe it's a different type of data so we were   I mentioned how we were dealing with a lot of  information coming in a lot of questions coming   in people giving us data and information about  themselves we probably didn't want them to share. But people didn't know what was going on and  what we had to really be thoughtful of is for the   first time we're used to handling customer data  we take a lot of classes on how important it is to   make sure we keep our customer data secure our our  people data secure but now we were getting medical   data in medical information about people. And so  what we did immediately we have a great privacy   office we worked with them on understanding what  are the laws that are in play here making sure   from a team member perspective we're respecting  privacy but we're getting the information we need   to help support them and what do we need to go do. And it was you know there were some challenging   times where when we our policy on um vaccines  and testing was that we asked that people get   vaccinated and if they didn't get vaccinated um  we asked them to get tested if they came to site.

Where do you put that information? So we had to  set up an entirely separate database for that   information because it can't be cross-referenced  or can't be mixed in with personnel records. And   so none of that existed. You have HR systems that  weren't necessarily prepared to then hold medical   records so they couldn't. So we had to really  think about how are we going to make sure we   protect this and we're keeping the data and then  we have a way to dispose of the data when we don't   need it anymore. And that's very different than  dealing with a workplace injury or some of the   other things we do from an EHS perspective that  we potentially don't you know wouldn't handle this   type of data really had to think about it and now  looking at it going forward we have a much better   system and process and structure in place of how  we would probably look at any other future events   that might happen like this in a much better  position to handle those. And so I think across  

the board you know the working together getting  using the technology and then how we're looking   at a hybrid world and in remote and then how we're handling the different types of information that   we've been given uh that we haven't ever dealt  with before there were so many firsts in this   pandemic I think one of my favorite sayings was  when a senior leader would ask me Emily what are   we doing here and I said let me check the handbook  of the last pandemic we went through and you   know there wasn't one. And we didn't know what we  were going to do but we had to put our our heads   together and problem solve on it of how would we  do this and what was the best way to keep keeping   team members first what was the best way to react  into into to make the decisions we needed to do. And I think based on that another another one  of our best practices or one of the things that   I've learned I mentioned early in the call at  the beginning of the pandemic I I was helping   our EHS team but I wasn't responsible for  it and now I have their they're under our   organization and I always tell them no one  knows you're there until something goes wrong.   And so they were in the forefront and I hear from  them all the time I see now I see what they do day   to day and I have a much better appreciation for  them and the skill sets that they have and being   in a technology company and having health and  safety and environment experts sometimes goes   overlooked and I think it's just making sure that  we understand there's other support organizations   out there and we've got to make sure that we're  supporting them and giving them the resources they   need uh we have we put a lot of effort into  training people training on workplace safety   training on how we handle an incident at work and  it with the forefront the idea of keeping our team   members safe now looking at this is having a more  robust policy on personal protective equipment   making sure we're offering the right training for  those team members so that if another something   like this comes up again we have an idea of how to  handle this and the other part of this that um you   know how do we conduct health risk assessment  assessments how do we think about predictive   analysis and predictive modeling and then when  do we make the decision of if it's a work related   incident or a work-related virus versus something  that maybe is not contracted at work and how do   you calm the fear of people I think one example we  had is coming you know as the pan as things were   getting a little bit more organized and slowing  down with covid you all sudden start hearing   about monkey pox and so the question immediately  the questions and there's the fear of people of   what's going to happen and you know and the team  was very good to talk about the differences and   how it's a different disease than what Covid is and so it's really thinking through that and   making sure that yes we are doing we do a great  job we have strong team members and technology but   we also need to make sure we have the right people  in place from the health and safety perspective of   the organization. And one of the reasons that is so  key and I have I have two more uh lessons learned   from Dell and I'm hoping there's some lessons  you guys can share or or questions you have for   me I'm happy to take those but two more lessons we  learned and one of those is tied to communications. I think communications and change management  while they're two different things they're two of   the most important things that that need to be  done well especially in times of uncertainty.   

I think everyone acknowledges that nobody really  knew what was going on in the beginning of the   pandemic - everything from the types of masks  do you wear masks do they help do they not help   how can we prevent this what are some of the  precautionary measures even from a standpoint   of how contagious is the virus and everything just  kept changing. And then there was so much data   and so so much information out there it was it was  impossible to try to keep up. And one of the things   we quickly learned we were and I still think  we're guilty of this but in a lot of ways we were   using static static communication that would via  like email which then would get forwarded and it   wouldn't get updated or a PowerPoint presentation  that would have information and then it would sit   in someone's desktop and somebody asked a question  and they would forward it but by that time it   might have been a week old and that data probably  had changed and so one of the things we try to do   now is everything was linked to one web page that  was structured in a way that had frequently asked   questions if someone asked a question and we  didn't have the answer we went off and tried   to find the answer and then posted it back on the  website that saved us so much time it made sure   we were consistent with our messaging and made  sure that people you know so many people asked   the same question, which was fine, and so then  we had a platform to share the answer so that   we can continue to provide the latest and greatest  information. This was extremely helpful when we had   site status updates - was a site open was a site  closed where we were we asking everybody to   work from home except for essential workers. That's  something else we've carried through is to have   the status update of our locations so people know  what's going on. And we're also starting to work  

on a subscription service where if you want to  subscribe to a campus that is close to you so I'm   I'm in Austin and I live close to the Round Rock  campus I can subscribe and know what's happening   around the campus if there's events going on  if something else happens. Those are the type of   things where we've learned from this and I think  we've been we've get a lot of feedback from team   members that they appreciated the transparency  and they also appreciated the tremendous amount   of information that we could provide. I will tell  you uh one of the surprises I had and I think it   says a lot about our culture is people felt very  comfortable coming to us as their employer asking   questions really that were health related but  I think they felt comfortable that we would go   figure out the answer and then make sure we were  really thinking about their health and well-being   um first and foremost as we as we managed our  way through all the things that were happening. 

And I think the the last the last lesson I  would say is um what we learned early on and we   saw some of our peer companies or competitors  probably not necessarily take this into   consideration is don't overreact and don't act too  quickly um especially in the beginning and we've   seen this with hybrid work where people are saying  yes the new way of working is remote everybody   should go remote and then a couple months later  they say just kidding we're going to ask you all   to come back into the office two days a week. One  of the things we've done is saying look something   can be urgent but it's not an emergency so there's  a difference between urgency and emergency. And so   just taking our time to make sure we're thinking  through what are the ramifications what are some   of the impacts how can we use data to leverage  um making our decision and how do we feel about   backing that up and if we were to go communicate  that what do we think the consequences would be. And then also what we learned is sometimes the  loudest voices aren't the majority and so not   acting on a couple of things but really trying  to understand a broader approach of how we're   managing things. We have a global survey that  we run through HR every year and we get over   90% participation. So leveraging information like  that so that we're getting a more robust sample   of what how people are feeling before we then  go to a reaction to something that may not be   an issue for the majority of the company. And I  think that's that's the things we're trying to  

do as we think about on what the positive things  that were that came out of something that was   really stressful for a lot of folks you know  people lost family members we had team members   that we lost and then our teams having to manage  through things they just never thought they would   have to deal with before I thought it would be  helpful to bring the seven things we've learned   um from that that we're going to continue on  and take some positives out of out of what was   a really stressful two and a half years as we  managed to do some a lot of unknowns. So with   that I hope there's some questions out there  for me because I'd be happy to answer them. Thank you so much that was so informative and  I learned a lot um especially with your best   practices that I would love to employ here. So um  let me get the ball rolling with questions out   there. You mentioned that the they were changing  guidances that would come out either through   the World Health Organization or CDC or the State  Health departments and you're a global company   and keeping up with those updates was hard. Tell  me about how did you decide the best method to  

operationalize those guidances that came out and  and I imagine it would be different in different   locations. So what was that decision-making process  like it's a great question and I think it was one   where we quickly pivoted when we realized um  sometimes we get we get blamed for they say   they say everything comes out of Round Rock that's  headquarters and so we were trying to make these   decisions and we're sitting there and we have  team members throughout the world. We flip the   switch so how we manage crisis management is we  have the level one which is our executive team   level two which is where I would play with some  of other Executives and then we have Regional   Insight level teams that are in the local market. And we flipped it and said you guys tell us what's   going on what support do you need from Global  we're not going to micromanage because I'm not   going to tell you what's happening in Germany  when you're literally sitting there watching   the news. And so we had to make that switch to say  let our local leaders lead let us be available   to them we were taking phone calls in the middle  of the night. But listening to them first before  

making an assumption because the data was just  changing and that everything was happening so   quickly so I think that was the biggest thing  is enabling local leaders to make decisions   and not trying to manage everything through  through Round Rock. Nice nice. Good, thank you.   You know and I'm looking right quick so in Rocio  please interrupt me whenever we get a question,   because I can I can ask questions all day.   You also mentioned about the PPE specifically   masks, and having to vet the quality of those masks. And that's something we experienced here at the   University because we're also a healthcare  facility - we deliver Health Care here - and   we have I don't know something like over 100  clinics and a hospital here with the University   and we needed medical grade PPE. And when  that became in short supply we had a lot of   vendors knocking on our doors saying hey we've  got these you know and we had to find somebody to   research the quality of those particular  items. You know, we would refer to NIOSH  

and their expertise but there were so many it  was hard to keep up with that. How did you manage   the quality of new PPE vendors? We essentially  were in the same situation. I think those of you   on the front lines had it more difficult because  we didn't necessarily need medical grade while   it would have been nice we were cautious not to  go and purchase a bunch because we didn't want   to take that out of the supply for hospitals and  other health care facilities so while we weren't   and I think that was the other piece too we had  when we saw this coming in December in Asia we   had actually started buying PPE for the idea that  it would be for Asia we didn't think at any point   did we have to then say this is going to be a  global thing so we did have enough I would say   to manage through we actually ended up donating  some. But then we actually hired someone -  we reallocated a resource from our procurement  team to really go in and do an investigation of   the vendor. I think that was the biggest thing  is we had people who were privately previously   doing restaurant supplies and now all of a  sudden they're in the PPE business. So really   being cautious of we're not going to go down that  path we're going to stick with vendors that we can   validate and make sure that somehow we can we can you know validate that that was the right   person the right group to use. And we had issues  you know in different countries where we ordered  

PPE showed up and then what we got to our office  was not was not what we ordered. And so just making   sure that um even though we had a commitment  and maybe somewhere along the line where it   got into the country it was it got finally got  to us it wasn't what we ordered. So investigating   and making sure even we had it it was what we  ordered and we were keeping team members safe.  

um there is a funny story: I said  we were putting PPE - we were drop   shipping it to our team members as they  were going out and fixing customer sites.   And we had an example at first where we would  put the PPE in with the part that they were going   to fix and we had the part get hold held up in  customs not because of the IT part, but because   of the PPE. So we had to separate how we dropship  to the to the customers and to the the team members. I mean I was just realizing maybe not everybody  understands what PPE stands for. Oh, I apologize   Protective - I put in well and I use the word uh  or the acronym - so I'm gonna drop that into the   chat as well. And encourage folks that if they  have questions to to please drop them into the Q&A. And since there isn't a a big jump in  there, we can also include the chat.   

If you guys have questions there. I did see a  guess - somebody guessed that you donated 37,000  chairs. That's really close! So it was it  was it was 28,000 chairs. So I will make sure   if we have that person's information I'll make  sure to send a little something from Dell.

Okay so I think that's hilarious. Excellent excellent. It used to be my backdrop on on Zoom I used to have a bunch  of chairs in my in my background picture. Okay I'm in the Texas Medical Center  and I'm not sure if you could hear the   ambulance going by. Nope? Okay good good. So let me ask another question then. You also   brought up that you had to make a decision  on when an injury or illness was work related   and when Covid began to spread at  the community level rather than just   at the workplace and mostly at the healthcare  facilities, how did you make the decision that   illness was as a result of work activity  rather than community spread. We use that with so it's a great question. So we're really proud of the fact that we didn't really have any clusters. 

Which speaks a lot to keeping the facilities  clean keeping people separated and then and   then of course 90% of our team working from home. But we used our self-reporting tool which was huge   because if I reported not feeling well and then  Janelle you reported not feeling well, we had folks   that were allowed to look  at the information and then they would cluster   so we would see okay you you were but we were  both in the cafeteria at the same time so then   we knew who who to call who to call and who to  contact and we have to be really careful because   we didn't I remember it was March 26 when I was in  the round one of the Round Rock one buildings all   of a sudden they were like we even got to evacuate  the building because one person potentially had it.  It's like we'd also don't want to cause mass panic.   And so being thoughtful about well what's the real  

and I think that was the hardest part of making a  call of who do you communicate to and don't cause   panic because people were so scared there were  so many things we didn't know. But I think the   tool was what helped us a lot to say okay this  is a cluster this makes sense this other group   maybe maybe not so much it got harder as people  traveled so um when we started going back to   conferences and events uh we had to you know we  asked people to self-report but you never know if   you're in the airport how the heck you decide if  you got that at work or you just got a traveling   So it's still a challenge we have but I think the  tool that we use for self-reporting and to try to   cluster helped tremendously with that. Great thank  you. I was very surprised to hear how supportive   or maybe I was I'm not surprised. Surprised  is not the right word about the ergonomic   support that you provided to the employees  working from home um that's very impressive.  And we've struggled with that decision  you know how because I know in the early   days I I was working on a teeny tiny laptop on  a dining room chair and it so I personally went   and bought a standing desk and I bought a better  chair and I bought two monitors to plug it you know   So and that's something that university  couldn't support of course because you   know we we just couldn't do it. But  it's very impressive that Dell did. I'm really proud of the company when when we stood  up to do that because the other thing we did is   when we asked people to sign up for remote work  one of the reasons was so we can offer a stipend   so that you could go get a sit stand desk or you  could go get what you other than your peripherals   and again I realized we're a technology company  so it's easier for us to do that so it's like   one of those things that that's a place that's  easier for Dell. But everyone has office chairs 

and I think we had many conversations of well what  happens if they don't bring the chair back? And I'm   glad that we have leadership that says it doesn't  matter we'd rather have people be safe. And so I do   think that that was something that was nice to see  them do and then the same thing with the stipends   um is and the other reason we did a stipend  as opposed to I know some companies provided   sit stand desk we have people in all different  parts of the world who have different spaces at   home and so we didn't want to say we knew exactly  what they needed so we did the stipends to allow   them to make the decision for themselves. Nice  nice. let me take a quick look here the chat.   A lot of kudos for you Emily. The presentation was fabulous and answered many of my questions  

um somebody else says no questions but this was  great. A lot of similar lessons learned working   for a federal government agency - entity.   And we are a big customer   of the federal government - they're a big customer  of ours. And I think that was something else we   had to consider as some of the federal regulations  were coming in. How do we balance that with the the  

non-federal parts of our business? So it was it was  always an interesting day during those times. It is hard because it was a novel coronavirus  and you know as experts learned more, the   guidance changed, it became more refined and I think  people forget that we were learning everything   you know along the way and so that's why the  guidance has changed you know to yes mask yes   you know a double layer mask, now we've developed  a vaccine yes you know vaccinate get boosters. So it definitely did change. Here's  a question that probably speaks to your   company culture but was impressed that  your HR survey has 90% response rate. Do you offer incentives to get that response? We  don't but um so I can't I can't tell you   how it's amazing to see our culture. I think um  the other thing I will tell you is as a leader   I'm held to it's called Tell Dell and I'm held  to my results and one of the questions on there is   did we did we do what we said we would do  from last year? And I think people realize it's   anonymous - one - but they know that we take it  very serious and I think people are willing   to do a survey if they know you're going  to actually take the results and make an   action plan to go change them. And we are very  very serious about doing that so I think that  

probably is why we get such a high response  rate. Wonderful. And we have another note. Thank you for an impressive presentation. And Rocio I see something else in the Q&A. It's basically a thank you as well  from Jolene. She says thank you for   the inside applying lessons from the pandemic  to making things more efficient post-pandemic. Excellent. What what are the future plans for  Dell? I mean if we have an influenza outbreak that   becomes an epidemic or another outbreak especially  if it's a via respiratory transmission. What are  your plans?

I think well one thing we did is we had  an infectious disease policy and I think the last   time we had looked at it was like 2016. So one of  the things we've committed to is looking at   that policy. One we've looked at it lessons  learned and then updating it. And then the   other piece I think is that there's just so much  we learned of from the processes we kept in place   and we basically built a playbook that we would  pick up and I think what this taught us because it   was global is there's a lot we can learn so  I feel like we're in a much better position   if this were to happen again to be able  to manage through that. And we you know   we deal with little things throughout the the  year anyway. We had a tornado in Round Rock   that came through I think two springs ago. So  I think taking all the lessons from this you can  

apply them it doesn't have to be a pandemic  but I think you know there'll be things we've   learned along the way. And emergency response. I'd  say if somebody asked me it's like one of my top   10 priorities for this year as we think about  um emergency response in a remote world so the   example I used about zoom and if something were  to happen making sure our team feels supported   and the same thing if something happens in a  building and there aren't a lot of people around.   Making sure we know how  to get help to a team member.   Wonderful. So you're creating a handbook for future  pandemics. So you know the future you can look and flip around and say hey this is what they  did last time. And it's interesting too - I don't  

I don't know if you all are hearing  this but I've had a couple people reach out to me   um with technology that you know vendors that are  startups um to try to predict the next pandemic   and I don't know if we're there yet but it'd  be kind of that was something that was actually   realistic. And I'm sure there are scientists  modeling that as we speak. Yes, there are. Yeah wonderful. If there are no other questions then we can draw  this to a close. Any other questions out there? Yeah good. Emily thank you so much again you've  been - oh wait there's one more quick question.   Have you experienced a permanent shift in percentage of  your workforce that now works remotely? Yes, yes. And we don't we don't mandate uh we don't mandate  how many days you come into the office. What we are doing is reevaluating our real  estate footprint so we're reducing our offices. 

And then we're looking at an enhanced employee  experience. So probably you'll see us if you we will have smaller offices and be more open to  hybrid work as you need them. But we've definitely   seen a dramatic shift in I'd say we had 90% people working from home. I'd say like 70% are   still working from home. And again I think that  speaks to we're a global company. If I ask my team  

to come in, you're going to be coming in from like  12 different countries. So I think again it varies   so that there's you know I have friends who  work in a office in Austin and they come into the   office but that's because when they come in  there's a bunch of them. So I think it just varies. And we're not surprised at all that  a lot of people continue to work from home.    And that's part of how we hire as well. We hire from  anywhere if you know if you have the skills and   capabilities - we will hire no matter where  you live. Wonderful thank you. Thank you again.

And I'll get in touch with you to send you a little  thank you gift. Thank you and everybody thank   you so much for joining us. And this concludes our  webcast. Have a great day! Thanks everyone. Bye bye

2023-02-22 22:45

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