Why I'm Not Surprised That 50% Of Dell's US Workforce Have Completely Rejected Return-To-Office Mandates (And Why It Proves What I've Been Saying For Over A Year)

Why I'm Not Surprised That 50% Of Dell's US Workforce Have Completely Rejected Return-To-Office Mandates (And Why It Proves What I've Been Saying For Over A Year)


50% Of Dell's US Workforce "Completely Ignored" The Mandates To Return-To-Office?!

Who would have "Ever" Guessed That?!

Oh, wait... I did... 3 Months Ago when Dell first went back on their word and made the decision to "Require" In-Office Work.

In that article, I discussed how the Problem of Burnout would be a Major Problem for the Leadership of Dell in actually Enforcing these Mandates.

I have written Over 20 Articles about why the Return-To-Office "Mandates" make Absolutely No Sense from Any Perspective.

However, Dell appears to have taken it Even Further than I Originally Imagined, and likely have made things Worse.

My Article 3 Months Ago addressed the Rumor that Dell (and other Organizations) might be "Hoping" that these Policies would lead to "Quiet Firing".

Essentially, trying to Force Employees back Into to Office would lead to them Quitting so that Dell could avoid Firing people.

"If" that was the Goal (which was only Rumor, but as they say, Perception Becomes Reality), then (as Predicted) it Horribly Backfired.

Instead of Employees Leaving on their own, they now have Half of their US Workforce Refusing to Follow the "Mandates".

But even worse, Employees are now Openly Discussing with Outside Publications How Stupid these Mandates have been.

That is Active Disengagement at its Finest!

Dell has also created some interesting "Punishments" to try to Force Employees back.

Remote Employees are now Ineligible for Promotions.

Do they Care?

"... in our case there was no real advantage going to the office...."

That was an Employee comment about how 90% of the team they were on felt "No" Reason to Return, despite having No Opportunity for Advancement if they remained Remote.

Dell also created a Punishment System that "Literally" Flags Employees who do Not go into the Office.

They actually get marked with a "Red Flag"!

Does that Punishment Encourage Employees to go back?


Obviously not.

It is like I said Months Ago, Punishments Do Not Work in Persuading Employees.

Further, when Employees Believe that Punishments are Unjust, as Dell Employees are making Vehemently Clear when Speaking to Outside Organizations, they become "Heroes Against an Unjust System".

What is Dell's Response to all of this?

They have gone on record saying that they believe, "in-person connections paired with a flexible approach are critical to drive innovation and value differentiation."

First, that is the most PR-Speak Statement I've read in some time.

But worse, does "Any" of that make sense?

Well, it is playing into the "Serendipity of Ideas" Myth without saying "Serendipity" (in all likelihood because of how Ridiculous and Pompous it sounds).

Perhaps the most Ironic aspect of this PR-Speak Statement are the words, "Flexible Approach".

If you are "Literally" Flagging Employees who Vehemently Hate your Policy, that is about as Inflexible as a Company can be.

Especially when ALL of the Data, Research, and Practicality of Everything Sides with the Employees!

For some examples of the Impracticalities that Employees are pointing out:

"Multiple Dell employees told Insider they work with team members in different time zones and held meetings requiring them to be on the clock at times when being on-site wouldn't be appropriate."

"Others said they lived too far away from a company location or that a Dell office near them had been shut down."

These are Very Simple things that should have been Considered before an Inflexible Mandate was made!

Do you expect Employees to be "In-Office" for Meetings in the Middle of the Night, Excessively Early in the Morning, and/or outside of their Regular Office Hours?

If you are Demanding Employees to be in the Office, shouldn't they have a Feasible Location to go to?

Wouldn't it be a Poor Leadership Decision to Close Down an Office that Employees who were being "Required" to Abide by these "Mandates"?

These are Questions that appear Unconsidered and are making things Worse for Dell Employees.

As I said, Unjust Punishment.

I also became Curious as to what "Innovations" Dell is Looking at and if they had any Innovations to speak of.

I went on their website to see if they had Innovative Products.

I saw Products that were "Honorees", but in Innovation that just means they are a Miniscule Step Better than Previous Versions.

Enough to be Noticeable, but not enough to Truly be Innovative.

I tried to find Articles that discussed Dell's Innovations.

All I could find were PR Articles (likely paid for by Dell), and Organizations "Partnered" with Dell.

Those Articles also didn't... Say anything Innovative.

They sounded like more PR-Talk about Minuscule Steps forward.

One thing Mildly Interesting in Innovation was "AI" which Dell hasn't accomplished anything Truly Innovative with.

OpenAI is currently the Only "Innovative" Company in AI, and everyone else seems to be behind and trying to catch up (Unsuccessfully, due to Category King/Queen Economics).

Though "AI" itself I have Not found to be Capable of Innovation thus far.

AI is Impressive at what it can do, but Innovative is Not what it does well.

I also saw a Mention of Eco-Friendly Practices in their Manufacturing, but I Honestly can't say if there is True Innovation there, or if it is simply Green-Washing.

Given the Nature of AI, and how "Green-Unfriendly" it is, I would lean toward these claims being Green-Washing Statements.

However, undeterred, I continued searching for "Anything" of True Innovation, which brought me to a Research Report for "Dell Technologies Innovation Index".

If I was going to Find what Dell was Considering "Innovation", I had to be able to get it from their Own Report on Innovation...


Well, let's say that I was Disappointed in what I found.

For Starters, the "Research" was Paid for by Dell, so there is an Immediate Conflict of Interest but likely reveals what "Dell" Believes is Important in "Innovation".

But what I found Most Disappointing was the "Most Important Innovation Goals" Section:

  • Improve the Customer Experience

  • Future-Proof the Organization (by Staying Ahead of Changing Customer Demands)

  • Increase Revenue

  • Cost Savings and Efficiencies

  • Improve the Organization's Brand/Reputation

  • Gain the Competitive Advantage

  • Improve the Employee Experience

  • Become a More Ethical Business

None of these are "Innovative" and should be Considered "Baseline Business Objectives".

The only Items that could fall under "True" Innovation would be:

  • Become a More Sustainable Business

  • New Market/Monetization Opportunities/New Business Models

There are Problems here though.

Research has shown that "Sustainability" is Not Enough for Businesses as a Goal, and we must become "Regenerative" Instead.

This means they are Significantly Behind on Innovation in this sector if they are still only discussing Sustainability.

This is also why I Frequently talk about Designing a Regenerative Legacy as a Top Leadership Necessity.

For the other item, the Problems are that it is not only Low on the List (at #7 of 10), but 3 Different Types of Innovation had to be Lumped together to make a Significant Enough Percentage.

All of these Measures indicate to me that Dell isn't looking at "True Innovation", and only Marginal Innovation "At Best".

But here's the Biggest Kicker with this Research.

In Dell's Own Paid Research, this is what it says about Remote Work:

"88% of respondents believe remote workers in their organizations have as much, if not more opportunity to innovate compared to onsite staff, thanks to collaborative technology combined with the freedom to work anywhere".

Of that, 49% said they had "More" Opportunities to Innovate.

The Research on this Topic also Reveals that this is the Truth - As Technology has Improved, Remote Innovation "Has" Outpaced In-Person Innovation.

Perhaps in a Stroke of Irony, 49% matches "Very" Closely to the 50% of Employees Refusing to Return to their Offices.

Now, what does all of this end up telling us about Dell's Response to their Employees' Rejection of their "Mandates"?

Dell is Struggling with Innovation, not because their Employees are Remote, but because their Goals are not Focused on True Innovation.

Further, their "Own" Research states that In-Person Work Does Not Drive Innovation or Value Differentiation.

Looking at All of this Combined, it appears that Dell is Tone-Deaf to their Employees, and working Against Human Psychophysiology in their Failing Efforts to Force Employees into the Office via Punishment.

None of this is Surprising, and Dell is not the Only Company facing similar problems.

SAP had 5,000 Employees Sign a Letter to Executives saying how they had felt "Betrayed" by Mandate Policies.

New Research has also been coming out that claims that there were Further Negative Consequences to Innovation and Leadership with these Mandates.

Every way Companies have attempted to Spin this Tale has shown that "Everything" around these Mandates is either a Myth, Based on Bad Research, a Complete Misunderstanding of Human Psychophysiology, and/or Is a Fabricated Lie to Pass Leadership Failings Off on Employees.

Employees are Not Blind to These Truths.

That is Why these "Mandates" have Failed across the Board, and No Company can actually "Do" Anything About It.

The Consequences would Destroy these Businesses.

Could you Imagine "Enforcing" the Mandates and Losing 50% of your Workforce with a Single Decision?

Grindr didn't have to Imagine it when they lost 45% of their Employees based on their Mandates.

Perhaps the Saddest Part is that the Answer is in Plain Sight - Stop Mandating Returning to the Office.

Leaders need to make the Workplace somewhere Employees "Want" to go to, and right now Workplaces are Too Toxic.

If Leaders Fixed the True Problems they had, like Burnout, they would be Far More Likely to get Employees to actually go to an Office!

But right now, the Employees have it Absolutely Correct.

There is, "no real advantage going to the office."

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