As host of Dynatrace’s internal Real Talks podcast, Chief People Officer Sue Quackenbush has the chance to talk to colleagues around the world about their stories and passions, what they do and how they’re advancing in their roles.
“Our team members need to feel connected with their colleagues worldwide, and this podcast serves as a passport, transporting Dynatracers across our global community,” Quackenbush said.
For Quackenbush, Real Talks serves as an avatar for Dynatrace’s people-centered culture and organizational focus on not just listening to but really hearing colleagues. However, it’s only one element of a network of initiatives meant to help build unity across a globally distributed team.
From team breakfasts and lunch-and-learn sessions to employee resource groups and Slack channels highlighting shared interests, Dynatrace’s people and culture team has invested deeply in creating ways for colleagues to connect. Beyond the efforts to support camaraderie, the company has also invested in people-first policies including global quarterly wellness days, a flexible work model and, in the United States, a new unlimited paid time off policy.
These programs and similar efforts have helped refine an already flourishing company culture, but VP of Customer Experience Stephen Hull notes that they only serve as scaffolding for Dynatrace’s central pillar: the people.
“These initiatives are merely ink on a page without our people,” he told Built In.
“Initiatives are merely ink on a page without our people.”
Director of Social Media John Rocker agreed.
“One of the things that makes Dynatrace a high-performing organization and a great place to work is that people feel confident and safe enough to share their ideas,” Rocker said. “We have a strong collaborative culture; some of our best ideas come from these open dialogues.”
Beyond finding people who fit within the existing culture, Dynatrace seeks to add fresh perspectives as the company grows.
“We aim to find candidates who not only align with our culture but can also enhance it and adapt to a dynamic and evolving work environment,” Hull said. “We also highlight that Dynatrace is an evolving organization, where processes are continuously reworked and evaluated as we learn and grow.”
Built In heard from Quackenbush, Rocker and Hull about what Dynatrace’s team is like today and the people-first culture that supports both its business’s and its people’s growth in the future.
Innovate, Engage, Win
“When I first became a leader at Dynatrace, I was asked to describe our culture, but I couldn't quite articulate it clearly despite feeling that it was unique and strong,” Hull said.
Hull needed the right language to identify aspects of the culture he knew but couldn’t articulate. The first step toward identifying that language — while also uniting Dynatracers across functions and geographies — was setting company-wide values.
Once they were set, the team worked to actively embody them in their work, and the values came to life.
“One of the key aspects of our customer success culture is the commitment to engage with purpose,” Hull said, citing one of the company values. “By recognizing individuals who consistently exemplify this commitment, we were able to set a clear example of what exceptional performance looks like.”
- Innovate with passion
- Engage with purpose
- Win with integrity
Rocker also notes the influence that living out Dynatrace’s values has had on team culture.
“Leadership had a vision for the culture. I’d liken it to a musician putting out a great song that was well-received and loved, which other artists then reimagined and made better,” he said. “Leadership was deliberate in how they built our culture, but Dynatracers have remixed and enhanced it.”
Organizationally, Dynatrace acknowledges and celebrates the contributions individuals add to the culture, including in the employee experience tagline: “Real vibes. Real people.”
Last year, discovery work by the people and culture team found Dynatracers shared a consistently positive culture across teams and geographies.
“They emphasized their strong belief in the future of Dynatrace, the product, the inclusive environment and the connections Dynatrace offers,” Quackenbush said. “We’re on a journey to unify and scale our employee experience to strengthen our culture, and our new tagline of ‘Real vibes. Real people.’ is a bold commitment to doing so.”
While developing a rich employee experience rooted in a robust global culture, Dynatrace has taken an intentional approach to the role work plays in employees’ lives — starting from the basic questions of how and where work gets done.
A Flexible Work Environment
When the COVID-19 pandemic initiated reactive measures at companies around the world, Dynatrace found an opportunity to reimagine how office and workplace culture fits into employees’ lives.
“Our people-first culture is supported by investing in the workplace experience, both in-office and remote, and delivering experiences that make a significant impact on our employees' engagement, motivation and overall well-being,” Quackenbush said.
One core feature of that investment is the Dynatrace Work Model, which supports in-person connection, cultural vibrancy and hyper-innovation. Recognizing every team’s and individual’s unique needs, DWM offers flexibility with on-site collaboration and remote work options. The ‘flex’ model requires two office days weekly, while the ‘remote’ model suits Dynatracers living further away from the office.
“I have found the flexibility of working from home to be beneficial, especially with six young children,” Hull said, highlighting the value that the DWM offers. “Finding the right balance between remote and in-office work can be challenging, but with the DWM, all Dynatracers find a solution that offers the right mix.”
For Rocker, the commitment to the DWM encapsulates how Dynatrace prioritizes people while building systems that serve the entire organization.
“I admire the approach our company took coming out of the pandemic, as it displayed its openness to adapt workplace policies to meet the evolving needs of employees,” he said. “Regardless of your work model, the organization works hard to ensure employees stay connected.”