During a recent conversation with Dev Technology’s CEO, Kendall Holbrook and COO, Ryan Madden, we learn the value of going to bat for employees, what a week of service entailed, and one model of stickiness that satisfies employees and has far reaching benefits.

Blending Mission and Culture

Founded by Sanjeev Duggal and Susie Sylvester, from its inception, Dev Technology combined his focus and experience on serving the mission of government, and her human resources insight into the very best and worst of corporate culture.

As the company grew, that recipe for what makes a good culture has been tweaked and evolved with intent, seeing new programs implemented, others sunset, all reflective of the people within the company.

Balancing the importance of the missions of its federal clients and those times of do what it takes to get the job done, Dev Technology has both engaged people with the right mindset, and worked to watch and manage the work, stress and energy levels of its people.

Going to Bat

Supporting employees for Dev Technology means having their back, in all ways. In some cases that has meant having difficult conversations with customers where employees were experiencing challenges. “We perform best as a team if both our employees and customers are being well supported and customers have appreciated when we have stepped in to make sure a team member was being treated fairly and was comfortable in their role with them.”

In today’s competitive landscape where talent can go anywhere, having a company where you work hard but can trust the people you work with, know you are supported, and have some fun along the way is an attractive option. “The concept of people first is one we hear a lot. Whether it is taking care of our employees so they can better serve the customer, caring for our customers themselves, or thinking about the end users who may be impacted by the programs and systems we support, we do maintain that focus.”

Partners

That same view of people applies to the partners Dev Technology chooses to engage with and is built in part on the knowledge its team will need to interface and mesh with that of another company. “Some companies we have partnered with for a long time because there is a synergy in how we work, our cultures and people focus.”

Dev Technology also finds small companies that make great partners for the same reasons, although sometimes it may require a little more digging to find out what a company is really all about.

More than Words

Many companies today have laid out a series of values. For Dev Technology those values have also been defined and driven by the team.

A look at the programs Dev Technology has implemented for its team is a view that encompasses something for everyone. In part, perhaps, because each program has been driven by employee desire, backed and supported by the company through an executive sponsor, funding and time.

Whether it is the DENizens program for the under 30 group within the team focused on Developing, Educating and Networking with one another; the Women in Technology group, who enjoy a book club, panel sessions and had the opportunity to hear Michele Obama speak; the Fun Patrol – no explanation needed there; the fitness and wellness group, Toastmasters, or any one of the other groups within the company, each is drive by and serves the company’s 240 or so employees.

“Someone recently proposed a corporate head-to-head kick ball game with a partner firm we work with which we’ll look at for Spring. The ideas come up at meetings, as people pass in the halls or are engaged in other activities.”

They may also be raised when employees meet Kendall, within their first week of work. “In that first meeting I talk about strategy, people care, their expectations, and I make sure they know how to get the most out of the company, how and where they can find groups and people to engage with. Most have done their research through our site, or Glassdoor, or simply speaking with others so they have an idea of what they are getting and what else they may want.”

Week of Service

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For the first time this year, the entire company came together to take part in a company-wide week of service. Turning to organizations the company had relationships with, or individual employees did, members took part in walks, met honor flights, painted pumpkins with preschoolers, packed food, and did so much more. “Those outside of this geographic area got involved where they were and shared pictures so others could see them in action.”

People felt inspired and fulfilled by what they were doing, and they had a great time working with people they may not in the course of their daily roles, bonding with colleagues and making new friends. “We heard from many that a week was not long enough so we’ll think about what that may look like next year.”

A Greater View of People

This kind of company-wide giving is becoming widely understood to drive stickiness within an organization, to give employees a greater meaning behind what they do and why they will stay with a company. Seeing people outside of their specific job and responsibilities is another.

“There are certainly things we could have initially passed on because they seemed hard but inevitably someone within the organization has a talent or a passion to do exactly what needs to be done. When you can find that person and set them on the task, both sides will reap the rewards.”

Teamwork

Dev Technology has been recognized several times for its community focused efforts, to include being honored with a Northern Virginia Family Service CARE award four years in a row.

“Dev is what it is because of people who work here. The awards we win are because of them and all of their hard work, whether serving mission or doing things to make this a better company. In our work we deal with some big issues. It’s important for everyone to have the chance to have fun, to be able to give back, especially when it gives them back so much.”

About Dev Technology

Dev Technology is an information technology services company delivering mission-critical applications and systems that protect and serve American citizens. Our work supports the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, the National Guard, and others. We specialize in full stack application development, biometrics and identity management, cloud and infrastructure optimization, IT and legacy modernization, and data management. We are a woman-owned business. We are CMMI-DEV Level 3 assessed, ISO 9001:2015/27001:2013/20000:2018 certified, and have been rated a Washington Post Top Workplace for 9 years, a Top Workplaces USA for two years since the inception of the program, and an AnitaB.org Top Company for Women Technologists in 2021 and 2022.

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