The Cisco Solution: Welcome To The Employees Network

chrgomes    October 23, 2014

Organization Name: Cisco Systems Inc.

Industry: Network Equipment

Web References: www.cisco.com

Description of how social media is used for business performance:

Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected.

At Cisco, customers come first and an integral part of a long-lasting customer partnerships and working with them to identify their needs and provide solutions that support their success.

The concept of solutions being driven to address specific customer challenges has been with Cisco since its inception. The original founders of Cisco were both husband and wife, Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner were both working for Stanford University, wanted to email each other from their respective offices located in different buildings but were unable to due to technological shortcomings. A technology had to be invented to deal with disparate local area protocols; and as a result of solving their challenge, the first multi-protocol router was born.

Since Cisco has shaped the future of the internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors and ecosystem partners and has become the worldwide leader in networking. Transforming as to how people connect, communicate and collaborate.

One of the many challenges that Cisco has embraced in challenging their employees to be more engaging, is by allowing them to be more openly connected at Cisco. The more connected employees feel, the easier it is for them to support the organization’s objectives in both short and long-term.

Even though the challenges of the work environment continues to evolve, where workers are becoming more mobile and socially dispersed, it can be a challenge in keeping employees engage in their work environment. Employees need trusted connections with executives, managers, and peers, as well as access to the tools and information necessary to do their jobs, collaborate with others, and develop their skills. By enabling employees to connect openly and freely, allows employees to strengthening the trust in them with Cisco own products and services and best represent the Cisco brand in the process.

“Show me a company that doesn’t want to value its employees. Show me a company that doesn’t think employees are central to their success.”

–  David Heather, Cisco Canada VP of HR.

                                  Cisco Employees Shares Our Values (Source: YouTube)

Empowering and engaging employees is not something that just happens.  It requires facilitation and support as follows:

  • Limiting engagement to matters that are part of the employees job responsibilities and have it start with listening, really understanding and feel as to what customers are talking about.
  • Complete awareness and understanding that all engagements should be transparent about who you work for and what you do.
  • Training related to communications in online forums; why they are of value to the business and the importance of this kind of customer connectivity as well as the public nature of such discussions.
  • Guidelines related to confidentially should be very clear and concise.
  • Methods for escalation and how to identify a potential  issues or crises, so employees understand how to proceed in difficult circumstances.

“We see in our everyday lives as consumers and how we’re treated online by the companies we deal with can provide entirely new insights and strategies from outside of our own”

– Jackie Nixon, Head of Marketing for Cisco Europe.

Cisco Employees Wake Up the World | Tomorrow Starts Here (Source: YouTube)

The Challenge: Addressing the global workforce presence in the challenges work life balance and how to engage employees to reach out in social media.

Within the global workforce, Cisco has employees working in every time zone around the world. The need for round-the-clock connection requires employees to adapt as to when and where they work, and can pose challenges for balancing work and personal commitments.

  • 75,000+ employees on six continents.
  • Employees say workplace flexibility is one of their top priorities.
  • Employees view career development, training, and opportunities to apply their talents as top factors in job satisfaction.
  • Trust in executives appears to have more than twice the impact on engagement that trust in immediate managers does.
  • Engaged employees stay for what they give to the organization, whereas the disengaged stay for what they get from the organization.
  • Executives have to demonstrate consistency in words and actions, communicate often in-depth, and align business practices and behaviours throughout the organization.

Lessons for others:

How does Cisco address the requirement of their employees to adapt as to when and where they work while balancing family commitments and other personal responsibilities? By simply using Cisco collaboration and connectivity technology to make it seamless as possible for all employees the flexibility in how, when, and where they work.

The Solution: The use of Cisco technology to redefine the traditional work office environment and collaboration.

Collaboration technology and internet connectivity are at the core of Cisco enterprise business, and enable employees flexible work practices, such as telecommuting, remote work, and flex-time. The technology infrastructure gives employees the flexibility in how, when, and where they work as follows:

  • Cisco technologies including IP phones and Cisco WebEx, TelePresence, and Jabber which allow employees to collaborate from home, the office, or elsewhere.
  • Connected Workplaces with open-plan workstations, privacy rooms, lounges, and recreation spaces redefine traditional “work office” space.
  • 6x increase in use of Cisco WebEx web conferencing over last 7 years.
  • 1097 Cisco TelePresence rooms available in 263 cities.
  • 23,000+ installations of Cisco Virtual Office in employee homes.

Each technology infrastructure gives employees the flexibility in how, when, and where they work while improving employee engagement at Cisco as follows:

  • Support Teleworkers and Branch Offices. Encourage employees to work with highly secure information access from multiple locations, including satellite or home offices or when traveling.
  • Deliver Online Events and Training. Broadcast live and on-demand events, meetings, and training so all employees have access to the same information, where and when they need it.
  • Incorporate Video into Meetings. Improve communications, relationships, and productivity by facilitating face-to-face meetings over distance.
  • Extend Telephony with Video. Access face-to-face video communications directly from your phone or IP phone system.
  • Enable Mobile Workers and BYOD Access. Encourage employees to work where they’re most effective using personal or company-issued mobile devices as a secure extension of your enterprise network.
  • Create Flexible Work Areas and Office Space. Scalable office space while creating work areas that foster employee inclusiveness, collaboration, innovation, and teamwork.

In October of 2012, Cisco Systems Inc launched a Social Media Listening Center at its global headquarters in San Jose, California. Where it monitors around 5,000 daily social mentions across 70 company-related Facebook pages, 100 Twitter accounts, as well as other social platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube and company-run blogs and forums. The use of social media helps Cisco employees to deal with more enquiries, faster, from customers and prospects. Employees have become social advocates and proselytize brand across the social medium. With Cisco and employee engagement goes back to the core fundamentals, listening to feedback, having an open culture, rewarding success, holding people accountable and ensuring the organization and its people reach their potential.

References:

Employee Engagement in Social Media: For Better Business or Company Messages By Richard Binhammer                                                     (http://richardbinhammer.com/employee-engagement-social-media-better-business-company-messages/)

Increase Employee Engagement: How to Do It, Why It Matters By Kim Austin (http://blogs.cisco.com/collaboration/use-case-emp-engagement/)

Cisco System: Proud and Empowered By Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew (http://www.thestar.com/business/best_employers/2010/11/18/cisco_systems_proud_and_empowered.html)

Colloboration: Improve Employee Engagement By Cisco (http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collaboration/UC_employee_engagement.html)

Cisco On Cisco: Transforming Employee Engagement By Cisco (http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/enterprise/cisco-on-cisco/Cisco_IT_Trends_in_IT_Article_Employee_Engagement_V2.html)

Employee Engagement By Cisco                                         (http://csr.cisco.com/pages/employee-volunteers)

Focus Area: Our People By Cisco                                                     (http://csr.cisco.com/pages/our-people)

Cisco Chief of HR Talks Employee Engagement By HC Online (http://www.hcamag.com/hr-resources/hr-strategy/cisco-chief-of-hr-talks-employee-engagement-186529.aspx)

Submitted By: Chris Gomes – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.

To contact the author of this entry, please email at: tophergomesy@gmail.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your comments to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.