Categories: Video Conferencing

A “people first” approach meets technology

Everybody has had jobs that they’ve loved, and jobs that they’ve loathed (unless you have been very lucky). Every company has their pros and cons, but when recruiting we often see a commonality in why employees become disengaged: when employers take without giving, and focus only on what they want, not what they employee wants.

There is still time to change your stripes:

3 viewpoints jump out when looking into the research on employee engagement.

1) Mature westernized economies have a productivity problem. Individual productivity is going down, and that is a serious inhibitor to growth, for companies and countries. Deloitte found that a 20% uplift in productivity is required to hit stated business objectives.

The problem for employers is that the workforce of 2020 (the majority of which will be Millennials and Generation Z), do not live to work, they work to live, and they will not sacrifice their wellbeing to support business growth. A significant change from the past.

2) Desire for flexible working is at its highest ever. CBRE Genesis have shown that 53% of millennials will accept a 10% lower wage to work for an employer that supports flexible working.

3) Innovation is the critical differentiation for growth, but the battle for the best talent is the fieriest it has ever been.

Building a bridge between these conflicting requirements, growth and balance.

Technology is critical, but not as an Island. Companies need to look at the entire employee experience: including recruitment and on-boarding, working polices, career development, health and wellbeing.

It is a journey Cisco have been on for several years now, which we call Our People Deal. We have learned a lot in implementing this.  This is a 2-way deal, where expectations of the employees are set, and vice versa.

We are a very large company (70,000 + employees), this brings benefits of scale, but challenges for localisation. We have offices in 96 countries, emerging economies to mature economies. Each has their own customs, expectations and openness to change.

Our global workforce, 59% of our staff work in a different location to their manager, and 48% work across multiple time zones daily.

Our People Deal: Connect everything, innovate everywhere and benefit everyone.

Connect Everything. Putting policies in place to allow the staff to work within their communities, for those causes closest to their hearts.

Fostering a rich, caring team experience, that supports globally dispersed teams. It is not uncommon for team members to span the UK, Central Europe, USA and Asia.

Innovate Everywhere. Building an environment where the best ideas make it to the top of the pile, regardless of the location and seniority of the innovator. Providing access to multiple pathways for personal development

Building an incentive package that allows people to pick and mix, chop and change what is most important to them. Whatever life throws at you. Births, deaths, marriages, new jobs, retirement and many more experiences will change employee priorities. Supporting these are critical.

Role of Technology

9% of our workforce work fully remotely, with no identified office. 79% work from home, but go into the office once a week. 50% classify as mobile workers, without a desk to their name.  The focus is on performance, not presence. Performance is judged not just on what is achieved, but how it is achieved.  We want to win, but win the right way,  with our customers, partners and communities.

To support this we provide choice of collaboration experience to all. Prefer working via phone,  via chat, calling and messaging apps, or face to face using video, that is ok. We provide a choice of apps for every users preference, be that Jabber, Webex Teams or Webex Meetings.

We further enhance the meeting experiences by ensuring all offices. and our entire salesforce are equipped with market leading Video Telepresence. This spans personal units on the desk of our sellers at home, through to every size and shape of meeting space from huddle spaces to traditional board rooms.

Soft and Hard Benefits

Results wise we have seen a huge uplift, and not just on our revenues. Team engagement has increased 13%, the teams are retaining their employees 2.74x, confidence in leaders has increased by 14%, workplace satisfaction is up 17%, and work/life balance is up 5%

Published by
Mark Needham

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