Cisco’s (Open) Secret in Creating a Great Workplace
Managing Director of Cisco Malaysia
Vision & Strategy, Technology, Innovation, People and Culture, Thought Leadership
Cisco is changing the way people work, live, play and learn every day. But such a monumental task cannot be achieved alone – we require support from many fronts to make it possible.
While partners and customers are among our key success factors, a dynamic workforce remains the engine to drive this change. The responsibility to cultivate our people then rests upon our shoulders as we continuously find new ways to make Cisco a great place to work.
This year, Cisco is one of the employers to win the 'Aon Best Employer in Malaysia 2017' Award. This recognition demonstrates just how far we have come along in creating an environment in which employees from diverse backgrounds can thrive. Having them endorse us as one of the best proves that prioritising our employees’ growth and wellbeing is essential to attracting and retaining the best talent who will then do their best for Cisco while also acting as our ambassadors and advocates to the world. This has become even more pertinent in living our purpose of driving digitisation in Malaysia.
Their pride in working for Cisco, complemented by the organisation’s strong culture of empowering and engaging employees and an environment that promotes diversity and inclusivity are some of the key attributes instrumental to this recent feat. This is a validation of our various people centric initiatives within the organisation.
At Cisco, not only do we prepare our customers to face the expectations and challenges of the future of work, but we lead the way by setting an example of how innovation can improve employees’ experience at the workplace. For instance, our technology and connectivity has allowed us to be one of the pioneers of the open plan office space in Kuala Lumpur, where employees are not restricted to the same workstation daily.
Instead, they can choose where and who to sit with on different days, allowing them the flexibility of working closely and collaborating with different teams and partners as and when it is needed. This is a true reflection of our unique view of work – it is not a destination where people go to but it is the duties they perform and the tasks they accomplish regardless of where they are. That is why we place the utmost priority in empowering employees to work independently from anywhere, at any time and on any device, providing them with the necessary tools to realise their full potential.
This openness concept is not only limited to our working arrangement, but it is also a guiding principle in our workplace culture. As we continuously drive a strong culture of trust and engagement, we actively steer it in the direction of being more open, agile and forward thinking which is aligned to ‘Our People Deal’.
Encapsulated into three pillars, Connect Everything, Innovate Everywhere and Benefit Everyone, ‘Our People Deal’ is a manifesto that clearly articulates every aspect of the employee experience and interaction.
This stems from our aim of unleashing every employee’s potential since they are the ones giving us our edge in making Cisco the great place it is today. Creating a conducive community that is supportive paves the way for honest two-way dialogues to take place between employees and management.
We encourage openness where employees share their honest feedback with one another to strengthen their personal and professional relationships. In addition, members of the senior leadership team practise an open-door policy where employees can directly engage with us without any unnecessary layers of bureaucracy. This offers everyone the opportunity to be heard and to have their suggestions turn into actions, and even policy decisions.
Ultimately, it is no secret that greater openness fosters ownership and accountability among employees, regardless of position, department or function. As a company that is made up of diverse talented people, we can only fully harness each other’s capabilities once everyone starts to treat the business as their own.
Our commitment to openness will continue to play a huge part in shaping our engagement with employees for years to come. With our people deeply invested in the business, we are confident that this will motivate existing employees while attracting potential talents to be a part of the Cisco family. This is even more important as we aim to position Cisco as the catalyst of change in Malaysia’s digital aspirations.