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Examples of key employee engagement ecosystem business processes strengthened whilst at Cisco Systems

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Case study

  1. 1. LEADERSHIP APPLYING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT • Clear Direction LESSONS LEARNED • Performance Metrics • Talent Management • Shared Responsibility • Trust • Shared Success VALUES • Open Communications • Work Hard! Have Fun! Give Back! • Self and Peer Management CORPORATE A 2012 SUCCESS STORY CULTURE TECHNOLOGYBackground:A $1 billion division of a large Silicon Valley networking company had just completed a business process improvementeffort designed to enhance organizational adaptability, scalability and alignment. Their business function required aunique skill set resulting in a department with long-time employees with little lateral movement or promotional oppor-tunity outside of the group. These veterans had seen many leaders come and go. Management hoped that shifting toa process-based approach, would improve employee job satisfaction, develop and sustain more meaningful careerpaths, and cultivate a more productive work environment. It was also hoped that the organization would become moreresponsive to its ‘customers’ (i.e., the broader company employee population and the various physical site leaders) andbe better able to cultivate and grow effective middle management business leaders. A new group leader was appointedwho, though a participant in the process improvement effort, had previously been a peer with the other members of theleadership team.Employee Engagement Business ProblemThe resulting organizational evolution involved layoffs, role redefinitions and the creation of new roles. Coupled withthis was the outsourcing of employee services delivery (such as facilities maintenance, cafeterias, security etc.) to newglobal third-party partners. These changes resulted in an employee population that was demoralized, disengaged, un-sure what these new job roles were all about, and fearful of what lay ahead. Over the course of a two-year period, aseries of changes were instituted designed to improve performance of the group by igniting, transforming and strength-ening employee engagement. Below are some of the key solutions across three core employee engagement elements: 1. Leadership 2. Technology 3. Corporate Culture.Employee Engagement Solutions1. Leadership Clear Direction Instituted a strategic planning process that annually updated and tightened up the language and intent of the group’s strategic plan. (i.e., vision, mission, goals and strategies) Created a detailed Plan Executive Summary that laid out a specific Execution Roadmap directly tied to a portfolio of specific improvement programs, each of which had designated executive sponsors and program managers who were accountable for day- to-day execution. Performance Established a formal Balanced Scorecard (BSC) performance management system with metrics, thresholds, as well as detailed Cause Management and Action Plans that were reviewed quarterly. Participated in company initiated employee morale assessment tools with action plans developed for each and reviewed periodically by management. Talent Created cross functional Working Groups (Rewards and Recognition, Building Talent, Customer Satisfaction Improvement, Giving Management Back, Inclusion and Diversity) focused on key pain points identified in the group planning process with updates provided at either (continued on following page) quarterly Operations Reviews or All Hands meetings.© Copyright 2012 • • 1 GlobaLinkage Consulting
  2. 2. Talent Instituted job descriptions for each organizational role and a formal talent assessment process. Learning and development Management opportunities were created for key talent to participate in or lead cross-functional working groups created to address strategic (continued) issues or concerns. Initiated formal goals (40 hours a quarter) of employee learning and development activities, reported on quarterly as part of the BSC. Mandated quarterly manager-employee discussions along with the firm’s formal performance review process, tying compensation and bonus structures directly to BSC metrics, where possible. Instituted a formal Rewards and Recognition program with results communicated quarterly at All Hands meetings. Leaders proactively used a ‘Kudos’ tracking software application to enhance communication of individual successes with peers and managers.2. Technology Obsession with Conducted formal bi-annual employee workplace environment and services satisfaction surveys, with results directly connected to Customers BSC performance metrics. Results used to define mandates to the various cross-functional working groups. Designed and executed local customer outreach communications programs. (site meetings, periodic email updates). Initiated proactive, periodic business reviews with customers (local site executives) to strengthen relationships and share the overall global business strategy. Environmental Built internal and external trends assessments into the annual strategic planning processes for both the global business strategy 360s and the team’s internal strategic plan. Creativity and Engaged the Leadership team in creating an environment that supported experimentation and the brainstorming of new ideas Innovation including periodic contests to generate enthusiasm. Empowered business process leaders to improve the functioning of their business processes and automate where possible. Leaders were also accountable for process communications, changes and updates. Experimented with automated group collaboration (GroupMind), strategy performance management and project management (Y-Change) software applications.3. Corporate Culture Open Established a strategic planning web portal with key messaging and an ongoing communications plan defined and integrated into Communications existing communications vehicles. Formalized quarterly All Hands Meetings, each sponsored by one of the Leadership Council team members - becoming a contest to see who could design the most interesting and creative event! Monthly VOD’s (video’s on demand) by the Group Leader as well as quarterly unstructured (no predefined agenda) geography- based theatre calls to informally share ‘what’s going on’ and answer questions. Documented and communicated the organization’s governance model with Operations Reviews outputs and Leadership Council key decisions documented and made available for all employees to review at their own leisure via the web portal. Though not an Instant Messaging protagonist, the Group Leader was committed to an ‘open – door’ management style. His calendar was always open to anyone and he responded to email messages in hours not days. Weekly cross-functional ‘breakfast club’ events, each sponsored by a different functional group. Team ‘Lunch and Learn’ brown bag sessions to share cross-functional knowledge and ideas.© Copyright 2012 • • 2 GlobaLinkage Consulting
  3. 3. Self & Peer Attempted to move away from Command and Control management by establishing a cross-functional Leadership Council (direct Management reports as well as other key connected functions such as HR, IT and Finance) that shared management responsibility for key decisions. Instituted various experiments to strengthen cross-functional governance processes (Joint Business/IT Project Management, Process Owners Forum, Change Ambassador Network). Work Hard! Flexible, open work environment, (no cubes) with most employees able to work from home as needed. Have Fun! Formal and informal Giving Back events to support volunteer efforts reported, recognized at Quarterly All Hands meetings. Give Back!Business Benefits –A More Engaged WorkforceImproved level of trust, shared responsibility and shared success including: ✓ Shifts and improvements in all survey instruments. (group morale, employee workplace satisfaction and Balanced Scorecard scores) ✓ Increased level of cross-functional team member collaboration - improving level of relationship and trust with new and different interactions established. ✓ More transparent and participative decision making with expanded opportunity for employees to provide input. ✓ Stronger employee connectedness to the organization with their efforts more formally recognized, and supported by a better understanding where the organization was going. ✓ More meaningful work, as employees built new strengths and skills in relatively safe environments. ✓ New ability for employees to see direct results of their efforts and the impact it had on enabling the team to move towards achieving its strategic goals. LEADERSHIP VALUES CORPORATE CULTURE TECHNOLOGY© Copyright 2012 • • 3 GlobaLinkage Consulting