How Cisco Creates Loyal Employees; Life/Work Integration Policies Pay Off

An employee who loves to do her best work and keep her family happy.



Loyal employees are not born.
Their organization creates them. In searching for some examples, I met Ann-Marie
Yap, a senior manager at Cisco. She provided me with some extraordinary reasons
why she loves her work and why she stays where she is.


Ann-Marie said, “My partner
and I have two young children. We’ve learned to be conscious of how to balance
work and family, and LGBT parenting can have it’s own particular challenges


“It’s important to me that I
work in an organization where there is a culture that values all of its
employees and that demonstrates LGBT inclusion throughout the organization.
I’ve found that to be true at Cisco. I’ve gotten all the same benefits and
respect for my work and my family as every other employee that works there.”



I’ve consulted with other
organizations that have high scores on policies and procedures regarding LGBT
equality, but they have still not created a culture where LGBT people feel safe
disclosing their orientation so they don’t even take advantage of the offered


It was refreshing to hear
what Ann Marie had to say about working at Cisco.



“With a 6 year old and an 11
month old baby, I’ve had to make some choices about my time and priorities. At
the same time I couldn’t stop working.”  


“We sometimes feel like we
are at the center of the universe, but it’s just the organization’s universe.”


She said that in making
decisions about time, she asks if she really needs to be involved or attend a
particular meeting.



I’ve personally worked with
too many organizations where people think that inclusion means everyone needs
to attend every meeting so they create a culture of micromanaging and call it
employee involvement.


Yap went on to say, “My work
involves mapping processes and determining what adds value and what adds time.”



Along that line, there are
times when I can work from home or out the office.”


The key takeaway
Ann-Marie has is that Cisco projects a culture of collaboration – “a part of
that is the utilization of our own technology to be able to work when and
wherever we may be.”


 Cisco has the equipment that makes it easy to be
productive and not have to be on site when it isn’t necessary. If one of my
children is sick or has an appointment I’m able to be with them.”



She gave me some examples of
technology that allows CISCO to be flexible and support its employees being

1-   A system that allows cell phone rollover so that the
number that shows up on caller id is the office number

2-   Soft phone technology on laptops. A picture of the
office phone and dial pad appears on the screen in order to make calls from
anywhere, as though it is the actual desk phone. With WebEx, an employee can
virtually attend meetings, and participate in video and teleconferences.



“Working at CISCO allows me to
be a good parent, and partner and still add value and contribute to the success
of the organization. I’m fortunate that I didn’t have to make a choice of
family or career.”

Simma Lieberman 

“The Inclusionist” 

We create workplaces where people love to do their best work and customers love to do

Simma Lieberman Associates 
Consultant,  Speaker, Author   

Fax: 510.527/0723 
1185 Solano Ave. PMB 142 
Albany, CA 94706  

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Helping People  and Organizations Create  Profitable Cultures
Learn more about the  must-read diversity book from Thomson Learning: Putting Diversity to Work, how to successfully lead a diverse workforce, by Simma Lieberman, George Simons, and Kate Berardo.   

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