For those of us in large enterprises, it’s easy to feel lost in the sea of employees. With the rise of mobility, virtualization, and BYOD, many of us in the tech industry work from home, other offices, or even other countries. Because of this, many of us miss the chance to build good relationships with other team members. People with good work relationships are more productive, and tend to stay around longer.
Recently, my team had a major re-org, and helping new team members feel at home has been on the forefront of my mind. Here are some tips I am following to build a happier, healthier, and even more efficient team:
Take a break from the office and hold a team gathering elsewhere.
A change in scenery can help spark inspiration and creativity. Last Friday I hosted a get-together for my team at my house, and it was a success. Regular office employees, remote workers, and some out-of-towners were able to meet and socialize. The relaxed environment helped team members get to know each other better and meet others that weren’t in their core group. It was also a great way to end a busy week!
Create an environment where team members feel respected, regardless of job level.
Team members shouldn’t feel worried about sharing their ideas and opinions. After all, in the fast changing world we live in, bizarre ideas can often be the best. Addressing concerns in an open, honest, and direct manner lets people know that their voices matter. For certain topics, anonymous surveys are a great way to measure how people truly feel. Recognizing positive results and team wins also helps keep morale up.
Encourage team members to be healthy –both mentally and physically.
We spend so much of our time at work that we must remember to take care of ourselves. Every month my team gathers for a morning chat. We check in with each other and discuss what’s going on in our lives, activities we are participating in, and occasionally have fitness competitions. When people are healthy in mind and body, they are generally more productive and inspired.
Recognize how different types of people work together, and use it to increase efficiency.
Not everyone works the same. A team needs a variety of personalities to handle the various types of tasks that arise. Recently, each person on my team took the Fascination Advantage Test, a measurement of personal brand. The report it provides explains how to be the most efficient with our personal strengths and weaknesses. As a team, we went over our results and it helped us understand how the different types of personalities we have work the best.
Positive work relationships help let individuals know that they are an integral part of their team. When this happens, we are more passionate and excited about our work, providing better results. Go and try the above with your team and see how it improves morale and efficiency. If you have additional tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.
The growth of connected devices is impacting enterprises worldwide. The key to unlocking value, however, is shifting from the number of connected devices to the value of the connections themselves. We define a connection as the intersection of People, Process, Data, and Things—coming together to form the Internet of Everything (IoE). The IoE opportunity represents 21 percent of corporate profits, or $14.4 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, worldwide. Capturing the potential value of IoE depends on an inclusive business environment that facilitates innovation and productivity. Fostering a work-your-way environment by empowering employees to bring their own devices is a critical part of the solution.
Last week, Cisco employees, partners and customers joined forces to raise money forThe Special Olympics by enjoying the music of four live bands competing to be crowned winner of ‘Battle of the Bands 2013’.
As we’ve mentionedpreviously, Cisco is proud to partner with The Special Olympics to help raise money for the charity. The Special Olympics strives to create a better world, using the power of sport to foster the inclusion of all people, especially those living with an intellectual disability.
The live music event, held at Sydney’s Hard Rock Café, featured four bands from Cisco and its partners Alphawest, Dimension Data and UXC battling it out in front of a crowd of 300 people. Ticket sales for the evening, combined with a raffle and further donations, have helped to raise a mammoth $12,000 for The Special Olympics.
Cisco is proud to announce that five of its employees, with a penchant for cycling, took part in a gruelling 200 km timed relay race this weekend to raise money forThe Benevolent Society.
The Benevolent Society (TBS) aims to help people, families and communities achieve positive change. This year the charity turns 200, and to celebrate its birthday the charity arranged for 200 cyclists to race 200 kms in its first ever cycling challenge –Race for Change.
The group of brave cyclists from Cisco’s Sydney office trained hard over a 6-week period. The team, or Cisco Tumblers, as they’ve named themselves, put in around 400 kms of cycling between them each week – that’s a total of over 2,000 kms of cycling over the 6 weeks! The Cisco Tumblers didn’t just bond as a team on the streets and parks of Sydney but virtually as well, by using Webex meetings to keep everyone up-to-date on training plans, the event and individuals’ progress; all to make sure they were race-ready for the big event.
OpenStack Summit Demonstration Provides Sneak Peek into Future of Networking and TV
Content will always be king. But soon, with powerful cloud technology, Pay TV customers will be sitting on the throne, whether they are on their couch, the café, or on the bus.
Late last month at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Comcast drew back the curtain on the future of television, demonstrating how cloud infrastructures can power exciting new TV experiences.
Mark Muehl, senior vice president of NE&TO product engineering and technology at Comcast, demonstrated the company’s flagship X1 cloud-based user interface, powered by an OpenStack cloud, during his keynote presentation. Comcast and Cisco are working closely together to implement next-generation video services, like the X1 guide, on an OpenStack foundation, which enables both agility and scale.
At Cisco we are “all-in” on OpenStack. We are investing heavily to make it the reliable, scalable, agile & feature-rich platform service providers need to deploy exciting new cloud-based video services. Last month’s demonstration provided a sneak peek into the ongoing strategic collaboration between Comcast and Cisco in programmable networking. But it also illustrated a larger theme: cloud technologies, networking and applications are coming together in new and exciting ways.
Through Cisco’s Open Network Environment (ONE) initiative, we have the widest range of solutions in the industry that deliver an open and programmable network. Cisco ONE, which embraces OpenStack, software defined networking (SDN), and network function virtualization (NFV), has dozens of active customers, including major service providers, massively scalable data centers, government organizations, and multiple Fortune-100 companies.
Through our work with global service providers who see the potential of open, programmable networks, we are continuing to build the foundation for the next-generation Internet. The new Internet will become a platform to enable new cloud-centered applications, such as cloud-based DVR, through which video subscribers can store their favorite content in the cloud and access it from any device, anywhere.
Cisco is very proud to be working with leading entertainment and technology leaders like Comcast, and we look forward to helping the Pay TV industry make the successful transition to standards-based cloud technology.