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Creating Environments for Better Employee Engagement

February 5, 2014 at 10:42 am PST

I recently wrote about the importance of laughter at work. Laughter isn’t the only indicator of employee engagement, but it’s a good one. There have been times in my career where it seemed that my team’s leaders considered laughter as a sign that people weren’t serious enough about their work. (My current team is seriously amused – serious about our work and consistently amused in general.)

These organizations operated according to invisible “all work and no play” mantras. And those were gray places indeed. Places with little collaboration, innovation, and motivation. Places where people showed up, clicked through ominous task lists of multitasking, and went home. Places with little energy. Places with low employee engagement.

Improving employee engagement is gaining emphasis as organizations realize that they can set up all the processes and objectives they want, but people and organizational culture make the difference. Read More »

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Cisco is Among Canada’s 10 “Most Admired Corporate Cultures”

February 4, 2014 at 4:00 am PST

Nicole_GeronimoThis post was written by guest blogger Nicole Geronimo, who works for Cisco’s Corporate Affairs team in Toronto, Canada.

On February 3, Cisco Canada was presented with an award, given by executive search firm Waterstone Human Capital, for being a national winner of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2013. Cisco Canada was among 600 nominees, and after a vigorous selection process by the program’s 30-member Board of Governors, we were announced as a winner for the first time.

With a dynamic and flexible work environment that promotes team effort and unity, we have proven that our culture drives our performance. From Ping Pong tables, to lunch-and-learns, to working from home, Cisco Canada has created an environment that results in high retention and appeal for new employees.

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Employee Engagement Goal: Encourage Laughter

January 22, 2014 at 7:27 am PST

I like to laugh. I find humor in all sorts of places and situations. Often unlikely ones. I’ve laughed in the most appropriate of situations and some of the most awkward. And I laugh at work. A lot.

Frankly, I think the Food and Drug Administration should have a recommended daily allowance for laughter along the lines of those identified for Vitamin C, Iron, and Riboflavin.

Peter Bregman recently had a great post on Harvard Business Review blog network. In “Why You Should Treat Laughter as a Metric,” Bregman writes about the lack of laughter as a symptom of a problem within organizations. And he suggests that increasing the opportunity for laughter should be a leadership priority. Read More »

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How Does Corporate Culture Impact a Company’s Success?

Culture exists in any organization, whether created through careful design and implementation, or through natural development as a company grows.

What exactly is “corporate culture”?

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Collaboration: On the Field & In the Office

February 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm PST

Collaboration is great. But it’s not a Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, if-you-build-it-they-will-come Field of Dreams scenario. Alas, if all it took was plowing under a corn field and putting down some chalk stripes, I might be out of a job. And out of corn flakes.

We talk a lot about technology and process, but sometimes omit the human aspect. All the technology in the world won’t do much without people using it — unless you’re watching the Terminator machines attempt their takeover. And then there’s always HAL 9000. But those guys are a lot more interested in domination than collaboration anyway.

An organization’s culture is a critical component to successful collaboration. Make all the technology announcements and managerial pronouncements you want – you need an environment that supports collaboration. Read More »

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