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Cisco STEM Mentoring Events Aim to Inspire Students

By 2018, it is estimated there will be 1.2 million U.S. job openings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. While that sounds like good news, there is an acute shortage of qualified applicants to fill these jobs. The students in our schools today simply don’t have the skills and desire needed to compete for these jobs, which means that our country won’t have the necessary workforce to fill critical roles in one of the strongest sectors of the economy.

Research shows that for kids to become interested in STEM careers, they must feel inspired. They need some sort of connection or a role model to look to for guidance. This is where Cisco sees a need that can be filled by its employees.

Cisco is a founding leadership partner of US2020, an all-hands-on-deck initiative that aims to connect more STEM professionals to students from kindergarten through college. As part of the US2020 initiative, Cisco will build on the expertise of its workforce and culture of giving back, with the goal of having 20 percent or more of employees volunteering at least 20 hours a year as STEM mentors by the year 2020.

Cisco's US2020 mentoring initiative gets underway in San Jose, California

Cisco’s US2020 mentoring initiative gets underway in San Jose, California

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Increase Employee Engagement: How to Do It, Why It Matters

When everything seems focused on numbers – dollar signs, production output, development timelines – some organizations focus even more tightly on digits. It’s a logical reaction, but a risky one if it’s at the expense (so to speak) of human aspects like employee engagement.

Employees are consistent when asked what contributes most to their satisfaction, according to research from BlessingWhite: Among eight options, nearly 50% put their top two choices as “more opportunities to do what I do best” and “career development opportunities and training.” The lower their engagement level, the higher they rank “greater clarity about what the organization needs me to do,” which supports related findings, including:

  • Trust in executives appears to have more than twice the impact on engagement than trust in immediate managers.
  • Executives have to demonstrate consistency in words and actions, communicate often in depth, and align business practices and behaviors throughout the organization.

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A Successful CSR Program Depends on Employee Engagement

This week, SmartRecruiters recognized Cisco as having one of the top 10 corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the United States.

In her assessment of Cisco’s CSR programs, SmartRecruiters blogger Lexie Forman-Ortiz acknowledged one of its key components: our employees.

Global hunger relief at CiscoA Cisco employee plants vegetables that will ultimately help feed people across northwest Massachusetts

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Partners: Boost Your Success in 2013 by Increasing Your ‘Hiring Power’

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This is the second in the Cisco Partner Talent blog series helping partners attract, develop, and retain the right people with the right skills at the right time. This month’s blog post goes into detail about stage two of the Cisco Fit4Talent Employee Lifecycle: Attraction and Hiring.

An aging workforce and changes in required skillsets can lead to a staff shortage for Cisco partners. 

In fact, according to the McKinsey Global Institute’s 2012 World at Work study, developed countries will be short up to 85 million medium-skilled and highly skilled workers by 2020.

This means employing best practices for sourcing, attracting, and hiring top talent is more important than ever. And by following the Talent Attraction Lifecycle, you will exponentially increase your ability to address staffing needs in 2013 and beyond.

What is the Talent Attraction Lifecycle and how can it help you? Read More »

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Making Culture More than a Nice Word

At its essence, collaboration is about working together to accomplish a common goal. You can buy all of the latest and greatest tools – and yes, by the way, we have the latest and greatest – but without an organizational culture that supports collaboration, it’s a lot like giving a fish a bicycle. Or a school of fish a fleet of bicycles. Or parachutes to snakes. Or Post-It notes to squirrels.

Organizations like to talk about their collaborative cultures, but it’s often more marketingspeak than an accurate description of the work environment. Culture is one of those feel-good words that makes a business sound like less of a money-making venture and more of a community.

Compared to traditional hierarchies, truly collaborative cultures are characterized by increasing levels of interdependence between leaders and employees. It’s a lot like what Mrs. Blackburn emphasized in my kindergarten class: share, listen, play nicely together. Somewhere along the way to a paycheck, we stop eating paste and stop playing so nicely. Read More »

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