Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Corporate Social Responsibility

Students in Chile Hope to Fill Growing IT Skills Gap

It’s not often that I get to meet with hundreds of passionate students who are eager to learn! That was the scene at the Cisco Networking Academy Student Day this week in Chile, which was an incredible chance to meet students and instructors and speak about their future careers in technology.

The Cisco Networking Academy helps individuals prepare for industry-recognized certifications and entry-level information and communication technology (ICT) careers in virtually every type of industry. Nearly 30,000 students participate in the program each year in Chile, and worldwide the number reaches over 1 million.

Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Cisco Collaborates with Partners to Provide IT Skills and Career Opportunities to Veterans in Michigan

Each year, thousands of U.S. veterans return from the battlefield with exceptional leadership, technical and other skills they have acquired overseas. Even so, many experience difficulty finding a job, and return feeling overwhelmed by the high unemployment rate they are up against. Today, in a program to assist veterans in transferring their military experience into successful careers, the Michigan Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Cisco are teaming up to pilot IT training and certification programs aimed at connecting veterans with in-demand job opportunities.

Vets“We’ve got all these young people coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, have made incredible sacrifices, have taken on incredible responsibilities — you know, you see some 23-year-old who’s leading a platoon in hugely dangerous circumstances, making decisions, operating complex technologies. These are folks who can perform, but unfortunately, what we’re seeing is that a lot of these young veterans have a higher unemployment rate than people who didn’t serve. And that makes no sense.”

 – President Barack Obama

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Exploring 2014 Digital and Social Media Trends

#Ciscosmt November 21st Twitter Chat

#Ciscosmt November 21st Twitter Chat

It’s hard to believe another calendar year is coming to an end less than 2 months. I’m amazed at the pace of which digital and social media continue to evolve and get excited when I think of what 2014 might bring in the way of further surprises.

As we continue to plan for the coming year and look for ways to continue growing the Cisco Social Media Training and Enablement program, I’ve been researching various 2014 digital and social media trends. From the “Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That will Dominate 2014” (from @Forbes) to the “6 Social Media Trends That will Impact You in 2014” (from @B2Community), there is a lot of speculation to weed through. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Sneak Peek into Our New Social Media Training Center

A Short Trip Down Memory Lane…

On the quest of becoming a truly social-minded culture, about a year and a half ago, we rolled up our sleeves and created a multi-level, multi-track social media training program that used game principles and integrated with our Education Management System to encourage and reward participation. We augmented our on-demand courses with a vibrant community filled with self-service resources, online discussions (we call them “social chats”), team challenges, and recognitions and testimonials.

What I’m most proud of is that we did this in house and on a shoestring budget (imagine toddler-sized shoes and shoestrings). The original team was very small, namely the wonderful Elizabeth Houston (please give it up for @elhoust) and yours truly (@petra1400). Having seen great success with our internal program and inspired by the possibilities of growing and even bringing it to our customers, partners and general public, we have added some resources and upgraded to kid-sized shoestrings. Soon, the external-facing training program pilot, a scaled down version of our internal program was born. (For the record, the current team is still really small and also includes @kmgibbs and some of @nrrivas07 and our fun intern, @efannie’s time).

We knew it was just a matter of time before we wanted to expand the customer-facing program and mirror it after our internal program as much as possible.

Driving in the Fast (and Furious) Lane

Over the past few months, we have been working furiously on making this dream become a reality. While we have a little longer to go before you can test drive our new social media training center, we want to share some screen shots of this new environment. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

5 Steps to Success: Encouraging Employee Social Media Engagement

Aristotle was spot on when he said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This holds true when we look at the benefits of employee engagement in the socialsphere. Why not leverage your organization’s built-in social media army to evangelize the brand? Encouraging employee engagement across social channels on behalf of the brand seems to be a hot topic in social media these days.

Fast Company recently published how Cisco employees are contributing to the brand in their article, The Social Employee: The Secret Sauce that Cisco, Southwest Airlines and Adobe Use to Win.

Now the question is what are the steps for successfully encouraging employees to participate on behalf of a brand? In a recent Let’s Chat #Ciscosmt Twitter Chat we heard from Cisco’s Petra Neiger (@Petra1400) and Salesforce.com’s Jennifer Burnham (@JennyDBurnham), on ways to engage employees. In addition to their insightful tips, here’s my take on 5 steps to successfully encouraging employees to participate in the socialsphere:

Step 1: Training

  • It all starts here. Educate your employees with social media best practices, checklists, playbooks, toolkits, etc. Help your employees feel comfortable using social media on behalf of your brand. Interested in social media training? Check out our complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag. To request customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com

Cisco Social Media Training Program Opportunity:

Step 2: Stretch Assignments

Once your employees have participated in training and are comfortable using social media best practices, create opportunities for their participation across multiple social channels. Leverage the masses to assist with social media campaigns, launches, events, etc. Even if social media is not their main role within your organization, develop these assignments as a great way to increase your program’s reach in addition to allowing employees to test out their new skill sets.

Step 3: Recognitions

badge 3 badge 2 badge 1

What motivates your employees? Is it a milestone badge, management recognition, or perhaps a prize of some sort? Knowing this will help you to motivate additional employee participation. Along the way, create incentive programs to entice your employees to participate. Adding an element of gamification and rewarding beneficial behaviors can go a long way.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,