Why does top talent choose to join a company? Then, once they are employees, why do they stay?
At Cisco, one factor is consistent among our diverse, global workforce: the flexibility of our telework program and the Cisco technologies that enable it.
Recruiting the Best Workforce
As a global company, we know that talent lives everywhere in the world, but not always near a Cisco office. Our telework program helps us recruit the right employees because they won’t need to make a hard, long commute or face the life and family disruption of a relocation.
One employee wanted to raise his family in Illinois where he could be close to his extended family. Cisco supported his choice by allowing him to telework – one of the first employees to do so at Cisco – and was able to keep this valued technical employee with the company.
Other employees tell me that working from home enables them to work much more flexibly, and this motivates them to work even harder for their team, manager, and Cisco. The motivation produced by flexible working appears to play a role in our employees’ performance, with a higher percentage of mobile and remote employees receiving the top two performance evaluation rankings compared to traditional office workers.
Flexible work arrangements are also very important to the millennial generation that is now entering the workforce. Data in our 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report indicates that a majority of today’s university students value unconventional work schedules and believe they can work more productively away from the office.
Fostering Employee Loyalty
Happy employees are loyal employees and at Cisco we have proof: our mobile and remote employees have a voluntary attrition rate approximately one-third that of office-based employees. We estimate this lower attrition saves Cisco approximately US $75 million each year in recruiting, hiring, and training costs for replacements.
From employee surveys and anecdotal evidence, we know that employees are often reluctant to move to another company, even for a higher salary, if flexible work is not permitted. As one employee put it, “I can say that the flexible work arrangement I have is THE primary reason I have stayed with Cisco.”
And for another employee, work flexibility while caring for family has produced a strong company connection. “Cisco let me work from home while my wife was struggling with a long-term illness. The company’s willingness to be flexible made me feel they value and trust me, and I feel a sincere loyalty to Cisco because of that.”
Telework Brings Value to Employees and the Company
Telework is certainly valued by our employees for how it helps them balance work and life demands. Cisco gains clear value as well because telework is a very appealing benefit for attracting and keeping highly talented employees around the world.