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CAGE MATCH: Google v. Microsoft v. Cisco

June 28, 2007 - 0 Comments

Which is the best place to work? There is some scuttlebutt in the blogosphere and reported in ComputerWorld about a post written by a former-Google, now-Microsoft employee that Microsoft is a better place to work. Let me put this argument to rest…the best place to work is Cisco…IMNSHO…No, I haven’t worked at Google. No, I haven’t worked at Microsoft…so, my view might be a bit skewed, however, having been here for over eight years I can tell you that Cisco does care about its employees and that QOL ranks right up there with QOS. (I do have friends at both Microsoft and Google, however, and they like working at both places, respectively.)At Google it seems the way to their employees hearts is through their stomachs…free food for all…and snacks, snacks, snacks, snacks, snacks. At Microsoft, they take care of employees the old-fashioned way…restricted stock, good pay and good benefits…and great resources to get the job done. At Cisco, I think we have a bit of a combo of all these things…as a matter of fact, and in a sign that one person I overheard said signifies that “Cisco is back,” (I wasn’t sure that we had ever left…okay, everone did in 2000 and 2001), our cafeterias are now open for dinner. And, our food isn’t free. This isn’t because some uber-executive, blue-ribbon committee got together and said, “what can we do to keep our employees at work longer?” It is because EMPLOYEES said, “hey, I’m hungry…I’m at work…and the cafeteria is closed…can you please open it for dinner?” As Brian Womack of IBD reports in his “Leaders and Success” column, the secret of John Chambers success is listening to customers…we also listen to employees.Flexibility is key to our employees who have busy lives outside of work as well. Which is why we pay for broadband at home so that employees can work whenever they like. There is nothing like water cooler conversations to build culture and build teams, but being tied to a desk is also no way to keep an employee happy. As long as the job gets done…when it is done…or how it is done…is less important. As they say is golf, “it’s not how, it’s how many?”

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