This post is for all of my fellow Cisconians – my tribe. The coffee zombies, the zens, the specialists, the innovators, and more. You know who you are.

I spend more time with many of you (whether virtual or face-to-face) than I do with almost anyone else in my life.  When you work at least 40 hours per week, the people you work with become a big part of your life – and that’s not a complaint either.

I love where I work. I am passionate about all that I get to do here, and most importantly, whom I get to do that work with. I consider myself super fortunate that I get to work with such amazing, authentic people and that we’ve all found our way to a wicked awesome company.

And I love to look for ways that I can give back to those who have given so much to me already, and wanted to share some things we can all do to show each other that we care.

Plus, let’s face it…when we’re all doing these things, Cisco becomes an even better place to work. 🙂

1. Get personal. Get to know each other.

First and foremost – be authentic. Be you. And don’t be afraid to bring your true self to work. Make connections throughout Cisco, and work on developing a relationship with the whole person—not just their job title.

The more you can get to know about your colleagues’ interests and passions outside the office, the easier it will be to connect with them on a more human level.

Stealing a message from one of my favorite speakers, Simon Sinek, “The only difference between work and home are the clothes we wear. I am who I am, and the reason my friends love me is the same reason my colleagues love me. It’s me, and if I’m different in one of those two places, then in one of those two places, I’m lying.”

I find this quote so powerful. It doesn’t take much more than a “Hello” to strike up a conversation and find out more about each other.

2.Give a hand. Have someone’s back.

There are times when we all struggle at work. We become swamped and overwhelmed, and sometimes are just stuck on a project. Other times, there may be too much on our plates as we try to juggle ten different things – and that’s just at work! Let’s not forget that we all have personal lives with family, friends, pets, and day-to-day tasks to manage.

The great thing about being a Cisconian is that often you can find someone to share some advice, who will offer to pitch in, or who might even take a task off your plate as they have some extra time. And in our culture – it only helps to make us feel more valued and supported.

So look around you – is there someone on your team or within the company you think may need some help? Perhaps you can sense their stress or notice their look of confusion – all you have to do is ask, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Help lift the weight off of someone. It will make a world of difference, and makes us a stronger team as well.

3.Show Your Appreciation.

Is there anything better than getting an unexpected pat on the back and being told you did a great job?  Or getting a shout-out in the middle of a meeting? I think not!

Be that person who applauds the hard work of your team members. Maybe that involves sending a quick email or Webex Teams message to let them know how much you enjoyed their presentation. Or, in a team meeting, put the spotlight on someone by calling out their contributions to the team, a project, or even just for being someone who listens. And don’t forget, fellow Cisconians – at Cisco we have Connected Recognition, where we can recognize the great work of fellow employees and the awesome work they’re providing. Use it!

These actions might seem small, but they can make a huge impact when it comes to helping others feel valued. People rarely complain about getting too many compliments.

4.Do something nice – Random Acts of Kindness

Before you do anything else, check out the Random Acts of Kindness Organization.  Maybe you’ll want to become a RAKTIVIST. 🙂

Small random acts of kindness never go unnoticed.

Pick up some donuts or bagels (or whatever you’re in the mood for) on your drive to the office. Grab a coffee or tea for someone! When you’re heading to lunch, ask a colleague if you can get anything for them. If you’re standing in line to pay for your lunch, why not pay for the person behind you without even telling them?  Surprise them!

Volunteer to mentor a new colleague. Many people are too shy to ask or may not even think of it, and it goes a long way in not only helping your colleague, but you may learn something in the process too.

People genuinely appreciate small acts of kindness, and doing them makes you feel good too!

So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to kick off 2019 by fostering better, more supportive relationships with your fellow Cisconians? Try some of these ideas, or come up with some of your own (and share them with the rest of us in the comments below)!

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Maya Angelou

Ready to join us? We’re hiring. Apply now!



Lori Paschall

Hire & Engage Regional Manager | People & Communities

People & Communities