Cisco is well known for our flexible work environment, so it is not surprising that a large number of our employees work remotely on a regular basis! Working from your favorite coffee shop, avoiding rush hour traffic, increased time at home – the perk list for working remotely is quite lengthy.  Although there are numerous benefits to this perk, one downside is that it can be harder to network and maintain relationships outside of those on your immediate team since you aren’t having the typical “water cooler” interactions that you would have in an office environment.

At our Raleigh Campus in North Carolina (What we Cisconians know as RTP), there are 150+ HR employees associated with our site! Everyone does a great job of hosting fun team-building events for their respective groups – but with a group as large as ours, there are dozens of different teams, so you could get very familiar with your immediate team, but not the larger RTP HR community.  After getting some feedback that our HR employees wanted to focus on improving our overall sense of community, a group of us volunteered to form a board and get innovative! Our goal was to think of creative events that would foster meaningful networking; as a result, four community tracks formed:

  1. Volunteerism
  2. Innovation & Problem Solving
  3. Learning and Development
  4. Social

Fast-forward two years, and our community involvement has really sparked!



Each quarter our group looks forward to giving back to our community! Thus far, we have had 7 volunteer events and have contributed over 650+ hours of a service as a group.  We have been to a variety of places like Ronald McDonald House, Military Missions in Action, and Habitat for Humanity!

“For many years I have dedicated time to volunteering and am glad that Cisco is committed to have it as an integral part of Our People Deal. Recently my volunteer work hit close to home when we volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house in Durham.  My sister was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks after her sons’ cancer came back and their local Ronald McDonald offered them comfort during a time of great need. I knew personally the meaning of how much our simple assistance meant to the family’s in the Durham Ronald McDonald house.”  – Teresa Young, Sr. Compensation Analyst


Innovation & Problem Solving 

With a track name like this, you know our thinking caps were on full blast! This past year, we had our first ever “Bring Your Kid to Work Day” where we focused on STEM related activities and a fun guessing game about what parents do every day!  We also brought our capstone “People Deal Wall” to LIFE – a full 30 ft. long whiteboard wall where we highlight all of our upcoming events, celebrate birthdays, offer congratulatory kudos, and have fun with monthly motivational quotes and trending topics.  Anyone can contribute to or doodle on the wall and it’s fun to see how it changes each day.


Learning & Development 

This is where we partner with other functions on campus, like Finance, to maximize our cross-functional learning offerings! One of our most successful events was an “Earnings Call Overview” class.  During this class, Treasury helped us better understand Cisco’s Earning Call Results and we had some fun guessing what our new stock price would be! It was a great opportunity to learn and network with our colleagues in Finance while building our business acumen.

“We aspire to be the best HR organization in the world. To do so we have to understand what’s happening across all functions and in the industry at large. High tech is moving faster than ever, requiring a One Cisco approach to solving complex customer challenges. The Learning & Development track gets that. We know we need to arm our team with the right knowledge to be able to provide the best HR support. That starts with knowing the key market trends, priorities and strategies in Sales, Engineering, Services and Corporate Functions.” -Todd Resly, Sales HR Business Partner  


HR knows how to plan a great time, and we have two events that our employees look forward to all year long! We have an annual summer picnic with a kickball game and a seasonal holiday party with games to kick off our year-end shutdown.

Bigger Impact:

How do we know we are making a difference? We complete yearly reviews to ensure we are focusing on what is most important to our employees.  We solicit feedback, new ideas, and recruit new members to join our board!

The most rewarding moment is witnessing employees reconnect who haven’t seen each other in a while, or learning that a new hire or relocated Cisconian already feels like part of the community within their first month.

That is what I love about working at Cisco, we are passionate about innovating to create the best experience for our employees!

Want to join a team that grows together? We’re hiring!



Madison Embry

UKI P&C Country Consultant

EMEAR People & Communities