In the 12 years that I have been with Cisco, I can honestly say it feels like home and during this time I have grown from an energetic girl ready to take on the world into a married woman, and now even a working mother!

As I was looking to begin my career and carefully compared other companies based in India to Cisco, it was clear that Cisco offered excellent employee benefits. Annual health and dental checks were nearly a given, but also included were access to a gym, child care center and even transport to get to the office. For those of you who live in India or have visited and experienced our traffic, you understand the significance of this benefit!

When I received word that I was being offered a position at Cisco, I was really excited – as many of us are – and I felt like I had won the benefits “lottery”. What’s even more exciting is that employee benefits have grown over the years and more so since the introduction of our employee value proposition known as Our People Deal.

Our People Deal outlines a two-way approach of what you can expect from Cisco as an employee, and what Cisco expects from us. I find it is best demonstrated by scenarios like our CEO Chuck Robbins leading us in the Cisco Beat, our all-employee monthly meeting. Here we talk candidly about everything and anything as a company, and many Executive Leadership Team members host throughout the year. In one particular Cisco Beat, however, Chuck took the floor to discuss the importance of physical and mental health.

You could feel his concern for each and every one of us as he reminded employees around the world to make use of benefits like our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services that provide crucial round-the-clock access to counselors and personal support. Everything from mental health to adoption and legal is offered in an effort to help employees and their immediate families manage their lives completely – both in and outside of the office.

This supportive environment is one of the reasons I love working at Cisco the most! There are truly so many benefits offered to help make our lives better, and I appreciate that Cisco realizes how they can impact its employees and help us to thrive.

Here are a few Cisco benefits that I have come to fully treasure as I have grown with the company:

1. Cisco’s Child Care Centre: After the birth of my daughter I took my region’s standard three months of maternity leave during that time (Cisco’s Child Bonding Leave benefit varies from region to region) to adapt to my new life and bond with her. When it was time to return to work, like any mother, the safety of my child was the most important thing to me and I wanted to know that she was being well looked after – I didn’t have to look too far to find just the right place for her.

Cisco’s Child Care Centre provided a wonderful place for my baby to be while I re-entered the workforce, and their care of her helped put my mind at rest and enabled me to focus on my work. Their transport system was a blessing in disguise as well as it gave me a unique opportunity to also commute with my daughter.

2. Family First / Emergency Time Off Program. It is not uncommon to hear that our dynamic teams at Cisco have each other’s backs. In good times, and in bad, we understand that we all have lives outside of working hours and many of our teams tend to consider the families an ‘extension’ of their teams as well.

Recently, my mother underwent surgery and not only was I able to work remotely to help care for her, but I also took advantage of our Emergency Time Off Program to focus on her recovery – and my resulting well-being. Our Emergency Time Off Program is just as it sounds, and there for employees in the event of a sudden, unexpected situation like that of my experience or something like a natural disaster. This time doesn’t intrude upon our regular paid time off.

Instead of feeling like I had to “do it all” I knew I could take the time to be there for my mom without hesitation. I know my team always has my back and would cover for me during my absence

3. Travel and Visibility to Cisco Leadership: It may not be a listed benefit, but I feel this is truly something unique about Cisco. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to grow and expand in my role. I received the opportunity to join the India Employee Services leadership team and travel to China, Singapore, Malaysia, Poland and the United States. Not only did this give me exposure to others within Cisco, but I also got to interact personally with people in other geographies, learn more about their culture, and work towards collaborating to achieve our goals. I find this important because it shows me that Cisco values my contributions to the company, and in wanting me to grow and connect further I can see how important this is to our overall successes.

Leading life with a positive mindset is required to be successful. Cisco encourages this mindset in so many wonderful ways. From our culture of working together and supporting each other, to providing unique invaluable benefits that help us to thrive – I am so glad that I’ve found myself with a “winning ticket” into this lottery. 😊

I am proud to be part of such an amazing company and genuinely feel part of the Cisco family – and for me it’s what makes this place so special.

Want to join a company that makes you feel special? We’re hiring. Apply now.


Lalitha Mahamkali

Client Service Representative

Employee Services