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The X Factor

Empathy, job security, flexibility, financial support and medical plans that catered to the needs of employees made companies cool
twitter-logoManu Kaushik | Print Edition: April 4, 2021
The X Factor
Anupam Trehan, Director, People & Communities, Cisco India & SAARC

Fresh From College

Through Cisco Resonance, the IT and networking giant connected with college grads across the country looking to step into corporate life

Why does an employee choose a particular organisation over others? Besides salary and designation, employees typically look for a workplace where they can work with super-smart people, feel trusted and respected, and where they can pursue passions outside of their day jobs. "At Cisco, they can check boxes along all of this," says Anupam Trehan, Director, People & Communities, Cisco India & SAARC.

Like its peers, the company had to shift its workforce from offices to homes just before the lockdown. But for the IT and networking giant, the transition was smoother. "The switch from working in office to working virtually was an easy one. It just meant that a lot of processes had to go virtual. What also helped us is our collaboration platform (Webex), which allowed us to stay connected. But having said that, everybody was trying to find out how it would work since there was no ready playbook on managing this (the pandemic). I think there was this need to absolutely lead with empathy and understanding."

Leading with empathy meant that if a Cisco India employee had a meeting, and at the same time his/her child was demanding attention, the person had the freedom to attend to the child. Also, the company's human resources vertical regularly updated employees regarding different resources available from the health and wellbeing perspective.

Unlike many others, Cisco hired quite a large number of people last year. "We took hiring practices virtually. We have done something called Cisco Resonance, which is our attempt to touch-base with college grads across the country looking to step into corporate life. We continue to invest and grow both in our campus and lateral hires," adds Trehan.

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