The firm that provides the network technology to transfer data, voice and video around the world on the internet has an extraordinary connection with its staff. Cisco, a former number one on our list, still gets top scores for its leadership, moral purpose and the contribution employees feel they make to its UK operation.
A total of 82% feel inspired by their leader, Duncan Mitchell, and 86% say he runs the firm on sound moral principles — the highest scores in our survey. Nine out of 10 staff say he is full of positive energy (the third- highest score) and 88% put a great deal of faith in him (the second-best result).
Cisco also has top-10 scores in our survey for stretching staff (73%), letting them make a valuable contribution (83%) and providing a dream job (according to 56%). Many, however, complain about the pressure of work. Cisco has among the worst scores in our survey for making employees feel exhausted most days after work (60%), unable to take all of their holiday allowance (32%) and for finding that work interferes with home responsibilities (52%).
The company was launched in 1984 by scientists at Stanford University in America, and it grew exponentially to become a world leader before being hit by the slump in 2001. Thousands of redundancies followed, including 555 worldwide last year.
Thanks to steady sales of about £268m for the past two years, employee numbers are now up slightly in Britain. Most of the staff there feel their managers have been strong and caring through the difficult times.
Generous benefits include profit-related pay, 15% discount on share options, private healthcare for staff and their families, life insurance and a stakeholder pension where the firm puts in 5% to 8%.
Other perks include subsidised catering, free drinks, fruit and snacks. Maternity leave is boosted to 12 weeks at full pay, six at 75% and eight at £100. Paternity leave is one week at full pay and one at £100. For childcare, staff get preferential rates and priority access at a local company.
At Cisco’s head office in Bedfont Lakes in Middlesex a tailor visits once a week offering a made-to-measure suit service. There is a shuttle bus to the train station, and gym and massage facilities on site.
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