Select Best Practices from the World’s Best


Appreciating Coworkers with the Click of a Button

In January 2014, Cisco launched an innovative recognition program enterprise-wide called Connected Recognition. This program provides a fast, easy, and fun way for employees to recognize coworkers for exhibiting Cisco’s values.

Connected Recognition empowers all employees, not just managers, to actively contribute to Cisco’s “Culture of Recognition”. It creates positive interactions and connections among employees and removes the usual time delay between the achievement and recognition by making recognition easy and immediate.

This program reinforces the cultural values that are crucial to Cisco’s success and incorporates social media, so the impact of the recognition is amplified.

Anyone can nominate an employee for an award, if he or she believes the person has gone above and beyond in demonstrating the company's values or has made outstanding contributions to the success of Cisco.


Daimler Financial Services

Celebrating Employee Achievements in Style

Daimler Financial Services celebrates success stories and highlights its team members across the globe in many different ways. One example of employee recognition in each region is the President’s Award, which is given by senior leaders to individuals across all levels and teams. The awards ceremony is equivalent to the Oscars and people are treated like superstars for the evening. They dress up and the company has beautifully designed, custom awards produced for each winner. Each person's/team's story is told during the event as they are recognized for their achievements. After the awards ceremony, Daimler promotes all the winners and their reason for winning in various employee communication channels. The company shares quotes and photos from the event to inspire employees to want to be in the next class of President’s Award nominees.


Working on Wellbeing

Long-term health and wellbeing is a top priority for Diageo. The company offers a range of health-related benefits to employees and their families. These differ depending on geography and individual needs: wherever possible, Diageo provides access to fitness facilities and occupational health advisors. In some areas, the company offers flexible working, provides private healthcare plans, and many employees benefit from an Employee Assistance Program, which gives access to independent advisors and counselors.

One of Diageo’s wellbeing initiatives is called Made of More. It was launched in 2012 in their Northern Ireland offices. This program brought myriad benefits to their people – they became healthier, happier, and safer! Leaders learned new and better ways to coach their teams to be more productive and inspired, while taking care of their work/life harmony.


Giving Back in Ways Big and Small

EMC launched an overall initiative this year called EMC Gives Back.  The company has always been generous to its communities, but this year it brought philanthropy to a new level and involved every EMC employee by injecting new life into its volunteer service programs.

EMC lets its employees determine how to allocate charitable donations. The donations are in the form of paid volunteer time –every EMC employee has three days (24 hours) per year to give back freely to the causes they care about the most. Employees can take a break from their work, either on their own or with others, to make a difference in thousands of ways. Many teams commit to spending time together to volunteer and connect with their communities.

The company also revamped its service anniversary program and it now offers employees a $25 gift card on their annual EMC anniversary to direct to one of thousands of charities around the world.



Rolling Out the Red Carpet to Say "Thank You!"

Each June, Hyatt locations around the world participate in Celebrating Our People, a week-long event that recognizes the company’s most important asset – their people – and their tremendous dedication to caring for Hyatt’s guests. During Celebrating Our People week, hotel managers go above and beyond to thank their staff in quirky and unexpected ways. Many times, managers will reverse the associate-serving-guest dynamic and let their people experience Hyatt hospitality. For example, managers might valet associates’ cars when they arrive for work in the morning, set up a car wash in the associate parking lot and wash all the cars, serve the food in the associate restaurant or cook a meal at a special banquet during the week. It’s a great opportunity for managers to thank their teams for their excellent service and for associates to experience Hyatt hospitality in a fun way.

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Encouraging Innovation Anytime, Anywhere

Microsoft encourages its employees to recognize that good ideas can come from anywhere. It isn’t about level, role, tenure or title.

One of the ways Microsoft fosters innovation and the creation of good ideas is through campus workplace design. From the moment you step onto the Microsoft campus, you see how great ideas spark in common spaces where people meet to brainstorm and collaborate inside and outside of buildings. A variety of meeting spaces with the latest technology fosters diversity of thought. And while the training and development resources at Microsoft are endless, most people learn on the job – from the smart, curious people they sit next to every day. After work, many head to Microsoft’s 24-hour idea factory, The Garage, where they explore wild ideas in a space filled with peers who cheer them on and encourage their dreams.

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Coming Together to Accelerate Change

NetApp’s Guiding Coalition (GC) is a grassroots, employee-based initiative that brings together a diverse team passionate about accelerating change. GC team members contribute a significant amount of time, energy, passion, and leadership beyond their normal work responsibilities. They are employees who intentionally take on this role in addition to their day jobs, and volunteer, regardless of job-level, to take the opportunity to speak out, lead, and provide feedback.

The GC helps to speed the sharing of ideas and brings different perspectives together to improve a common cause. Everyone who joins the GC leaves behind their titles and steps outside of the normal corporate hierarchy. As a change advocate, each team member is empowered to identify, brainstorm, and tackle opportunities throughout the company.

While originally comprised of 30-35 volunteers each year, the GC team has expanded to 43 active members in 2014. Often members continue to drive their GC initiatives long after their term has ended. Now in its fifth year, the team’s expansive global network of almost 100 alumni remains committed to further shaping NetApp’s journey of growth.


SAS Institute

Supporting Education in the Community

As a high tech company, SAS depends on a strong educational system for its long-term success. By supporting efforts that prepare more graduates for college, work and success in the 21st century, SAS continues to play a vital role in the global community. SAS maintains a keen focus on education initiatives in the statewide community of the world headquarters in North Carolina. The company also participates in select international efforts to improve education, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Regional and global employees may replicate programs in their local communities. Employees devote much time and talent to their jobs, yet they still have energy and empathy to help others. SAS supports their efforts by funding their volunteer hours, providing matching funds for their charitable contributions to and linking them with even more opportunities to give back.


Building Brighter Futures Globally and Locally

Scotiabank’s Bright Future Program is designed to be relevant and responsive to the needs of the local communities it serves. This program addresses six key areas: arts and culture, education, environment, health, social services and sports. Through the Bright Future Employee Volunteer program, Scotiabank employees contributed more than 420,000 hours of volunteering and fundraising time to local causes in 2013 alone.

While there are many policies or programs that are global in nature, the company recognizes the unique needs and “flavor” of each of its international locations. Scotiabank employees have the autonomy and support to create programs that suit their specific context, such as developing local Employee Resource Groups, focusing on specific local or global charities or holding a customer appreciation day in their branch.

W.L. Gore & Associates

Sponsoring for Success

Every Associate at Gore, regardless of role or years of service, has a sponsor. A sponsor is more than a coach or mentor; he or she is formally, actively and personally committed to the Associate’s success. The sponsor is the first person to greet a new hire at the plant and make the Associate feel welcome. Over time the sponsor remains the go-to resource for any questions, anytime, providing guidance on development and learning opportunities as well as offering feedback. The sponsor also acts as an advocate who is responsible for ensuring that the Associate’s contributions are recognized in the compensation process. The sponsor is committed to ensuring the Associate is integrating well into the culture and into his or her role, not just during the first few months, but over the long term.

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