Feature Story

FORTUNE Names Cisco #6 on 100 Best Companies to Work For 2008 List

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Cisco noted for work/life integration, telecommuting options, salary, communications innovation and low employee turnover

January 23, 2008

By Terry Moos, News@Cisco

Work/life integration, competitive salaries and bonuses, and innovation in communications are all attributes that have given Cisco a leading spot on the recently released FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For 2008® list.

Cisco ranks number six overall on the full U.S. companies list and ranks number four among large companies. It is also featured on the All-Star list as a result of being included on the the Best Companies list every year since it was first published in 1998. Cisco ranked number one in telecommuting options, and also made the top lists in the "salary," "bonus," and "companies with lowest turnover" categories. According to The Great Place To Work Institute, which works with FORTUNE to compile the list, "the 100 we select are beacons for the rest of the business world."

"We are honored to have been chosen as a Fortune 'Best Company' and to have seen our ranking improve so significantly over the past two years," said Brian Schipper, SVP, Human Resources "I'm particularly pleased that this ranking reflects the feelings of so many Cisco employees who responded to the Fortune-sponsored survey. While I am committed to continue to look for ways to improve the quality of work-life programs, ultimately, I believe that these results reflect the unique opportunity we have as Cisco employees to do meaningful work that is changing the world."

Employees involved in survey process

During the evaluation process, employee opinion accounts for two-thirds of the score in determining a company's position on the list. Four hundred employees were randomly selected to participate in the survey process.

"What makes these results gratifying is that our employees are very involved in the survey process from the start, and their input is instrumental in helping us make this important list," said Don McLaughlin, VP, Cisco Staffing.

This year's survey focused on a wide range of topics that included Cisco's efforts in the areas of environmental awareness, corporate social responsibility, technology (including TelePresence), use of new media-including blogs and video blogs-along with information about employee-related benefits, perks and HR practices. FORTUNE noted that "CEO John Chambers won praise for his leadership and his new blog, On My Mind, which solicits employee ideas."

"At Cisco, communication is a key factor in terms of employee satisfaction, and our ability to use technology to enhance communication is making a difference to people," said Annmarie Neal VP, Talent@Cisco. "The takeaway here is that our work environment is becoming ever more flexible and offers employees the opportunity to easily share ideas with both peers and company leaders."

How companies make the list

A number of factors go into the FORTUNE ranking, including an evaluation of the policies and culture of each company. Companies are scored in five areas: credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. The list is co-authored by Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz, who surveyed nearly 100,000 employees from 446 different companies to come up with the list.

To be eligible, organizations must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have a minimum of 1,000 regular full- and part-time U.S employees.
  • Have been in operation for at least seven (7) years by the nomination deadline.
  • Be publicly owned.

John Chambers said, "I'd like to thank all of our employees for helping to make Cisco one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For for the 11th year in a row. Our ranking of number six this year is truly an achievement, as last year I set a stretch goal to make it into the top 10. I am very excited by our progress, and I am proud to be a part of this team. This is a milestone for us all to celebrate, no matter what part of the globe we're in. Together we truly are changing the way the world works, lives, plays, and learns."

The full ranked listing is available at: www.fortune.com and also at the Great Place to Work® Institute's website: www.greatplacetowork.com. The February 4th issue of FORTUNE magazine featuring the 2008 is available on newsstands on January 28, 2008.

Terry Moos is a freelance journalist located in Seattle, WA.