Cisco’s hackathon brought about 105 ideas divided into categories such as new-hire onboarding and career development. Successful outcomes are being implemented bi-monthly; one example is a mobile app called YouBelong@Cisco aimed at helping recent hires and their managers navigate the unsettling first few weeks of a new job.
However, Barozzi believes the true takeaway was the engagement and increased creativity of the HR function. Cisco HR demonstrated it can be as agile and adaptive as other functions and is seen as an attractive department to work in. For Barozzi, this is all part of where HR needs to go within an industry of rapid changes, driven by digitisation and competition for talent.
“Organisations today are dealing with a VUCA business world coupled with an exponential rate of change. Second, we have a talent marketplace that has moved from being supply-driven to demand driven. Companies are dealing with a new breed of talent that has the power of choice,” says Barozzi.
At Cisco, it is therefore vital to attract the right candidates with a compelling employer brand. The hackathon helped create an environment where employees feel valued and empowered, plus ideas to attract future talent.
A further example of an innovative solution includes the ‘Talent Cloud’, Cisco’s workforce ecosystem that combines internal employee data, predictive analytics and market intelligence to allow agile teams to be created , in order to solve specific company goals.
“We’re an adaptive organisation, moving away from the stiff organisational chart to dynamic teams of people allocated to the right job at the right time with the right capabilities,” says Barozzi.
“The idea of the employee is blurring and changing, where people don’t work for, but with a company. Wherever agility is needed that’s where Cisco is going,” he adds.
While hackathons, talent clouds and agility seem like great ideas and undoubtedly enhance engagement, surely it’s harder for HR departments to measure success?
“We moved away from annual reviews because if we continue to measure performance as an individual thing through annual assessments, we won’t succeed,” agrees Barozzi.
“Outcomes are achieved by teams and performance is the sum of an individual, the team they work in and the leader they have. The second element is data. We’re introducing a platform that will provide realtime intelligence on how our teams produce results, execute priorities and how engaged they are,” he adds.