Companies That Thrive: Insights From Cisco, Schneider Electric, and Baystate Health

October 22, 2020 Jess Huckins

5-minute read

Tina, Kristin, and Francine

The story of Workhuman® Live, which aired today and is available for replay here, is one of moving from darkness to light – of recognizing that work needs to change and that it is up to all of us to change it. Bringing greater humanity to workplaces is the basis of the new Workhuman® Charter of Workplace Rights, and becoming Workhuman® Certified is a blueprint for success because it demonstrates a commitment to those rights. 

“It’s a shame that it’s taken this long to try to implement this notion of more human workplaces, but I am glad this time is here,” said CNN’s Lisa Ling, who joined this edition of Workhuman Live Online as an interviewer and co-host.  

To show us how this all comes together into a cohesive people strategy, Lisa spoke with top executives from the first three customers to become Workhuman Certified: 

  • Francine Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People Officer at Cisco
  • Tina Kao Mylon, SVP, Talent and Diversity, at Schneider Electric
  • Kristin Morales-Lemieux, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer at Baystate Health

Here is one key takeaway from each interview. To get more tips from these business leaders and understand the deeper business impact of working more human, be sure to watch the full broadcast.

Cisco: ‘We all own the culture.’

Francine leads Cisco’s business-driven people strategy and People Deal, which are essential to driving transformation within the organization. Her focus on a “conscious culture” that embraces inclusivity and belonging within Cisco is a major element of how the organization sees and values its people. And considering Cisco has been ranked the #1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune Magazine for the second year in a row, she and her team are doing something right. 

“There are things that all of us can do at any given moment to really shape shape the culture and to help it evolve as it needs to,” she said. “What are the experiences we want to drive as it relates to our environment? What are the characteristics and behaviors that we want? And most importantly, I think, what’s the day-to-day experience?” This drive to make every day a positive one for Cisco employees “pushes us harder to be as transparent as we can.” 

To help with this cultural alignment, Cisco uses Social Recognition®, part of Workhuman® Cloud, which drives engagement and connection within the organization. “Sometimes there isn’t even a monetary element to it. There’s just this recognition of, ‘I see the work that you’re doing and I’m so appreciative.’ From a COVID perspective, I think it’s actually quite beautiful. What we’ve seen is that the amount of recognition that’s happening across the company is growing, and I think it’s at a time when we need it most,” Francine explained.

Schneider Electric: ‘If you don’t have a human touch, it’s not a complete story.’

Schneider Electric’s global workforce has spent the pandemic continuing to supply essential energy solutions – not only to individual homes and businesses, but to vital hospitals, data centers, and supply chains. In a stunning display of living their values, the Schneider Electric Foundation established a global fund called Tomorrow Rising to help mitigate pandemic-related health crises among the most affected communities. Since April, the fund has benefited more than 1 million people around the world. 

Schneider Electric has three main pillars in its employer value proposition, which centers on creating a workplace that is meaningful, inclusive, and empowered. Tina drilled down on “inclusive” and what it means at Schneider Electric: “Diversity is one thing, to have that representation. But actually having beyond the mix, to having that mix work, i.e. inclusion, is the tipping point. … If there’s no trust, no psychological safety, no empowerment, it doesn’t work.” 

Overall, Tina wants to ensure the end-to-end employer journey is “human, connected, and customized.” She sees Workhuman as a key partner in creating a recognition experience with not only “a really cool UX,” but one that is globally accessible, based on core values, and delivers on the human experience.

Baystate Health: ‘We are all humans first.’

Throughout the global health crisis, Baystate Health has been celebrating recovered patients with what they call a “Code Rocky,” during which the patient being discharged receives a round of applause from masked staff members while “Gonna Fly Now” (aka the “Rocky” theme) plays. 

“This has been a strong reminder that we are all humans first,” said Kristin. “Remembering the basics – physical, mental, and emotional health of our employees – has to be at the core of everything we do. If they’re not taken care of, then they can’t take care of others.” 

Humanizing the employee experience, she has found, is a key part of that: “We decided that we needed to bring that value of appreciation and recognition to life about five years ago, and we partnered with Workhuman to stand up the Baystate Celebrates platform.” In that time, about 70% of employees – including more than 80% of nurses and nearly half of physicians – have received recognition. This has helped to “hard wire” it within Baystate Health’s culture, and Kristin hopes to continue to create a “participative, compassionate, learning-centered culture that is consistently tapping into our employees’ talents by having bidirectional communication … and incorporating that feedback into our plans.”

Tune in.

When we actively strive to make the workplace better, we contribute to creating a better world for everyone to live in. Cisco, Schneider Electric, and Baystate Health are among the organizations that are proving it. Join them, and us, on our shared mission to bring more humanity to workplaces across the globe. 


About the Author

Jess Huckins

Jess Huckins is senior content manager, sales enablement at Workhuman. She enjoys investigative journalism and true crime, fantasy football, outdoor cooking, and adventuring in the wilderness with her three dogs.

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