My Role
Richardson HR Site Leader
The Key Skills
Event Design, Leadership, Event Management, Employee Engagement, Marketing, Communications 
The Background
I was the HR Partner to the Richardson Site Executive working on the site strategy, implementing and delivering new programs for employees and bringing the campus together. My team was in charge of giving the major US sites’ employees a voice, providing them with the best possible working experience, and improving the visibility of the sites to Cisco executive leaders. Helping lead and run the Richardson Leadership Council meetings, which consisted of key campus leaders, providing guidance on best ways to help engage the employees, helping plan and run initiatives, and managing the site budget. This led to a clearer strategy and plan to improve employee engagement, attract & retain talent, and provide career & development opportunities.
Some of the initiatives including a campus newsletter & communications strategy, Employee Engagement Panels, and campus events. The campus newsletter was implemented to help elevate the voices of all the great work that was going on on campus, mostly from volunteers working in Employee Resource Organizations and our Civic Council. Employee Engagement Panels were created around key initiatives that were identified by our campus leaders as well as around Cisco key engagement initiatives. These were completely volunteer run and managed. My role was to program manage them to ensure they were meeting, answering questions, approving budget requests, managing site communications, and providing guidance on their vision and strategy.
Lessons Learned
As a leader, in whichever capacity, leading by example actually works. If you are passionate about it, fully engaged, excited, then others will follow, especially volunteers. When none of this works unless you have an army of volunteers who want to help and will spend their extra time to do so, it's that much more important. You need need to have a clear vision and strategy, and one where they really can see what they can get out of it. Whether they are using it as a networking opportunity, building skills, or just simply because they are passionate about the work. It's essentially understanding your personas and ensuring you designed it to appeal to them.
The other two lessons are executive sponsors and budget, which were ultimately tied together. With a very engaged and supportive site executive, usually also meant we were able to have a sizable campus budget. These both really helped not only show the importance of these initiatives but actually put "the money where your mouth is".  It really was clear sign that the leaders on campus valued and invested in them.
Campus Events
This was my final campus event that I went all out on. This was also probably one of my favorite memories. I was always blending the arts or creative experiences to these events. This one in particular was a way where everyone could help build something great. You'll see a little bit of my process and how it played out in the video I posted back in 2016 after the event.
With this activity, I really designed it so that in its pieces, you weren't sure what the image was going to be. So as the post-it placer, you simply built a piece of the puzzle. Once the mural was put together, you'd see the full image.
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