Motivation and Performance Management: The Case of Cisco


Motivation is defined as management process intended to encourage employees to work better by offering them reasons based on their unfulfilled needs. The intent is to influence workers to put more effort in attaining the goals and vision of the company. Job satisfaction is one of the factors that influence motivation and result in higher achievement. Therefore, human resource managers should create ways of managing performance to determine the worthiness of an organization. As stated by Stewart & Brown (2020), perceived support determines the extent of employees’ willingness to put an extra effort in their work. Managers should strive to provide proper compensation, enhance effective communication, team building, and teamwork, training, and mobilization of resources. The objective of this paper is to exemplify Cisco regarding its commitment to performance management and its impact on the level of employee motivation and satisfaction.

Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment

Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are two related, yet, distinct phrases that are relevant in understanding the relationship between the role of employees and that of the employers. The former implies the pleasant psychological state emanating from an individual’s acknowledgement of their own experience. It can also mean the attitude of workers toward their job, social, organizational and physical work atmosphere as well as the earned rewards. The latter is emotional state which characterizes the relationship of employees and employers and has implication for continued membership to the firm. According to Abdulmajeed et al. (2019), organizational commitment has three primary constructs including emotional attachment to the company (affective), economic worth of continued participation in the firm (continuous) and obligation of the worker to remain (normative). When subjects have higher efficacy and a sense of relevance, they are more likely to be satisfied and resultantly improve their performance.

At Cisco, the employees are highly motivated and committed because the company has different strategies to appreciate their workers. Chen (2017) states that Cisco’s human resource department follows the philosophy of “Total Rewards” to demonstrate organizational commitment. Within this paradigm, there are a list of eleven areas that Cisco focus on in rewarding their works. The benefits include competitive performance-based pay, savings packages, comprehensive health coverage, time-off policies, stock purchase plan, flexible work, support programs, career growth and development, positive culture and achievement recognition (Chen, 2017). For instance, Cisco has partnered with Life Connection’s Health Center to ensure that all the employees and their families are provided with proper healthcare.

In addition, Cisco has a positive organizational culture that is based on fairness and equality. As stated by Chen (2017), the company operates in at least 165 countries. The company embraces diversity by employing workers from different backgrounds and ensuring that they are treated equally regardless of their disabilities, race, gender or other under-represented minority status. The firm has also strategized on different ways of solving conflicts that arise from mergers with organizations from different cultures. In addition, the company also educates its workers on behaviors of people from different culture that arise from factors, such as power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity. Resolving the issues by focusing on company’s value helps to make all employees feel appreciated. The result is that the workers have higher performance and the corporation has remained profitable.

Motivational Theory and Performance Management Principles

Motivational theory tries to identify the factors that drive individual to show interest and increase performance on a given task. Cisco applies the principles of motivation to enhance satisfaction of their employees and by extension realize a better organizational performance. According to Cisco (2020), the company has a philosophy of pay-for-performance and sound compensation practices. For instance, the corporation does not pay dividends on unvested rewards. The result is that workers are extrinsically motivated to work better so that they will receive better rewards such as promotion and bonuses. The company also enhances the intrinsic drive of employees by having respect and ensuring that during recruitment people are selected because of their qualifications. The people’s hard work is reinforced through a reward system that is fair.

Performance management principles are necessary to help the management to communicate their achievement in real time, identify performance deterioration and networks sustainability and resilience. At Cisco, the company always has annual reports with the records on performances such as financial statements (Cisco, 2020). When there is an increase of revenue directly linked to the employee hard work, then the management provide additional rewards such as bonuses. For instance, the company has time-based equity incentives and performance-based awards in addition to the base salary (Cisco, 2020). Given that there is an independent committee and consultants for award, there is fairness and justice in the performance management.


Organizations thrive when there is proper management and the employees are well motivated to work. Cisco has a strong human resource comprised of intrinsically driven workers and employers who are attentive to growth of their subjects. The result of such a symbiotic relationship is a culture of positivity and diversity. With continues affective, normative and continuous commitment of Cisco it is expected that more talented and qualified employees will be retained. Other companies should benchmark and learn from Cisco if they want to remain competitive in the market.


Abdulmajeed, S. A., Naugton, S., Elayan, M. B., & Mohammad, T. S. (2019). Perceived organizational support, alternative job opportunity, organizational commitment, job satisfaction and turnover intention: A moderated-mediated model. Organizacija, 52(4), 310-324. Web.

Chen, H. (2017) The success of Cisco systems, inc.’s human resource management strategy. Journal of Service Science and Management, 10(3), 206- 215. Web.

Cisco 2020 annual report: Powering an inclusive future for all. Web.

Stewart, G. L., & Brown, K. G. (2020). Human resource management: Linking strategy to practice. John Wiley & Sons

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