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Making Big Memories with Connected Recognition




I’ve been an Executive Assistant for 13 years at Cisco, and I have found that behind every successful executive there’s a hard-working, selfless, and dedicated executive assistant. 

I thrive on appreciation — doesn’t everyone? The number in my paycheck is one thing. But expressed appreciation demonstrates immediate recognition of my effort, confirms my value to the team, and — above all — the words make me feel great.

Receiving recognition for my diligent efforts and unwavering commitment provides a tangible demonstration of my professional value. And it highlights the significant contributions I make to my team and the company.

In turn, it gives me a sense of purpose and motivation in my day-to-day activities and interactions. 

I love that the Connected Recognition and Connected Achievement programs can convey value. I have always appreciated when my coworkers take the time to recognize my efforts and show gratitude with words of thanks or a reward from the Connected Cisco platform.

Patti with her extended family at Disneyland.
Patti with her extended family at Disneyland.

Connected Cisco is a brilliant program that makes it easier to create meaningful moments through a unified experience. These include team building, celebrations, recognition, gifts and giveaways, and Cisco anniversaries.

Seven years ago, a friend suggested that instead of using my Connected Recognition (CR) award for immediate small items — which are easily forgotten — to consider saving my CR’s towards something more memorable. So, I started to dedicate my CR’s to buy Disney gift cards that do not expire in the U.S.

In September 2023, I used those gift cards to take my husband, kids, and grandchildren to Disneyland for a whole week.

Those cards that I’d been carefully saving after converting my CRs, paid for the whole trip — entry tickets, VIP tour, food, memorabilia, and our hotel — it was unbelievable!

All those seemingly small amounts had added up to create memories that none of us will forget. 

During the trip, every person in my family was so appreciative of Cisco and my hard work and generosity to make this special trip happen.

The best part of the trip was the exclusive VIP Tour.

Normally, it would have been incredibly expensive and likely out-of-reach. But with my Connected Cisco gift cards, it meant we could splurge. It was beyond amazing!

Side-by-side photos of a tour guide with Patti’s grandchildren.
The dedicated Disney VIP tour guide, Miss Lindsey, made Patti’s grandchildren’s day truly magical.

I have a special needs grandson and the VIP treatment gave us skip-the-line ride priority, priority seating at parades, dinner reservations, and the ultimate concierge service. I'm so happy that I decided to save up my awards for something significant. Regardless of their size, they all contributed to something that my family and I will cherish forever.

Taking the time to express your gratitude is what counts. Appreciation goes a very long way in job satisfaction and motivation (combining and saving them up for a big memory was an added bonus). For me, each time I am awarded a CR it makes me feel more valued, and each time I nominate a colleague for a reward I get to show how much I appreciate their effort. I hope you’ll take the time to express that value through this generous Cisco program.

You can recognize coworkers for something as simple as extra unexpected help or for a bigger goal or project success.

Connected Cisco awards range from $25-$250 (or country equivalent), plus a new non-monetary Thank You. And you can give a few $25 level awards each quarter without needing leader approval.

There are larger value awards on the Connected Achievement program ($500+) requiring more approval, but if someone is deserving of a Connected Achievement, communicate that with your manager.

I share my personal experience to inspire others to consider using this technique for upcoming annual shutdown, vacations, and similar occasions. In addition, this serves as a heartfelt appreciation to Cisco for this program and gratitude for those who took the time to recognize me with CR awards throughout the years.

I have shared my story with friends and family, and they are amazed by this wonderful benefit. Yet another reason to be thankful to be part of Cisco.

Take advantage of the Connected Cisco platform. Give someone you appreciate a recognition award today.

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