Thread regarding Cisco Systems Inc. layoffs

Cisco PIPs and upcoming layoffs...

(Currently 2 Years on the job) I've read on here that PIPs are essentially the kiss of death and once you are placed on one, you are essentially toast. Recently with all of the layoffs and reorgs my manager has changed and his first order of business for 2019 was to put me on one of these...is there anything that can be done to fight this? There isn't any real grounds for the PIP since he's a fresh manager of mine with no prior experience with me. All of his feedback is BS. The grounds for the PIP are complete BS. Is this possibly Cisco's way of securing the next round people to get cut for layoffs? Have others been given PIPs?

If anyone has any ingenious ideas on how to get out of this c-ap let me know. Also HR offered me a severance option as well, which I think is sadistic.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ

12 replies (most recent on top)

After 10 years in sales and always overachieving I got laid off. The crazy politics and demands of daily glory stressed me out. I spoke to my manager and director regarding how this was affecting my mental health. A month later I’m on a PiP. Last day of fiscal at the end of the day I felt it was my last day so I packed my desk. Lo and behold the next day I get a WebEx from my manager for a 1:1 and told me my role is being eliminated. Do yourself a favour start looking for your next move and get pacakaged out.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-Zerf

I had exactly the similar experience. My reporting was changed without any discussion with a manager who had no experience in the subject or managing people and I was put on a PIP with blatant lies for political reasons. See If you can counter those BS point by point with evidence, then suggest talking to a lawyer which would strengthen the case for better compensation.

Regardless, DO NOT succumb to this institutionalized bullying by accepting and working on the PIP. It's not worth it! Remember, HR and Mgmt are a tag team who will manoeuvre this skillfully and eventually dismiss you as an under-performer 6 months down the line. Play it equally to them. I can assure you that there is better life outside Cisco. Your fortunate period will start once you get out of Cisco.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-iyyc

I went through a similar situation. I was a red-badge for 3 yrs under a manager. Even as a contractor, he managed to give me monetary recognition awards, although nowhere near the level that employees received each year. He converted me after my third year and then 6 months later, he quit. His boss got to give me my first evaluation which said I didn't "manage projects to his expectations." and put me in the bottom 10%. I wasn't a project manager and my one project that I was the tech lead on completed on schedule, on budge, with no issues. His golfing buddy who was a project manager led a project that didn't complete on schedule, went way over budget and only delivered 30% of what was promised, but he was in the top 10% and got the extra bonus that goes along with that.

When my manger was finally replaced, my new manager immediately put me on a PIP and was giving me harder and harder tasks further and further away from my areas of responsibility and experience so that I would fail and he'd have an excuse to terminate me. Then Cisco announced a mass layoff and suddenly the tasks stopped and all the pressure went away. I knew then I was going to be LR's when Aug rolled around.

Interesting fact. That manager managed to drive off 85% of the original manager's team. Some switched mangers within the overall team. Some flat out quit. The rest of us got PIP's and most got LR'd. The one's on PIP's that didn't get LR'd did get terminated. Why a team that worked well together for 5+ years suddenly gets completely replaced within 2 yrs is a poor reflection on the new manager. Luckily karma is a b--ch. He got his own LR down the road.

I will say, having that PIP on my employment record complicated things later. When I had an opportunity to come back, I did and I received plenty of recognition for my work and year-end bonuses, but when the next mass LR rolled around, between the old PIP and my age, I was on the bubble to be the one selected to go.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-3dxy

OP, try to visualize what your day-to-day work might be like after successfully meeting the terms of the PIP. Regardless of whether you feel the PIP is deserved or not...is this a company, or a manager, you want to continue to work for?

My advice? Take the severance and run.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-1ooo

There is some advice in this thread, but let me give you a reality check from someone who went through exactly what you are going through.

About a decacde ago, I was unfairly placed on a PIP because of a grossly incompetent manager (who was ALSO placed on a PIP). I decided to prove that it was unfairly and beat it. (Which I did.) I assumed that was the end of things.

However, the reality was I hurt myself. My raises were lower, even when evaluated as exceeding in later years. Promotions were slow and grants were definitely below what others on my team got.

After Chambers it also seemed like HR specifically started targeting successful post-PIP employees - no matter how long it had been. I assume it was so we didn't have a leg to stand on if we wanted to fight.

So, fight or don't - prove you didn't deserve this, or don't... But either way, your time enjoying working at Cisco is done. Do yourself a favor, find a place that respects you and rewards your effort. (I wish this was advice I had taken, be smarter that I was.)

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-1kxj

i have about 5 years under my belt and have seen this tactic used a few times. One guy pointed me to someone that is a "employee relations" or similar title in the LEGAL department. He said she helped get him a 6 month severance, paid for healthcare, etc. after he explained what had been done to him.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-chn

I'm guessing the rambling racist post was from Cisco HR. Strategic method to derail this valuable discussion.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-vlt

This happened to me - new manager with little or no experience with me. I took the package and found another MUCH better job outside CIsco. And yes, I am over 50. The culture since Chambers left is TOXIC in a big way. I feel much better, the technology is better where I am, and I don't regret a thing. Don't stay under this manager!!! Narcissists are making up more and more of the first level managers at Cisco. And given how much of it I hear is going on, I do think it is a strategy. If you engage HR, they will help you but given the amount of power managers have, it is highly unlikely they can do much but listen.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-vlo

Excellent post by advice13. I would only add that if you get placed on a PIP and do not meet the requirements of the PIP, you are fired and do not get a severance package. The PIP's that I have heard about are written in such a way that you have little or no likelihood of being able to meet the requirements.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-qnh

One choice is to take the severance and leave. That is often the best choice. Fighting your kind of situation is very difficult and will take a very serious toll on you, both mentally, physically and financially.

There are exceptions. If you are, for example, over the age of 50 in Silicon Valley, your chances of getting a decent job are very low. In any case, you must evaluate your own situation based on where you live and work, your age, your skills, network, etc.

If you have few if any alternatives, the best choice is probably to fight. But it won't be easy. And there is no guarantee you will succeed.

To fight, you will need legal counsel that specializes in employment law. You MUST get your attorney to make what is called a "demand letter" to Cisco. This demand letter will describe what has happened to you, and ask for the PIP to be cancelled.

It is critical that this demand letter be sent to Cisco before the PIP starts. Your attorney, surprisingly, even if they are good, may not know this. Why? Most individuals go to an employment attorney after they have been terminated. So many lawyers have very little experience in a situation like yours, where a PIP has been threatened but has not actually started.

This is why legal action is needed so quickly. Why? Once the PIP starts, it far more likely you will be terminated. On other hand, if Cisco gets a demand letter from your attorney prior to the PIP starting, Cisco may reconsider the PIP and even take it off the table entirely.

So if you act, act quickly. Do not hesitate.

Unfortunately, even if you stop the PIP, your manager is likely to do everything he can to make your work life insufferable. There are many ways a manager can do this. They are likely to be either illegal or completely against Cisco written policies. But that doesn't matter. Cisco pretty much lets managers do whatever they want to do - even if their actions are illegal or against Cisco policies or both. Do not expect HR to protect you at all.

What is worst is that once you fight Cisco, you will be effectively placed on a black list and your chances of a transfer inside Cisco are extremely low. Of course, you are not on a PIP and should be allowed to transfer. Doesn't matter. You will be on a secret blacklist and a normal kind of transfer won't happen.

This means you will probably be stuck with your manager. And that manager is going to want to get revenge on you for fighting the PIP and bringing in legal counsel. Your manager will do everything possible to make you fail and make you miserable. Their thinking is simple: if they make you suffer long enough, you will either give up and leave, or they will make you fail, and then restart the PIP.

For this reason, it is critical in the demand letter to demand a transfer because of the toxic behavior of your manager. That is, you want not only to stop the PIP but get a transfer as well.

My advice to you, if you have other options, is to take the severance and leave. Fighting Cisco is not easy, either mentally, physically or financially. But if you do fight, get an attorney and act quickly before the PIP starts.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-naa

no review process anymore from 2014.

they have perfected the art of rolling stealth layoffs without media attention or needing to file WARN. mostly they pressurize people with bad ipf ratings, PIP, insulting at work, denying work ... to make them leave on own.

the employees never get to see the written ratings and comments anymore, its all kept verbal for plausible deniability

why would you want to keep working for this immoral manager? look around outside asap. being in PIP denies you internal movement. take the severance option once you get a job and leave. encourage those you care about to leave as well, so they are not victimized next.

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-ezj

Talk to an and attorney who specializes in labor law and trap this first time manager so he will never ever do this to anyone again. This is a classic problem with first time managers who just go around proving the Peter Principle.

You can also take a look on nolo.com ...

https://store.nolo.com/products/employment-hr

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Post ID: @X5dfXEQ-lxi

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