Recently, Xiaomi was placed on Forbes China’s list of “China’s Best Employers of the Year” for 2022.
The global technology leader and the third largest smartphone manufacturer was named one of the top 10 employers in China. Other companies on the list include Schneider Electric, Hitachi Energy, and Bank of China, to name a few.
Forbes China made its selection after surveying 70,000 people over three months. They included the employers, enterprises, and employees themselves, and experts and scholars in various fields were also invited to conduct evaluations of enterprises from a diversified perspective.
The survey involved multiple topics and was conducted by Forbes China and Russell Consulting Company.
Previously, Xiaomi was listed as one of the “World’s Best Employers 2021” by Forbes (the 2022 list has not yet been released).
In 2021, it was also ranked number four on the list of “China’s Most Attractive Employers” for engineering students by Universum.
At the end of last year, it is reported that Xiaomi had 33,000 full-time employees worldwide.
So, what makes Xiaomi such an attractive company employer to its staff and prospective job applicants? Here’s what we know, and how we think Malaysian companies can learn from them.
Non-discriminatory hiring practices
According to a press release, Xiaomi prides itself on maintaining best practices for recruitment, employment, and employee benefits.
While making a promise in 2021 to comply with child labour laws is nothing to shout about, Xiaomi was reported to be free of unfair labour practices or gender discrimination. This was highlighted in the Company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report last year.
To uphold this practice, regular training is conducted for Xiaomi’s HR and recruiters based on best practices of talent management researched by its recruitment teams.
“At Xiaomi, we believe talent is one of the most valuable assets for us to achieve technological innovation and maintain our leadership in a fiercely competitive,” stated the ESG report.
This points to a lesson for Malaysian companies to uphold their HR and hiring practices to higher standards, without letting discrimination or preconceived biases overlook the potential of prospective employees.
Well thought-out employee learning & development
In an article analysing Xiaomi’s company culture, the company shared that it has put in a learning and development initiative called Mi learning systems, or Miles.
Here, employees can join programmes available for them to focus on functional or technical skill building. These include areas such as communications, analytics, and UI or UX, among others.
Furthermore, a learning programme for first-time managers is practised. Called boot camp, it lasts eight rigorous weeks, and all first-time managers are taken through a structured learning session in the art and science of management.
As part of the bootcamp, employees are taught to conduct critical feedback sessions, delegate, and handle tough employees.
The lesson for Malaysian companies here is to be at the forefront and understand the learning gaps of their employees.
This way, companies can prepare the necessary training sessions and upskilling required for employees to fulfil their jobs without knowledge gaps, and to climb the ranks.
Open feedback channels
At Xiaomi, it’s said that employees are treated equally and are encouraged to speak up about the company’s operations and management.
Communication channels are opened up for employees to share their feedback via online platforms, such as a dedicated hotline and email.
In 2021, Xiaomi’s labour union launched a digital platform to collect both anonymous and identified feedback from employees. The company has reported that all issues received on this platform in 2021 have been addressed.
Xiaomi also conducts semi-annual employee surveys to collect feedback on the company management and employee satisfaction. The survey looks at variables such as employee engagement, devotion, loyalty, and recognition.
In a recent survey that was participated by 80% of employees, results showed that over 90% of the participants have high interest and expectations for their jobs at Xiaomi.
This resulted in employee satisfaction rates increasing by about 4% by the end of 2021 compared to the start of that year. To add, the proportion of employees who plan to stay with the company for more than three years increased by approximately 5%.
While surveys and platforms for employee feedback is a practice optimal for larger companies, perhaps SMEs can practice open door policies. This would let employees know that the management is always open to feedback.
Companies dealing with less outspoken employees could also conduct anonymous feedback sessions, fostering a more comfortable environment for employees to share their praises or criticisms about the job.
Long-term incentives for employees
Other than claiming to practise fair pay (which we know Malaysian companies are scrutinised for) and allowing employees to appeal for justifiable compensation, Xiaomi also offers equity incentive programmes to long-term employees.
In 2021, it was stated in the ESG report that the company’s board awarded a total of 266.5 million shares to 8,455 selected participants.
The equity incentive plans were awarded to junior and management-level employees in various tiers. Through it, even fresh graduate employees and young engineers have the opportunity to own shares in the company.
Offering shares to employees is likely a lesser-known benefit here in Malaysia. Its reported benefit includes strong employee loyalty as individual employees will directly benefit from the success of a company and will feel a sense of ownership.
We will soon be covering this topic in an explainer piece about how local businesses can enact an Employee Stock Options Plan (ESOP), so stay tuned for that.
- Read more job-related content we’ve written here.
Featured Image Credit: Xiaomi