Xiaomi’s corporate culture puts it on Forbes’ Best Employers in China 2022

Recently, Xiaomi was placed on the Forbes China list of “China’s Best Employers of the Year” for 2022.

The global technology leader and third-largest smartphone maker has been named one of China’s Top 10 Employers. 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 employers, companies and employees themselves, and experts and academics from various fields were also invited to carry out business valuations from a diverse perspective.

The survey covered several topics and was conducted by Forbes China and Russell Consulting Company.

Some other names that appear on the Forbes China list / Image credit: Forbes China

Previously, Xiaomi was listed as one of the “World’s Best Employers 2021” by Forbes (the 2022 list has yet to be 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 employer for its staff and potential candidates? Here’s what we know and how we think Malaysian businesses can learn from it.

Non-discriminatory hiring practices

According to a press release, Xiaomi prides itself on maintaining best practices in recruitment, employment, and benefits.

While there is nothing exceptional about pledging in 2021 to comply with child labor laws, Xiaomi would have been free from unfair labor practices or gender discrimination. This was highlighted in the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) report last year.

To maintain this practice, regular trainings are held for Xiaomi HR and recruiters based on the talent management best practices sought by its recruiting teams.

Image credit: Xiaomi

“At Xiaomi, we believe that talent is one of the most valuable assets for us to achieve technological innovation and maintain our leadership in fierce competition,” the ESG report said.

This points to a lesson for Malaysian companies to maintain their HR and hiring practices to higher standards, without letting discrimination or preconceived bias overlook the potential of potential employees.

Thoughtful employee learning and development

In an article analyzing Xiaomi’s corporate culture, the company shared that it has implemented a learning and development initiative called Mi learning systems, or Miles.

Here, employees can join the programs made available to them to focus on building functional or technical skills. These include areas such as communications, analytics, and user interface or UX, among others.

Image credit: Xiaomi

In addition, an apprenticeship program for new managers is practiced. Called boot camp, it lasts a rigorous eight weeks and all new managers undergo a structured learning session in the art and science of management.

In the bootcamp, employees learn how to conduct critical feedback sessions, delegate, and manage difficult employees.

The lesson for Malaysian companies here is to be at the forefront and understand the learning gaps of their employees.

In this way, companies can prepare the necessary training and development sessions for employees to perform their function without knowledge gaps and to move up the ladder.

Open feedback channels

At Xiaomi, it is said that employees are treated equally and are encouraged to have a say in the operations and management of the company.

Communication channels are open for employees to share their feedback via online platforms, such as a dedicated hotline and email.

In 2021, Xiaomi’s union launched a digital platform to collect anonymous and identified feedback from employees. The company reported that all issues received on this platform in 2021 have been resolved.

Xiaomi also conducts semi-annual employee surveys to gather feedback on company management and employee satisfaction. The survey examines variables such as employee commitment, dedication, loyalty and recognition.

Image credit: Xiaomi

In a recent survey in which 80% of employees participated, the results showed that more than 90% of participants have high interest and expectations for their work at Xiaomi.

This has translated into an increase in employee satisfaction ratings of approximately 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 has increased by around 5%.

While employee surveys and feedback platforms are best practice for larger companies, perhaps SMBs can practice open-door policies. This would let employees know that management is always open to feedback.

Companies that deal with less candid employees could also hold anonymous feedback sessions, fostering a more comfortable environment for employees to share their praise or criticism of the work.

Long-term employee incentives

In addition to claiming to practice fair compensation (which we know Malaysian companies are watched for) and allowing employees to demand justifiable compensation, Xiaomi also offers equity incentive programs for long-term employees.

In 2021, it was stated in the ESG report that the company’s board of directors awarded a total of 266.5 million shares to 8,455 selected participants.

Stock incentive plans have been awarded to junior employees and managers of various levels. Thanks to it, even new graduates and young engineers have the opportunity to own shares in the company.

Offering employee stock is probably a lesser-known perk here in Malaysia. Its stated benefit includes strong employee loyalty, as individual employees will directly benefit from a company’s success and feel a sense of belonging.

We’ll be covering this topic soon in an explanatory article on how local businesses can adopt an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP), so stay tuned for that.

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Featured image credit: Xiaomi