With the rapid change in consumer preferences and production technology, there is significant demand for employees with specialized skills who can develop, trial and commercialize sportswear products to meet consumers’ needs for products that are functional, fashionable and responsible. The industry is also labor-intensive and relies on skilled workers to manufacture products of high quality. Therefore, it is important for the Group to be able to attract and retain such employees by offering them competitive compensation, adequate development opportunities and a safe work environment.
Throughout the recruitment and employment process, we abide by relevant laws and regulations including the “Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China” and the “Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China”. We support diversity and are committed to promoting equal employment opportunities in relation to personnel matters including recruitment, training, promotion opportunities, benefits, transfer and dismissal. We care about ensuring that our employees are not discriminated against or harassed due to their gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, marital status or religion.
Employment and Welfare
An excellent and talented team is the foundation of a successful enterprise. As at 31 December 2020, we had 7,980 employees (31 December 20194: approximately 8,500 employees), and a breakdown is shown below.
4 Excluding Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas office employment data
The Group’s Staff Handbook covers topics such as compensation and dismissal, recruitment and promotion, working hours, rest periods, equal opportunity, diversity, preventing child and forced labor, and other benefits and welfare issues. In addition, it promotes a fair and transparent career platform to ensure employees are not discriminated against at work in any way due to gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, marital status, religion, etc.
Employee turnover in 2020
The Group implements a fair and competitive remuneration and welfare system. Remuneration is determined based on qualifications, experience, nature of the work, performance and market conditions to provide equal employment opportunities. To retain and motivate talent, we provide competitive remuneration to our employees that is considerably higher than the minimum wage level. In addition, we have established a comprehensive Performance Management System to review employee performance and inform promotion and wage adjustment decisions. Under the system, employees discuss their work performance with their supervisors at regular intervals. The appraisal results will be documented by the Human Resources department, which will determine whether the employee is eligible for promotion or wage level review.
Welfare and Leisure
The Group has put in place a welfare system that entitles employees to statutory benefits including social insurance, and paid holidays including statutory holidays, annual leave, maternity leave, paternity leave and sick leave. In addition, we also provide eligible employees with different corporate benefits and subsidies, such as daily meals, transportation subsidies, and accommodation subsidies. Furthermore, to promote the physical and mental health of our employees, free medical checkups are provided every year.
To create a sound work environment, we provide employees with a variety of open spaces for recreational and leisure activities to enhance their wellbeing. We also promote work-life balance by organizing various leisure activities for different staff interest groups.
Training and Development
We are committed to becoming an outstanding employer and strive to nurture our employees. We make great efforts to build a diversified career development platform for our employees, and we provide them with competitive remuneration and benefits and comprehensive career development training to fully unleash their potential.
We support the career and personal development of our employees through a variety of human resources initiatives and trainings that empower them to achieve their personal goals. Xtep University, which was established in 2014, provides ongoing training and development programs related to corporate culture, leadership, retail and manufacturing. For instance, retail operations staff can participate in various online and offline trainings offered by the Faculty of Retail, such as store manager workshops, product display instruction and store efficiency improvement training.
As of 31 December 2020, Xtep University had offered a total of 457 courses through Five Faculties and Xtep Online Training Platform, providing over 420,000 hours of online and offline training to employees. In addition, a two-year XMBA program held jointly with Xiamen University has allowed 70 staff to sharpen their management skills.
Structure of Xtep University and Number of Courses in Each Faculty
Xtep University comprises five faculties and one department, encouraging our employees to develop into management talents and professionals.
Xtep University is committed to creating an equal, friendly and open atmosphere, providing training for employees at all levels to meet their basic training needs. At the corporate level, Xtep University collaborates with the Human Resources Department to assess the training needs within the organization. Based on the identified training needs, training plans will be formulated and implemented. Functional departments can also raise specific training needs to Xtep University, or arrange their own tailored training programs. The Corporate Culture Department is mainly responsible for promoting corporate values, and organizing and promoting corporate culture activities.
Health and Safety
The Group has set up an Environment and Occupational Health and Safety Management System that is OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001-certified to systematically manage health and safety-related matters at our facilities and standardize the operations of our employees. In line with standards and relevant laws and regulations, we have also put in place detailed operating procedures, working guidelines and manuals to provide necessary guidance on safety procedures and processes at work.
Preventing risks, eliminating hazards and avoiding accidents are our principles in managing occupational health and safety. In order to minimize safety risk, we have set up targets, standard procedures and emergency response plans for identified risks to eliminate potential safety hazards in time. In addition, we regularly review the operations of our Environment and Occupational Health and Safety Management System to assess the effectiveness of the preventive measures and whether corrective measures are being properly executed.
Based on the work nature of different employees, we provide suitable protective equipment and relevant safety training before commencing work. A safety officer is present at each shift to inspect whether frontline workers are following safety procedures in the manufacturing process. As a routine reminder, all workers receive a safety briefing before the start of each shift, followed by a summary session after the shift to sum up any safety issues observed during the shift. The safety training allows employees to understand the potential risks of their work, raises their safety awareness and prevents the occurrence of accidents.
To provide comprehensive protection for our employees, we offer free annual health checkups and periodically conduct different emergency drills to improve the health and safety awareness of our employees.
Occupational Health and Safety Statistics5 in 2020
We are not aware of any non-compliance with laws and regulations in 2020 that had a significant impact on the Group with respect to occupational health and safety. Among the 25 injuries that occurred during the year, a majority of them were fall incidents or minor machinery-related injuries, and there were also some commuting accidents that occurred on employees’ way home after work. All cases were reported to the local authorities for occupational injury assessment and follow-up actions.
The wellbeing and safety of our employees is our foremost concern. When the outbreak started to spread across Mainland China in January 2020, the Chinese government implemented containment measures to curb the pandemic, and retail stores were temporarily closed. Manufacturing operations and public transportation in Mainland China were also suspended to prevent the transmission of the virus.
To address the sudden outbreak of the pandemic, we immediately established a dedicated taskforce at the group level to safeguard our employees and ensure efficient management in the face of these unprecedented challenges. The taskforce quickly developed the Emergency Response Plan for Pandemic Prevention and Control as well as the Guidelines for Protection Work. The Group invited a third party to assist in delivering the guidelines, orders and directions to the entire Group through various communication channels, including the Group’s social media platform and general notices.
5Work-related injuries reported refer to cases reported to the local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau for an occupational injury assessment. The lost day figure reported is the aggregate of the work-related injury leave periods indicated by the assessments.
A flexible work from home policy was first adopted when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in January 2020. When the pandemic restrictions were eased, we spared no effort in assisting every employee from our headquarters and factories in returning to their workplaces. Residential histories and return itinerary plans were collected from each of them, and necessary communications were made with their residential communities to ensure a smooth return. We also implemented precautionary measures to protect employees’ health and ensure a safe work environment. For instance, our headquarters in Xiamen and five in-house factories underwent thorough disinfections regularly, and each employee was offered personal protective equipment, such as masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.