Social responsibility important to Nolato in China
Many of Nolato’s employees in China are young and come from rural areas to work in Beijing for a relatively short period. They live in dormitories near their workplaces and spend most of their time together with colleagues.
An attractive environment
“So for us it’s important to not only make the work environment as attractive as possible, but also help to make their free time meaningful,” says Jörgen Karlsson, Managing Director of Nolato Beijing. “About a year ago we therefore started a special Employee Care Programme, which aims to attract, retain and develop staff.”
The programme includes a range of activities for employees.
“We focus on health and safety through training, information and competitions,” says Jörgen Karlsson. “Many employees work in assembly, so a communal break a few times every shift is beneficial.”
An important aspect of the Employee Care Program is listening to suggestions from employees themselves. Lots of constructive proposals have been received through questionnaires and discussions.
“For instance, we’ve arranged English and Japanese lessons, bus trips to central Beijing on weekends and various competitions in things such as sport and handicrafts,” he adds.
“We’ve also built a new canteen, introduced a range of meal options and two free meals a day.”
While some staff are employed through staffing agencies so we can adapt resources to the short product cycles of the mobile phone industry, these employees are treated according to similar principles as for permanent employees.
“We rely on having well-motivated staff that enjoy their work,” notes Jörgen Karlsson. “So it’s only natural that we take responsibility for ensuring that they are happy working for us.”
Support for disadvantaged school
But responsibility doesn’t stop there.
Nolato has now been in Beijing for more than twelve years. Many of the thousands of employees that work, or have worked, in the business come from small and, in some cases, very poor villages in rural China.
“We felt it was time to give something back,” says Nolato Beijing’s Managing Director. “That’s why we started getting involved in Daxiwan Town Central Primary School.”
The school, which has 120 pupils and 23 members of staff, is located in a poor area around three hours from Beijing. It essentially lacked any modern equipment. Nolato Beijing’s management has established long-term cooperation with the school to help improve education and teachers’ working conditions.
“We received a warm welcome on our first visit to the school,” recounts HR Manager at Nolato Beijing Anna Wang. “Although the school lacks resources, we could see that both the teachers and pupils are trying to make the best of the situation.
“It’s a good cause and we believe we have found an important way of making a vital contribution to the community.”
The project is called Building Hope Together and has led to many Nolato Beijing employees, both management and staff, getting involved.
Computers and warm jackets
The project has contributed computers, desks for teachers, printers and photocopiers.
“As the village is at a height of 1,800 meters and it’s very windy, we also have donated warm jackets and caps for all the children, as well as decent rucksacks.”
“We believe that this equipment will be of benefit, and we hope to increase contact between the school and Nolato Beijing,” adds Jörgen Karlsson. “Teachers at the school will visit us so that we can show them what we do and where we work.”