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Case study: How HTC promotes employee communication and engagement

HTC is a global leader in innovative mobile phone design, with operations, sales, and services covering most areas in the world – including Europe, the Americas and Asia. Employing nearly 10,000 people globally, HTC pays great attention to internal communication with employees, so as to build mutual trust and create a harmonious atmosphere within the company.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report by HTC published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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HTC believes that the establishment of a sound means of communication between management and employees is vital to the growth of a company. Accordingly, in addition to regular labour-management communication meetings, HTC has also set up diversified feedback channels for employees, including grievance lines, appeal boxes, an e-mail address for complaints, and sexual harassment complaint mailboxes. In order to promote employee communication and engagement HTC took action to:

  • organise labour-management meetings
  • carry out an employee satisfaction survey
  • provide advisory and assistance channels

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report HTC identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, customer health and safety, marketing and labelling, socioeconomic compliance. Among these, promoting employee communication and engagement stands out as a key material issue for HTC.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups HTC engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics HTC engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Investors

 

·      Board of Directors meeting

·      Shareholder conference

·      Annual report

·      Investor Conference

·      Monthly revenue statement

·      Visiting investors

·      Investor Relationship Website

·      Spokesperson

Enterprise Customers ·      Business review with key customers (QBR meeting)

·      Reply to customer inquiries

·      Customer audit and replies to customers questionnaires

·      Meeting the customer requirements about environmental and social responsibilities

General Consumers ·      Local service hotlines in 70 countries to provide customers with real-time communication and assistance

·      Websites in different languages for customers to give feedback and to access information in a real-time manner (20 established)

·      Dedicated email boxes for different functions (PR, Service, Copyright, Security, etc.) to provide convenient customer contact with HTC

·      Postal service survey for investigating customer satisfaction

·      Contacting customers who give negative feedback in the satisfaction surveys to address their concerns

Employees ·      Department quarterly meeting

·      One-on-one interview with supervisors

·      Annual performance appraisal/ interview

·      New employee seminar

·      Employee assistance hotline and mailbox, Health Centre, Employee Aid Scheme

·      Labour-management meeting

Suppliers ·      Supplier communication conference

·      Guidance and audit for suppliers

·      Cooperation project with suppliers for addressing CSR and greenhouse gas issues

Contractors

 

·      Induction training

·      Patrol inspection in the facility

Local Communities ·      Positive employee engagement in public interest activities

·      HTC cooperation with governmental agencies and non- profit organisations in eco, environmental and other public welfare activities

·      Clean the beach

What actions were taken by HTC to promote employee communication and engagement?

In its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report HTC reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee communication and engagement:

  • Organising labour-management meetings
  • HTC is committed to creating an atmosphere of mutual trust between employer and employees, while also focusing on internal communications. Accordingly, HTC convenes labour-management meetings every two months and at least six meetings are held every year. Seven representatives are elected by employees for the meetings while seven others are designated by the company. The minutes of these meeting are referred to in the resulting follow-ups, which include any necessary corrective action. In addition to these regular meetings, employees may also reflect their opinions through various communication channels. The shortest notice period for major operational changes shall be handled by HTC in accordance with Article 16 of the Labor Standards Act.
  • Carrying out an employee satisfaction survey
  • Out of consideration for employees’ feeling towards HTC and their willingness to dedicate themselves to the company, HTC is searching for factors that could enhance employee willingness to devote themselves to corporate operations. So, in 2017, HTC launched a survey of the opinions of its employees around the world. The survey covered a total of 6 aspects of work content, which included work environment, salary and benefits, internal communication, gender equality, and corporate identity. The average score of the survey results was 3.95 points (out of 5 points). The survey results were given to management for review and have become a reference for planning business goals.
  • Providing advisory and assistance channels
  • To protect the working rights of its employees, HTC has set up a diversified and smooth communication channel that an employee can use to pass on information about problems and to receive a response without delay. In addition to the employee care office in the major units that provides a relaxing space for communication, timely help with workplace problems can also be sought using the following channels:
    • Consultation and Referral to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
    • Production line direct labour extension
    • Indirect labour extension
    • Employee Help hotline
    • Open and registration-exempt staff cares office
  • Additionally, to provide employees with a more convenient information network and services, HTC has built a proprietary company APP to provide staff with readily available services. These include relevant course information, the latest event announcements, staff clinic services and all kinds of reservations, such as regular physical examination, gym courses, massage appointments, restaurant bookings, employee issues, and immediate feedback.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 402-1 Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes

 

Disclosure 402-1 Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Labor/management relations

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by HTC, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to HTC: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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