Best Companies to Work For in Greater China 2015: NetApp credits its success to cohesive teams working together to do a great job every day
To be a leading player in the global data storage industry, it helps to be a world-class employer. NetApp has proved this once again with its fourth consecutive appearance on the list of Best Companies to Work For in Greater China.
“It is a great honour for the NetApp team in China to receive this award,” says Adrian Chan, vice president and managing director of NetApp China. “We believe it is our open, honest and transparent environment, career growth and development, and commitment to building a cohesive team that helped us to secure our ranking in the list for the fourth consecutive year.
“Our employees share a common commitment and goal of working together to do a great job every day in order to deliver value to our customers and partners. All our employees are very proud of NetApp’s achievements, because each of them has played a significant role in contributing to our success.”
NetApp has over 300 employees working in Greater China across eight offices located in Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Taipei.
In Chan’s opinion, the challenges posed by the rapid development of the company across these widely spread locations, as well in other remote locations in mainland China, makes the Great Place to Work award an even more impressive achievement. He believes it is the corporate culture that, ultimately, underlies its success.
“NetApp advocates equal relationships among all our employees, and they are equally respected regardless of their title or position. Furthermore, NetApp remains committed to creating an engaging and collaborative working environment,” he says.
He adds that each of NetApp’s offices in China has its own Great Place to Work committee. “These consist of volunteers from across different departments. They are responsible for organising activities that enhance work-life balance while encouraging greater collaboration and engagement. These include outreach programmes, marathons, volunteer work with charities, and an employee family day where our employees’ children join us in the office.”
The company also provides daily breakfast for its staff, organises team birthday parties four times a year, and celebrates annual cultural festivals like the Mid-Autumn Festival and Christmas.
“We also have our Living Our Values (LOV) awards, in which we recognise team members who have made outstanding contributions to the business and their team,” Chan says.
Since picking up last year’s Best Companies to Work For in Greater China award, NetApp has continued to introduce new initiatives to foster a more cohesive and cooperative work culture. One of these is a leave exchange programme.
“Employees can exchange up to three days of annual leave for personal expense claims on things like education, wellness, health care, family care or lifestyle choices,” Chan explains. “This was implemented following feedback from employees that revealed they were looking for a better balance between their work and personal lives.”
Krishna Arani, vice president and managing director of NetApp East Asia, sees the company’s recognition in the awards as representative of the way its employment practices are viewed globally.
“This year, NetApp was ranked fourth among the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces, fifth among the Best Multinational Workplaces in Asia and, most recently, the eighth Best Company to Work For in Singapore,” Arani says. “These awards are a testament to our consistent leadership across all our offices. This creates one global NetApp culture so employees have the same experience no matter which workplace they step into around the world.”
For Arani, NetApp’s commercial success is inextricably tied to the quality of its workforce and their level of engagement.
“Due to the highly dynamic nature of the technology industry, aligning our employees around our priorities and strategy is critical to our company’s success. It is more important than ever to have the right people who can adapt quickly to the way in which our internal and external business changes.
“Trust, integrity and teamwork are essential characteristics that distinguish us from our competitors. Our people live these values and, therefore, are our competitive edge. This, ultimately, allows us to drive better business outcomes for our customers and partners.”
NetApp’s recruitment policy is to not only find the most technically skilled people, but also those whose principles chime with the company’s own ethos.
“Our hiring process is designed to not only identify candidates with the right mix of qualifications and relevant experience, but also to ensure the best cultural fit,” Arani explains. “We have to determine whether the candidate’s personal values align with our company values, and whether there is the potential for a long-term relationship built on mutual trust.”
Once a candidate has joined, Arani notes, NetApp’s leaders are responsible for maintaining motivation and enthusiasm through informal and formal employee engagement programmes. They are also responsible for embracing new team members’ local cultural traditions.