Uniqlo believes in helping staff grow, bond

(Above, from left) Retailer Adidas Singapore and technology giants Google and Amazon were second, third and fourth respectively, in the Singapore's Best Employers 2020 ranking of 150 companies. Mr Yuki Yamada, chief executive of Uniqlo Singapore and
Chief executive of Uniqlo Singapore and Malaysia Yuki Yamada says the fashion retailer believes in the potential of its employees.PHOTO: ST FILE

Fashion retailer Uniqlo started operating its first Singapore store 11 years ago at Tampines 1.

Now, it has 27 outlets here and about 1,400 employees working in a range of roles, from retail floor staff to management positions.

Mr Yuki Yamada, chief executive of Uniqlo Singapore and Malaysia, said there is a misconception that working in the retail industry is a last resort for most people.

The company offers opportunities for a purposeful career, he added.

"We believe in the capabilities and potential of our employees, so we invest in them through training programmes to ensure they are able to grow personally and professionally, and perform to the best of their capabilities."

For example, the Japanese clothing retailer has a Uniqlo manager candidate programme which develops leaders through classroom training, coaching and mentoring programmes. It also encourages staff to interact more with colleagues who have disabilities.

Uniqlo Singapore operations manager Kenniese Wang, who is in her 10th year with the company, said she enjoys seeing team members progress and develop together with her, especially when they are promoted or stay with the company for the long term.

Uniqlo Singapore area manager Anuja Patel, meanwhile, said she feels upper management is willing to listen and different departments are willing to help.

"When team members bond, it is very easy to get the work done. We strive to create the best results together," she said.

"When I go to work, I don't feel like I'm working with my colleagues, instead I'm working with my family."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2020, with the headline 'Uniqlo believes in helping staff grow, bond'. Subscribe