H&M team makes magic happen

Behind any successful company are talented individuals who build it into what it is. Even for one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, H&M, their employees are their backbone.

The Swedish-born now-global company understands this fact, and instills in the core of H&M the importance of all their employees. As one of the leading and largest fashion retailers in the world, they have over 161,000 employees in different countries across the globe, including more than 700 employees in the Philippines since their opening here in 2014.

“Our values set us apart from the others,” Country HR Manager Gigi Mathay states proudly. “It’s not just a writing on the wall, but we live it, say it in casual conversations, and apply it even outside of work.  We believe and respect in each one’s individuality and capabilities, and we are together in the great-shared adventure of servicing the customers’ wants and needs. This service-oriented approach and the regard for the employees’ well-being and growth are what make H&M a place of possibilities.”

“At H&M, it is important for us to foster healthy relationships among our teams. We’re very proud to see our employees continuously progressing and achieving success for themselves,” Mathay continues. “We want to keep inspiring our people not just to do great work, but especially to love what they do.”

Swedish fashion retailer H&M gives its employees endless possibilities and fosters healthy relationships among teams
The people who make the company can attest that H&M is a great place to work and build a career into.  It comes down to positive culture and values, growth opportunities, capable and motivated team, and purposeful and challenging work—and these testimonies from H&M employees from different positions prove that the company has got all these.

It’s a goal for many to work for a global retail company, just like it was for H&M’s Indoor Window Responsible Jennifer Tantiado. “When I heard it was coming to the country, I jumped at the opportunity,” she shares. Tantiado joined in 2014 as a Visual Merchandiser and worked her way up to becoming Visual Merchandising Manager and then to the Indoor Window Responsible in-charge of window displays in all of the H&M stores; and a part of the Support Office Sales Team. Tantiado can say that H&M consistently opened doors of opportunities for her. She says she owes her success to “training with amazing mentors and working with a great bunch of people who supported and believed in [her].” And she, herself, is proof that H&M rewards hard work and commitment.

For VM Material Responsible Exzequiel Esquivel and Department Manager and Mentor Walter Ortiz, the company’s principles and regard for employees are what they admire most of H&M. “They prioritize progression for the employees, without discrimination,” says Ortiz who now holds a management position in the H&M flagship store. Esquivel, on the other hand, started out as a Visual Merchandiser for one of the H&M stores, and now coordinates with the global team and heads the acquisition of all materials for store visuals. He describes H&M as a “value driven company that believes in their people. They discover and develop the talents within them to help them grow.”

Gigi Mathay, H&M Country HR Manager, shares that the regard for employees’ well-being and growth is what makes H&M a place of possibilities
Jennifer de Leon also shares her appreciation for the “socially responsible” company “with a big heart” that teaches her new things every day. After working in another company for over 10 years, she wanted to expand her horizons and challenge herself in a new work environment. H&M provided just that when she started off as a Department Manager in H&M Canada. “I was given the chance to support in expansion, recruitment, and trainings,” she says, which exposed her to different skills and ideas. Then from there, she progressed to become a Store Manager in Vancouver. When the Philippine market was about to launch, she grabbed that opportunity to be reunited with her family and work in H&M Philippines. She opened one of the first stores in the country as Store Manager. With her experience, she was able to work her way up to becoming the Area HR Manager who looks after the development and employee relations, and reports directly to the Country HR Manager.

Henrik Nordvall is a stellar example of how the company presents endless opportunities for their employees. Just like De Leon, Nordvall started out his now-nine-year career in H&M in another country. Straight from university, the fresh-grad went to work for H&M in Sweden, and eventually ended up working for the company in Norway, Hong Kong, Finland, United Kingdom and, in the last two years, Philippines, where he now stays with his family. He’s been employed in different roles, but now holds the position of Sales Manager. He says, “My journey in H&M has been fostered by encouraging team members, who have supported and believed in my capabilities from the beginning. I make sure to cultivate the same environment with my colleagues wherever H&M takes me. Within the H&M team, regardless of your position, you are counted on to contribute and share your opinion, and there is no prestige in being right or wrong. It is what allows us to continue carving great career paths for our ever-growing crop of new talents, especially here in the Philippines, where the people are already so driven and loyal.” 

Seeing how fulfilled H&M’s employees are, it’s no wonder that the company has been so successful. H&M’s service doesn’t just go on when catering to customer’s style needs, but also in taking care of the people that make the brand the triumph that it is today, with over 4,135 stores in more than 63 markets worldwide—and growing. The company continues its expansion in the country with more stores and more opportunities waiting for future employees.

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Topics: H&M , Gigi Mathay
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