An icon of Qualcomm employees

Employee Engagement

We’re passionate about our people.

A global team filled with exceptional talent and rich in diversity. Our workforce is a virtual melting pot of inventive minds, backgrounds, cultures, viewpoints and skills. Together, we powered the smartphone revolution, connected billions of people across the world, transformed industries and now we are leading the way to 5G. We’re ushering in an era without barriers to invention.

Our people are committed to inventing solutions to complex problems and making the world a better place. Qualcomm cares about its employees and demonstrates its care by providing a strong foundation of support to help our people be successful. From helping to navigate unique and exciting career paths, to providing employee-focused opportunities and resources, we strive to support our employees’ lives inside and outside of work.

Empowering employees to drive change, influence our culture and ensure continuous improvement.

Qualcomm provides employees with frequent opportunities to share their feedback on what it’s like for them to work here. We conduct full census climate surveys as well as quarterly pulse surveys. Every employee receives at least one survey per year to ensure annual engagement and feedback across the company and measure progress.

Each survey also includes a relevant focus area, such as inclusion, skill development, or recognition. Based on the feedback of employees, different initiatives and programs are created and implemented to address any areas of improvement. For example, since selecting Career Progression as a company-wide focus area, a cross functional team led by a Senior Vice President of Engineering has curated data-driven resources, content, and presentations for the global employee population. We have since seen scores improve quarter over quarter regarding career development and how managers provide developmental feedback.

In the most recent full census survey, 80 percent of employees provided simultaneous feedback covering 13 areas such as inclusion, job fulfillment and leadership. To continually evolve, focus and improve our work climate, we develop different workstreams---led at executive level—to respond to the results of our climate surveys and address any areas of opportunities. Employee sentiment is vigorously and continually tracked, and we are pleased to see high engagement scores as demonstrated by the high satisfaction in the below areas.


87 percent of Qualcomm employees feel proud to work for Qualcomm.


Top reasons why employees are proud to work at Qualcomm are working with the latest technology, with talented colleagues and learning new skills.


86 percent of Qualcomm employees are confident in the future of Qualcomm.

We take employee feedback seriously.

We use it to drive change and engage, retain and develop our people. Leaders receive customized dashboards within a week of survey closings to help them understand the strengths of their organization and to quickly begin acting on opportunities for improvement. We embed predictive analytics into these dashboards to help leaders prioritize actionable areas that will have the most impact on key outcomes, such as employee retention and morale.

The work being done in these company-wide focus areas – in addition to team and department-level initiatives – is key to how we’re continually evolving and improving our work culture and climate. We encourage our leaders to use survey feedback to create goals as part of their performance review. We regularly report back to employees on how we’re acting on their feedback.

To keep ourselves on the cutting edge of employee listening strategies, our People Analytics team is represented on multiple boards within the Information Technology Survey Group (ITSG), a consortium of technology companies. Our participation in this group allows us to benchmark our practices against other companies in the IT industry and play an active role in shaping how we listen and respond to employee feedback and needs.

Empowering our people to publicly recognize each other’s great work

Qualcomm’s recognition culture empowers employees at all levels to recognize each other’s great work and celebrate milestones. ThankQ, our online social recognition platform, launched in 2020, enables all employees to create public recognitions for their colleagues. It was designed based on employee feedback received through a variety of listening posts, such as our Company’s annual Climate Survey, quarterly pulse surveys and global focus groups. Our Company holds happy hours and large team events to celebrate company achievements and hosts pop-up “Take a Break” events with free food and giveaways to recognize ongoing efforts.

Despite the challenges of launching ThankQ during the pandemic while the majority of employees were working remotely, in the tool’s first five months of use, 92 percent of individual contributors and 98 percent of managers and above registered to use the program and gave nearly 81,000 recognitions.

Giving employees a direct line of communication with executives

Small-group breakfast meetings, lunch meetings and happy hours are held on a regular basis to give employees valuable opportunities to connect directly with our executives and engage in informal discussions with them about the business and culture of Qualcomm. Employees are encouraged to ask questions, share information about the work they’re doing and make suggestions.

Companywide and business unit “All Hands Meetings,” held on a quarterly basis, give employees additional opportunities to ask questions of our executives. To encourage engagement, questions may be submitted anonymously, and either in-person or through an app, with other attendees voting questions up or down. In the context of the pandemic, these meetings were maintained through online sessions.

Supporting our people to live their best, most productive lives.

The success of our business is fundamentally connected to the wellbeing of our people. We strive to inspire our people to live their best, most productive lives and support them in their important life events. We offer a competitive and comprehensive benefits package to employees and their families, with choice in quality, life-enhancing programs – including premium-free health coverage for employees and their dependents.

We support our employees’ physical and mental health by providing tools and resources to help them improve or maintain their health status and encourage engagement in healthy behaviors. Our Qliving Wellbeing Program anchors to a global Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) which provides resources and assistance to employees and their household members who are dealing with mental or emotional health issues as well as everyday challenges associated with managing stress and work-life balance.

We also provide personal wellness events for employees and their families throughout the year. These events include posture, skin cancer, and mobile mammography screenings; mobile dental services; vision exams; and vision retail boutique pop-ups.

We offer protection and security to give employees peace of mind and ease their concern about events that may require them to take time away from work or impact their financial wellbeing. And wherever possible, we offer choice so employees can customize their benefits to meet their needs and the needs of their family.
Employees also have the opportunity to become shareholders in the Company through our employee stock purchase plan (ESPP). The plan allows them to acquire shares of Qualcomm common stock at a discounted price twice per year through accumulated payroll deductions. More than 70 percent of our employees participated in our ESPP in FY19. We also promote Company stock ownership by using Restricted Stock Units as a key part of our employee compensation strategies.

The below benefits are just some examples of what we proudly offer at Qualcomm:

  • Premium-free health coverage for employees and their dependents
  • Flexible time off programs to help employees address stress and time-management challenges
  • An array of convenient onsite services, ranging from medical clinic to physical therapy to acupuncture to vision and dental care to behavioral health
  • Generous paid family time off benefit for new moms and dads and employees caring for a family member (12 weeks in the United States)
  • Overall leave program and paid bereavement time off (up to 15 working days) 

Encouraging and empowering our people to build connections and explore their passions

Our people are committed to inventing solutions to complex problems and making the world a better place. At Qualcomm, we believe that building connections between our employees, their families and our communities create an even more meaningful, fulfilling, fun and productive workplace.

Through our engagement programs, our people can pursue their interests and hobbies, connect to volunteering and giving opportunities, enjoy unique recreational experiences with family members and communicate directly with our senior leadership. Our engagement programs support our employees’ lives inside and outside work and empower them to influence the morale, culture and practices of our Company.

Creating cultural experiences for employees and their families

We leverage our partnerships with local arts and culture organizations to create a wide variety of fun and unique experiences for our employees and their families. In 2020, we engaged our people and their families at home with kid-friendly virtual programs, parenting webinars, virtual arts events and much more.

Highlights of these engagements included, amongst others, virtual performances by the San Diego Opera and City Ballet of San Diego, as well as a virtual comedy evening with a nationally renowned comedian in India, a DJ-led music session, free virtual family days at science and military museums; and a flagship virtual Qkids (Take Your Kids to Work Day) featuring STEM experiments for kids to follow along and try at home. We also transformed our regular Qualcomm Summer on the Lawn (QSOL) concert series into virtual performances.

Connecting our people to our communities

Giving back to the communities where we live, work and do business is central to our culture. We engage our people in supporting and enriching our communities through volunteering, matching grants, community and board service grants, and other giving and community outreach efforts.

Our employee-directed local giving committees help determine how our Company’s philanthropic funds are distributed in their local communities. Our giving committees are in more than 25 locations globally and have donated to more than 70 local organizations worldwide. In 2020, we supported over 1,500 nonprofits through matching and community service grant programs. Our employees also engage in Company-sponsored volunteer activities.

Our employees are passionate about many causes and embrace opportunities to make a difference. To support their passion during the pandemic, we created an online portal for employees to find virtual volunteer opportunities and hosted virtual volunteer activities for employees and their families, such as making inspirational cards for older adults who would benefit from friendly connections during this deeply isolating time.

Cultivating employee Ambassadors to represent our Company in local communities

The Qualcomm Ambassador Program provides opportunities for employees to demonstrate their pride in working at Qualcomm by participating more deeply in onsite engagement events and by representing our Company in local communities. Ambassadors represent Qualcomm in a variety of ways, such as serving on panels, giving presentations at local schools and supporting STEM events on Qualcomm’s campus and in their home communities. We started this program in 2017 in San Diego. The program currently has 600 employee Ambassadors and is expanding to other Qualcomm offices in the United States and Canada. Launched in 2017 in San Diego, this program has grown to include nearly 200 ambassadors across 12 Qualcomm offices in the U.S. and one in Canada.

Supporting employees to explore their passions

Our Company’s Qclub program creates meaningful connections between employees by providing funding for groups of colleagues to pursue their shared hobbies and interests. Employees establish and run more than 300 registered the clubs, such as a jazz dancing club in China, photography clubs in Arizona and Singapore, a recreational drone club in Canada, driving club in Korea, a gelato club in Germany and a motorcycle enthusiasts club in India.

Using data to shape a high-performance workforce that is likely to succeed.

Qualcomm uses data strategically to inform and drive decisions that shape our workforce across the employee lifecycle. We leverage strategic workforce planning to project headcount needs across the organization, monitor the progress of requisition fulfilment and ensure we are targeting diverse talent that is likely to succeed. We evaluate by business unit and function which combination of education and experience leads to high performance so we can target those populations. We proactively monitor every business group and critical skill and send alerts if acceptance rates start to fall, quickly addressing any trends in offer decline reasons.

We utilize a variety of lifecycle surveys to monitor employee sentiment upon hire, every quarter after hire and upon exiting. Each survey provides insights on how our people strategy is working and where targeted actions may be needed – whether it be a specific organization, employees at a certain phase of their career or if we are seeing differences based on other demographics.

Surveys give us a strong sense of why employees stay and why some choose to leave.We use traditional exit surveys and conduct periodic “alumni” surveys where we reach out to former employees for their perspectives. The findings, coupled with deeper analysis linking additional data sources to retention, help us assess the main drivers of why employees leave. We’ve done modelling to predict groups likely to experience higher turnover, and we proactively alert leaders when we see that they are losing key employees based on a mix of diversity, skillset and performance.

Our leaders and HR Business Partners have direct access to data dashboards related to hiring, diversity, performance, engagement, and turnover. Having this data allows them to track the health of their organizations, make informed decisions and evaluate whether specific strategies are working.

In addition to leveraging Qualcomm’s internal employee data, we compile information on external geographic trends, talent intelligence and competitive insights to help inform a more holistic people strategy. We provide periodic updates on competitor job postings and analyze skill clusters to identify potential sources of talent, such as start-ups and university research teams, for our future hiring needs. Our data teams’ partner with several workforce planning vendors to provide insight on talent pool availability at various locations. We look at potential employers, university pipeline, diversity, cost, infrastructure, and other factors to provide insight on established and emerging talent hotspots.

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