Wednesday, May 30, 2007

China Staff Promotions: Early and Often is Key

This recent post comes from the China Solved Blog within the last 3 weeks. This post is explaining what the top manager of a firm would have to expect if he or she were to try and start their business in China.

When I was starting my career, there was a management cliché that ‘tough’ bosses used to bark out when employees showed too much ambition: “Promotions come fastest to those who don’t ask for them”. In 21st Century China, promoting employees who don’t ask may be a winning strategy – but you have to accelerate the process. Staffers in China don’t wait around 2 years for a new job title – they’ll probably leave you in 18 months.

What can you do? Try planning to promote your key staffers every 6 months – and let them know about it in advance.

2 years to a vague promise is too long and too little
The average length of employment in China is 18 months. The first time most ex-pat bosses get wind of worker dissatisfaction is when they are given notice that the employee is leaving. If you follow the accepted western standard of promoting after 2 years, you probably won’t have anyone to promote.

What’s a promotion?
A real promotion is made of up 3 things: an increase in responsibility (Power), more money (Money) and a better title (Prestige). All three have to go together. If you think you’re being clever by giving a better job title but no money (B.S.) or more responsibility but no title (Resume Builder), you are kidding yourself and helping your staff find better jobs. All three have to come in a package.

6 – 24 months is your sweet spot
For the first 6 months, new employees are still figuring out systems and getting to know your team and your processes. After 2 years, employees are good at their jobs but might not be bringing many new ideas to the table – and in China that’s when they are probably looking around for a new job. The ideal staffer has been with your company for between half a year and two years. That’s when they are at their most productive.

To view the entire article at its original location click on the title of this post.

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