Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Sense of Belonging in China

William Dodson, CEO of the Silk Road Advisers and writer of the This is China! Blog, wrote a post recently on his blog stating the different ways which foreign companies within China could expect less employee turnover and a greater office environment.

Chinese like titles that give them Face, that give them a feeling of being important and, more to the point, give others a sense of their importance.

And Chinese staff love education, love anything that gives them a sense of progress and of development. If Chinese can see where they will be in three years in a growing company and how they will evolve along the way, they will will greatly value the company.
These points are building blocks for the foundation many Chinese staff require to commit their lives to an organization: a sense of belonging. In America we go to work to have a job, to make money. Certainly many of us relish the challenges the work brings, and for some interaction with other human beings is a prime motivator.

Chinese, however, see work in a social context, as one of the circles of relationship that extends their ability to get around in the world and to have a sense of safety. The most intimate circles are: family, friends, classmates and then co-workers, even from previous companies at which they had worked.

Chinese employees prize a sense of belonging to the Group and to the Organization in a way that Americans do not. Americans - nowadays especially - do not trust organizations to care for them, to support to some extent their social contacts. Americans work their job, then go home; they do not expect nor do they want to see anyone from work during the evening and at the weekend.

American companies that come to China and create just such a caring environment and corporate culture will find their costs due to employee turnover reduced and their rewards increased.

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

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