Company culture in China is super important. Further, companies that have weak cultural capital in China have a much higher chance of staying weak. With strong action at the top from a very excellent leader your company culture in China can escape weakness and become great.
Lack of long term excellent leaders is the number 1 cause of weak cultural capital in Western Companies in China.
An important point is that companies with weak cultures tend to collect more managers that are not trustworthy or even talented, but they are excellent at getting job offers. The right talent tends to avoid these messy companies. They withdraw as candidates or are some of the first to leave when things look more toxic. This makes it harder to resolve as significant downward pull exists. We have had customers where people hear the name of the company and suddenly decide they are not interested. Even if companies get new leaders, this cultural baggage will still vex them for some years.
Company Culture in China Can Be Mastered With New Thinking
Company culture in China does not have to be so vexing. The key point is the raw material. If you get talented, transparent and teachable people on your team, then toxicity is no problem. Unfortunately, people hire good resumes and good talkers. It is like playing with fire! If you can get lucky once, great. Why would companies hire people on the gut feel they have from a resume and interview? We are not against gut feel. It guides and leads us to know to go check. We have very good 90 minute interviews and say, “I do not know if he told the truth.” Then we get to work to see if the candidates words match with the truth. See also China Executive Search Done Right
It is hard to weed out the objective truth. Our passion and we find a way based on our dep experience. The objective truth can be known. We then prove if a candidate is real or just a good talker. You need a good hire and not an expert liar. To avoid toxicity, you need hard working people whose yes means yes. You also need a real leader who knows how to motivate and make a team out of these people. Most importantly this person must be the real deal with real experience doing what you need done. Lots of people can tell a good story. It is just those politicians who are good at telling you what you want to hear that make dreams of good company culture in China fade away. China is not the culprit. Bad hiring is the culprit.
So start putting in people who are proven not to be politicians. Do this especially at the top levels. It takes time to build a good company culture in China, but with good non political leadership and consistent hiring of non political people, you can build a great company culture here over time.