In China teamwork matters more than we know. Note the survey results. Harvard Business Review came out with a recent study that is surprising by any measure.
Harvard business review interviewed 19,000 workers across the world and found out engagement is low everywhere.
Two startling discoveries emerged.
1 Chinese engagement dropped dramatically in three years.
2. Results if people are on a team or not are dramatically different.
I wrote about Chinese engagement last week. You can find that here.
Today I wanted to talk about the need for teamwork. China has 8% engagement if people are on a team and 0% if not on a team. To clarify, they were measuring to see what % of people were fully engaged. Best ROI comes from fully engaged people, so they measured this.
The results in China were so startling that they redid it with a different sample group just as a check, and the results were confirmed!
They did not measure if the team was good or bad. They only measured if they were on a team.
Zero are fully engaged if they are not on a team! Many Western companies need to have one person working for them in China as sales or purchasing. Now we need to work harder to get them to feel that they are on a team as it dramatically impacts their ability to put their full heart into their work. The study said people on virtual teams were often more engaged than people who were in the same office. So team is a real question and not one of proximity.
In China Teamwork Matters – Let’s Do Something About It
Any of you reading this have likely seen Chinese people line dancing like pictured above. China is not as individualistic as we are in the West. They like to do things together even if in the park event they are not necessarily close friends. Belonging and a group is something more than I feel as an American.
Salesmen who will be working remotely for a factory ask us a lot about what support they will have from the factory. It is clear that it cannot be assumed.
We see a lot of companies where Chinese managers make everyone miserable and have gained the total support of the Western Headquarters. Western companies either do not understand what their Chinese managers are up to, or they do not care. Results lead to pathetic engagement, and it is getting worse. See also Bad Chinese Management: Does it Have to Be That Way?
As competition keeps getting harder, we need new places to get better and raising engagement is certainly a place with a lot of room to move. Our experience is first kick out leaders who kiss up and kick down. They are the biggest problem. Then find real leaders who make workers stand up and cheer. A better future can be found.