At West Point, I was strongly taught to support my classmates and stick to them like glue. Yes, the Army needs that as war requires that. China teaches it to the whole country since the time of Confucious. Is it good that your workers are sticking together(jiang zai yiqi 将在一起) in China?
In the present COVID-19 epidemic, we have seen China’s (jiti wenhua (集体文化)) collective culture on display.
My Picture of Sticking Together in China
When I moved to China some years ago, I felt the Chinese culture was a narrow tube standing on end and hollow at the top. Every Chinese person must fit in the narrow tube and conform. The culture beats and pounds people of different personalities, different ethnicities, and different family situations into this narrow tube. Everyone takes part, but parents and school teachers are the most important during the formative years.
Parents will harang teachers who fail to give enough homework. Further, parents will berate children and even beat children for any potential of bringing shame on the family. Teachers will shame students and all use fear to get everyone in the tube.
Some of you may remember that a culture expert taught me when I arrived in China in 1991. She said “Coming into the gate of the school you must touch your foot to the ground if biking. You do not upset China if you lie cheat and steal in the yard, but you do upset them if you fail to touch your foot to the ground entering or leaving”. I can never forget that picture and find it true.
So what does this have to do with China Recruiting?
When you have a culture moving the right way with carefully chosen hires, they “get along and work together” thing can work to your benefit. However, if you have a few bad eggs, they can easily draw in people woould not start such a thing and the collective pressure and human nature wears them down. It is not easy get one person who can ruin you, but a conspiracy of several can break almost any system you use to defend your property. We must be more careful here to keep our cultures clean. One bad hire can currupt other fence sitters. They will (jiang zai yiqi) in a way you never wanted. See also Face in China Impacts Hiring Every Day.
To grab the benefits of a collective culture is no simple thing especially if you do not come from one. However, it can work for you if you really get people who are truly and deeply a great fit for you.