Retaining Chinese Employees is not easy. Our research shows that Chinese white collar workers are changing jobs every 2.0 years.
Employing great leadership is one great way of retaining Chinese employees. This blog has a lot of posts on the leadership category to build leaders. However, keeping great leadership and the managers under them is no easy task. Here is one growing way that my company employs very successfully.
Retaining Chinese Employees Through Flexible Hours
The majority of companies interviewed allow only two types of arrangements: flexible start and finish times and telecommuting. A small but growing number of firms offers more creative arrangements. For example, one company gives its employees the opportunity to choose their working hours once a year, with three different options. Another company encourages employees to work from home one day each week. Another company said that as long as employees are in the office during the core hours of 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., coming in late or leaving early is “acceptable.”
We have all white collar workers and perfectly trustworthy Chinese staff as you might imagine. So everyone is on a flexible work arrangement of one kind or another. Definitely, it improves engagement here.
One thing that China Business Review does not mention that is also useful is to have workers work overtime when busy and take more times off at other times. No overtime is paid, but the flexibility also helps as no one wants to sit around on a slow day.
I have doubts about letting Chinese workers manage their own time off or work at home in many companies I have visited in China. Hiring is too focused on resumes. Trust and cooperation are already low. Those workers could be prone to use the company if they worked at home or had other freedom. It would definitely work better with people we thoroughly background checked.
Some companies can measure work that workers do, and so can manage that way.
Retaining Through Better Leadership
Well, you can feel some of my misgivings about hiring and leadership in many Western companies in China. All of them could use better engagement. I suggest that the first step for engagement is not to send them home, but rather get them better leaders.
Workers most of all stay with a good direct manager. Having a good working environment due to good leadership is also part of this.
If your leaders are politicians, then sending people home and flexible hours will not help you. It may hurt you.
First clean up the shop and then work on flexible hours and other secondary methods.
Today, I wanted to tell you about the research showing flexible hours can help in China. However, we know that leaders of integrity and ability are more than worth the effort we put in to verify them. See also Chinese Managers: Changed or Not?
Let’s retain good works and thus improve our top and bottom lines in China. Placing great leaders and then working on flexible hours can be a one two punch to increase retention and engagement.