News: Hongkongers quitting Chinese firms due to office culture and low pay

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Hongkongers quitting Chinese firms due to office culture and low pay

Even though Chinese companies are increasingly building their presence in Hong Kong, retaining talent is a major hurdle.
Hongkongers quitting Chinese firms due to office culture and low pay

More than 70 percent of Hongkongers who left their jobs at China-based businesses blamed the office culture and low salaries as the reason for quitting, according to a survey conducted by Michael Page, an international recruitment firm.

Most Hongkongers have been used to working with British organizations that have a more liberal culture compared to that of China-based organizations. Joining a Chinese firm is considered a chance to get a higher salary. However, Hong-Kong based employees end up agreeing to a lesser pay than expected. More than half of the respondents i.e. 67 percent said lower pay than expected was a reason behind them quitting a China-based firm.

A cultural difference between the corporate culture in China and Hong Kong could be a major reason behind this challenge of retaining local talent in Hong Kong. For example, Chinese companies tend to be more traditional and hierarchical with a greater degree of separation between the organizational leadership and the rest of the staff members.

Understanding the cultural context within the country of operation is crucial, said Sunil Puri, APAC Director, Research, Innovation, and Product Development (RIPD), Center for Creative Leadership, Singapore, in an earlier interaction with PeopleMatters TV.

The CXOs and HR leaders of a global or “foreign” company operating in a place that is other than their place of origin, might need to reshape their corporate structure and tailor it according to the culture of the new country.

A cookie cutter approach towards building a local and global workforce would not work, Puri said.

As a company, it is natural for Chinese companies to try to gain control of all the processes, said Daniel Lau, Senior Consultant, Silverstrand Executive Search Limited, as reported by the South China Morning Post.

Many second and third-tier businesses offer less salaries when they first embark upon their new journey on an international level and depending on their profitability increase them and catch up to their counterparts in the region.

Cultural differences and unmet salary expectations were the major reasons for Hongkongers to quit China-headquartered companies in Hong Kong. A healthy mix of cross-cultural exchange and meeting the market rate for expected compensation would go a long way in helping these companies retain local talent.

Topics: Global Perspective, Retention, Compensation & Benefits

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