Magazine article Personnel Journal

What Joint Ventures in China Are Giving Employees in Pay and Benefits

Magazine article Personnel Journal

What Joint Ventures in China Are Giving Employees in Pay and Benefits

Article excerpt

COMPANY-PAID HOUSING. Ten to 20% salary increases. Maternity leave with full pay. Clothing and meal allowances. Medical and retirement benefits. Paid nursery care. Even a laundry allowance.

Oh, no, you're probably thinking. Which company is offering these benefits, and how will you compete?

Actually, these are typical pay-and-benefits packages provided to local nationals who work for joint ventures and representative offices (ROs) of foreign-owned firms doing business in China.

A new survey of personnel practices in China by The Wyatt Co., based in Washington, D.C., has discovered some interesting contrasts between East and West in what employees earn in pay and benefits. The survey presents a compilation of the responses from 58 offices throughout China, including representative offices, joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries.

Despite what seem like generous pay raises and allowances, pay in China is low by Western standards. In U.S. dollars, the typical manager working for a representative a office only receives approximately $6,600 a year (including allowances). Even more surprising, the joint-venture manager earns only $2,500. The average nonaffiliated industrial worker who works for a state enterprise only earns an annual salary of $500 (not including government subsidies).

"Pay-and-benefits packages in China reflect a mixture of old ways and emerging capitalism," says Paula DeLisle, a Wyatt consultant in Hong Kong. "On one hand, the paternalistic employer will earmark specific allowances for various living expenses. On the other, the free-market enterprise uses discretionary bonuses to motivate performance."

MANAGERS ENCOURAGE MORE EMPLOYEE RISK TAKING

In shaky business times, do managers encourage employee risk taking? According to Accountemps' recent survey, they do.

The Menlo Park, California-based firm developed a survey about employee risk taking and asked 200 executives from the 1,000 largest U.S. companies to fill it out. The survey reveals that more than two-thirds (69%) of executives say that management at their companies encourages more risk taking among employees than it did only three years ago. …

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