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back to index backGLOBALtalk May,  2007


Dissatisfaction With Pay, Benefits Widespread in China

Chinese workers are far less satisfied with their pay and benefit packages than workers in the rest of Asia-Pacific and in the United States, according to a survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a leading global consulting firm. This could pose challenges for multinational employers in China's rigid labor market.

According to Watson Wyatt's 2006 WorkGreaterChinaT study of 180 companies and 60,000 employees in China, only 28 percent of Mainland Chinese workers rate their compensation and benefits favorably, compared with 38 percent in Asia-Pacific as a whole and 47 percent in the United States. And while Chinese workers cite communication as a main driver of job satisfaction, many don't know how performance is measured or receive a consistent message from their company on the link between high performance and an individual's pay.

"The challenge for employers to create monetary compensation and benefit satisfaction for Chinese workers is great," said Robert Wesselkamper, director of international consulting for Watson Wyatt. "Raising pay will not solve this problem alone. By demonstrating how pay is determined and the value of a total rewards package, companies can help employees understand how financial return is only one part of a larger compensation strategy."

Satisfaction with pay has continued on a downward trend; 38 percent of Chinese workers rated pay favorably in 2003/2004, compared with 33 percent in 2005/2006. Similarly, in 2003/2004, 27 percent of Chinese workers gave their total compensation package (pay, bonus and incentives) a favorable rating, compared with only 21 percent in 2005/2006.

"As Chinese workers express dissatisfaction with pay more and more, multinational companies may find it helpful to address these concerns as they attempt to establish a base in China," said Patrick Huang, managing director of Watson Wyatt's Greater China offices. "A first step could be to provide clear communications that educate the workforce about their compensation and benefits programs and reassure employees of the importance and meaning of their work."

Source:  Watson Wyatt Worldwide - GAI


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