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Chinese team building, just like any other team building, is a lot easier when you have the sole discretion making decisions about rewarding, penalizing and terminating the team members.
When you are the head of a company or a division, employees are clear about your ability to determine their future in the organization and that alone has a great impact on their interaction with you and the amount of effort they will invest following your instructions.
In China, respect for authority and age is rooted deep in the culture and therefore being introduced as someone with authority usually gets you a grace period. During this period, people who report to you will follow your instructions and will support you.
CHINESE TEAM BUILDING 1.0
When Chinese teams were made of people who were born in the ‘70s, a very authoritative and top-down management style was (a) very popular and (b) quite effective. Generation X’ers accepted this management style as it was in line with their upbringing.
CHINESE TEAM BUILDING 1.1
In the end of 1978, the one-child policy came into effect and a new generation of only children was born. They were born into a new era of a China that was ready to trade with the world. The general macro economy was such that more and more of Generation Ys parents, who grew up in a tough environment (Great leap forward, cultural revolution, etc.) were now able to give their only Child what their parents couldn’t give them and their few brothers and sisters.
Generation Y entered the workforce during the last decade bringing with them a sense of more financial security and the self-confidence their Childhood created. In addition, rapid increasing salaries and an empowering new labor law increased their financial goals and their expectations from their working environment.
Gen X managers couldn’t afford managing Gen Y employees the same way they were managed by their supervisors. They had (and still have) to take a more inclusive approach. They have to involve their team members in the decision-making process and explain the reason behind their actions. Motivation became a much more difficult challenge.