Motivation to undertake corporate training in China is stronger than in other countries.
A new study from EF Corporate Solutions found 60% of companies in the country state employees are very willing to learn new skills. This was higher than the global average of 44%.
The study, which polled more than 1,000 senior executives responsible for staff development, highlighted willingness to learn is lowest in more mature European economies, such as in Germany (32%), Spain (34%), Sweden, UK and France (all 38%).
“Certain cultures, for example China, have historically placed a high premium on acquisition of knowledge,” the report stated.
Rational thinking and emotions were found to be the major reasons which pushed employees in China to begin training. The survey stressed the need for companies to explain the benefits of training for the individual clearly, especially for career and wage prospects.
Simultaneously, it advised companies should appeal to the emotions, especially enthusiasm, excitement and curiosity.
Competition (56%), rewards (42%), and co-operation (39%) were highlighted as the top factors which motivated employees in China to keep training.
“The typical Chinese learner is very driven to improve their career and wage prospects, but is also intellectually curious and keen to learn,” the report stated.
It added learners in China have a strong competitive streak, and also value prizes for boosting self-esteem.
China’s skill shortage conundrum
Employees in China also viewed responsibility for motivation as lying more with the individual (57%) than the employer (27%).
“Companies, especially multinationals, need to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to motivating people, particularly when you’re dealing with a global workforce,” Peter Burman, president of EF Corporate Solutions, said in a press release.
“There are huge by-country differences; for example, competition-based techniques work well in Russia but in Sweden are one of the least-effective tools. In Brazil, on the other hand, rewards are the most effective technique.
“Different factors motivate employees to start training from those that keep motivation levels up during a training program. Once companies understand these intricacies, they’ll start to see course take-up rates increase. Ultimately, you want to help people be the best they can be, but how you get them there depends on a lot of things.”