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Center Publication

China Employee Perspectives—Mind the Gap

by Quingwen Xu

May 2009—Globalization and changes in the age composition of the workforce are focusing consideration of how age affects employee’s preferences and their employment experiences. More importantly, multi-national employers need to determine if employees’ perceptions of their employment experience vary from country to country.

The Center's Mind the Gap–China: Employee Perspectives report sheds light onto employees’ perceptions of quality employment in China. The analyses show that “fair, attractive and competitive compensation is the most important part of a good job for many Chinese workers,” (32%) particularly those between 35 and 49 years of age. The publication also discusses the finding that younger workers (<35 years) value personal interest (6%) and individual development and achievement (5.3%) significantly more than other age groups. Contrastingly, “midlife workers least expected their employment to fit their personal interests and individual development.”

The data explored in China shows that Chinese workers of different ages do not necessarily value the same aspects of employment. Quality of employment in China is a complex concept, affected both by age and by cultural context. It is important for employers to be aware of this when developing their talent management strategies and programs if they hope to be employers-of-choice in China.

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