For expatriate employees, the Chinese workplace can be a strange and confusing place. We not always understand why things are as they are and sometimes they think we could do better. However, when you dig beneath the surface, there is often good reason for things that are frustrating and counterproductive on work in China. Here are seven important things you should know about the Chinese workplace that will help you better understand and navigate

Source :. Mimi Thian Pick your wisely battles

It is natural that we will not always agree with everything that happens at work, either a discussion between departments, between people within a team or even a disagreement with Your boss. While some expatriate workers can be fixed on winning the argument because they believe they are right, the Chinese tend to have a long-term view and choose their battles wisely.

For example, a team in the marketing department has launched an advertising campaign that his team off the mark. Believes his team must insist on the campaign are discarded, but the Chinese coach decides to take a different approach. While she agrees that the campaign is not good, she decides to let go forward rather than because of conflicts in the office. Either the campaign is a success and there was no reason to intervene, or campaign fails as expected, the teaching of the marketing team a valuable lesson and maybe a job like deflect away from them in the future. Working in China sometimes it's about taking the longer-term vision and the path of least resistance. 2. Say Say NO

In an environment of Western fast-paced work, bluntness can often save time. In China, however, the same approach can easily damage working relationships. In the West, we are in favor of a direct yes or no. In China, you will find local colleagues are very adept at finding subtle ways to say no.

While not as efficient as forceful approach, this style rotunda communication does help maintain important relations, which are closely depends on maintaining the "face" in Chinese. What's more, if you decide to take the Western approach and bluntly punish their colleagues, you may find that they are less receptive next time they need your help. 3. favors should always be reciprocated

as foreigners working in China, which tend to demand a disproportionate amount of the favors of our local colleagues. Remember physically show your appreciation if someone helps you out, as reciprocity is very important in the Chinese workplace.

example, a local colleague only helped him with some translations for visa renewal. When you have your new visa in hand, thanks to his coworker by bringing him some fruit or a pot plant for your desk .

In the same way, if Someo ne treats food, takes you for a drink after work, or you are invited to karaoke, remember to return the favor / invite in due time. It not always has to be a large or big gesture. The most important thing is that the favors, hospitality and invitations are reciprocal consistently, peer-to-like fashion. 4. There is no "I" in "Team"

There is much less emphasis on the individual in the culture of the Chinese work compared to the West. In China, employees, managers and even bosses are often a tight unit. They will eat together at lunch time and even go for regular meals of training equipment and travel equipment outside office hours. All this is done to create a focus on team rather than the individual.

When it comes to receiving praise at work, Chinese employees usually divert to the team as a whole. If you are in the position to give praise in the Chinese workplace, therefore directing the team rather than an individual. If you're in the fortunate position of receiving praise, to ensure the least make a show of trying to divert elsewhere. Modesty is highly prized in China. In its favor, the Chinese way is much more conducive to the achievement of a close-knit unit that one where everyone is vying for individual recognition. 5. Criticism should be given in

In Western private work places, teams tend to speak openly and frankly with each other. Meetings are places where ideas are presented both and downed where teammates criticize proposals and other managers will ask for honest feedback.

In China, it is quite the opposite. It is unusual to criticize or contradict a colleague in a group setting and even weirder than with a manager. Criticism is best administered in private so that people can "save face" in front of others.

While some expatriate workers might argue that openness is more efficient, is key to the functioning of the Chinese workplace that employees do not feel they have been undermined ahead of others. This approach has something to say about it, as it encourages workers to share their ideas without fear of being embarrassed. 6. No pain, no gain

The idea of ​​working from 9 to 5 for five days one week is deeply rooted in the Western style of work. Overtime which are few and far between and fairly compensated for overtime.

With this in mind, it is understandable that many foreigners are confused by the fact that their Chinese colleagues often work overtime seemingly unrewarded. They are often unwilling to make any kind of OT themselves and are equally confused as to why local people.

Generally speaking, Chinese companies tend to pay their staff so that reward all their unpaid overtime at the end of the year. There is a much stronger emphasis on the annual bonus here than in the West, with payments in large technology companies worth up to six months' salary, or even more.

The Chinese employees work OT and weekends because they want to get the huge annual bonus, usually at Chinese New Year. Foreigners, on the other hand, is used to a workplace where their annual bonus if they come at all, does not have a big impact on their lives.

If you are employed in a Chinese company in which there is the potential for a huge annual bonus, therefore, you may want to take a leaf out of the book of his local colleagues and start putting in some extra hours. As foreigners normally avoid this type of activity, it is a surefire way to be recognized and rewarded bonus time to come. 7. Change takes time

When an ambitious expatriate enters the Chinese workplace may not be a strong urge to try to change things. They may think they have identified some redundant work flows or ways to improve internal systems. While the shortcomings observed can only be down to a difference in the culture of the workplace, it is important to approach their calls for change in the right way.

Some foreigners are guilty of trying to change everything at once. While they want to practice it could be beneficial, how to do it can cause more harm than good. The transition to new systems and workflows can slow work and also temporarily damage the quality, while the wide sweeping changes can highlight colleagues and greatly weaken the morale of the team. Work of being affected and unhappy staff, these changes can also be abandoned before they have had the opportunity to flourish.

It is important therefore to instigate change gradually and with some diplomacy in the Chinese workplace. Add / implement change at a time, starting with a change that will be easier and have a first obvious result. If it is a big change, the transition from the gradually team for the first focusing on staff who are able to change.

These gradual changes, although perhaps seemingly slow to Westerners out and much less aggressive and confrontational China. They allow local workers, who often stay in the same company for years, if not decades, with the shift to a sustainable rate that does not impact productivity.

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A Lawyer of foreign hiring in China, is the CEO and Founder of Teaching China.net, a teacher employment and service provider firm that helps teachers get closer to their employers and win at securing a safe and valued teaching position in China.

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