Apply “Face Culture” to Human Resources Management
“Face culture” is a typical Chinese culture, which represent that Chinese has a strong feeling of self-respect and that Chinese emphasize the importance of the comments that other people give on them. It often means the power, the social status and reputation in Chinese community.
In our daily managing life, there are thousands of vivid cases that can be explained with “Face” culture in Chinese community. There are two examples as following:
Praise your staff in public and criticize them in private. If an employee work with high performance, you should praise him in the public and let other employees know his high performance because of working hard. For this situation, he earns the “face” and get spiritual force to work hard continue. By contrast, try to avoid criticizing you employees in public. If you criticize them in public, you will hurt them and let them loss “face.” Sometimes they will pour their dissatisfied feeling into their work. It is a loss-loss way.
Collect suggestions from your staff directly. Usually, you, as a manager, collect suggestions from a certain employee through your assistant. If you have time, you should, treating them as peers, collect the suggestions face to face. They will feel they are important for the company and earn the “Face” if you do so. In this situation, you can collect more useful informant than that your assistant collect.
It is difficult for a foreign human resource manager to understand the culture. And, unfortunately, you can not eliminate it from the companies which running in Chinese community because it formed within several thousand years and it means a lot for Chinese. Accept it and use it to improve your management, why not?
About the author
Simon WU Shao Yun is an international MBA student in Lingnan (University) College at Sun Yat-sen University.