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Why is supply chain employee turnover in China so high?

A company we spoke with noted that the turnover rate for their Chinese employees working in their logistics operations is higher than any other facility in the world (>10%). Why?

There may be many possible reasons for this phenomena. China is a different culture and many Western companies go in without really understanding how powerful global cultural differences are in the workplace. There is always a problem when national companies go abroad. What is also special in China is that students have a different expectation with respect to working in logistics, including payment for entry-level college students.

For this reason, Multi-nationals may want to re-think their strategy for recruiting in China. Many decide to focus on first level universities. The first level universities (similar to Harvard and MIT) – may not the best choice for selecting entry-level positions. So perhaps companies should consider looking at students at schools that are not nationally ranked. This is particularly true if they want students who can work in warehousing, logistics, and supply, which are typically not office jobs. You may find the people you need in second and even third tier schools. These may be more of the “blockers and tacklers” who know what needs to be done on the ground, as opposed to the office/knowledge worker type.

Another reason may be that people who go into these jobs are disappointed by what they find. This may be in part also due to their training. The content of supply chain education in higher education in China tends to be either of a strongly engineering focus, or a business focus – but rarely is there a mix of both. It is difficult to find students with comprehensive knowledge in engineering AND business. So when people go into these roles, they may feel that it is not aligned with what they learned in school.

Does anyone else have any thoughts or experiences to add to this?