China Stories: Trustworthy Employee… Please, Don’t Go!

Today we’ll share two tips and two real stories on the “TRUST” topic (one of the key contributors to making your life easier- or hellish here).

So, here go the tips:
Tip 1. If you have a trustworthy employee… DON’T LET HIM/HER GO!
When you don’t speak the language or you are not all that familiar with regulation, laws, business practices, rules of engagement … you name it, being able to trust the people around you is just PRICELESS (yes, he/she is probably worth more than you are paying!).
Tip 2. Keep a close eye on the money

And the real stories to illustrate those points (as narrated to me by a China entrepreneur):
Story 1. Staff member comes saying a customer is not paying. The account balance is getting bigger and bigger…
What had really happened? Well, the client had actually paid 5 weeks earlier, and oops! The guy who collected the payment forgot a) he had collected the cash and b) he had spent it.

Story2. Contract is signed with a customer establishing that product ‘X’ will be sold at a certain price and payment will be done to the company bank account.
Product is delivered on Friday and on Monday entrepreneur asks his staff member
– How did the delivery go?
– It went well
– So, when are they going to pay?
– Oh, they’ve paid
– So, where’s the money?
– Oh, they’ve paid into my back account…
(Yeah, you read it right. The staff member asked the customer to put the money into his own bank account … and the customer did it!!! )

And surprise, surprise, this is not just an issue with Chinese employees.  It is not difficult to find out about Western employees who have taken advantage of this quite different corporate governance environment, or who have just shifted their perceptions of where the boundaries lie…things may be changing slowly, but this is still a culture where you can earn money by taking backhanders for introducing customers etc…and lots of people do it.

What is your “trust” experience?

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