Chinese Workers Less Satisfied with Overall Compensation

March 13, 2007 ( - Only 28% of mainland Chinese workers are happy with their compensation and benefits packages compared to 47% in the U.S., which could have implications for U.S. companies setting up shop there, according to a survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

According to a press release from the consultant, the survey of 180 companies and 60,000 workers in China found that they are less satisfied with pay than they used to be, with 38% of Chinese workers rating pay favorably in 2003/2004, compared with 33% in 2005/2006. In terms of total compensation – pay, bonus and incentives – 27% of Chinese workers gave a favorable rating in 2003/2004, compared with 21% who said the same thing in 2005/2006.

Mainland Chinese workers are even less satisfied with their compensation and benefits than workers in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, where 38% gave a favorable review to their compensation packages.

The survey also found that Chinese workers cite communication as one of the main drivers of job satisfaction, but other than that, many workers are not getting a clear message about performance measurement or how performance is linked to pay.

“As Chinese workers express dissatisfaction with pay more and more, multinational companies may find it helpful to address these concerns as they attempt to establish a base in China,” said Patrick Huang, managing director of Watson Wyatt’s Greater China offices, in the press release. “A first step could be to provide clear communications that educate the workforce about their compensation and benefits programs and reassure employees of the importance and meaning of their work.”

The WorkGreaterChina 2006 study can be purchased here .