Röchling Automotive has opened a total of five plants and one engineering center in China since the company first began operations in the country in 2006. The company is also present in other Asian countries and is increasingly competing with local rivals, not least of all for workers. How do you appeal to Chinese applicants as an employer? How do you set yourself apart from other companies? Why do employees remain loyal to your company? Two Chinese managers believe that trust plays a key role.
“If you entrust things to someone, never undermine them with doubts. If you have doubts in someone, never undermine yourself by entrusting things to them.”
Mencius (circa 370-290 BC)
Edward Huang has worked for Röchling Automotive Kunshan for 13 years. In China, where employees move between companies relatively frequently, that is a long time. And in this time, Huang has made it to the very top, now holding the title of General Manager Operations of Röchling Automotive in Asia. Above all, that means communicating, listening, and making decisions. Every morning, he travels the almost 30 kilometers from his apartment in Suzhou to the plant to Kunshan – unless a business trip flight is on the agenda. These trips make up almost a third of his working hours.
Huang’s daily work is made up of regular talks with plant managers, operations managers, and managers, for example from the Quality, Engineering and Logistics Business Units, where they discuss plants and locations in China, Thailand, Japan, India, and Korea. Huang also speaks daily with employees in non-operational areas, from controlling to development to purchasing. In addition, he holds regular telephone calls and meetings with the German managers of Röchling Automotive in Europe.
Information gathered in these conversations is crucial for the decisions he makes on investments in new projects and plants as well as measures to optimize processes, procedures, and products. He determines how resources are to be used in order to achieve targets. After interviews are conducted for key positions, he also selects staff. “When making all of these decisions, I have to be able to rely on myself, but above all on the expertise and experience of my team. Nothing works without this trust,” says Huang. But at the same time he knows that a great deal of trust is also placed in him, both by his own employees and by the management in Germany. His employer’s trust plays a pivotal role for him and is one of the main sources of his job satisfaction. “It helps me achieve my goals, overcome challenges, and do the right thing without hesitating.”
Mengzi (or Mencius) Master Meng
was Confucius‘ most eminent successor. His focus was the pursuit of a moral way of living, with respect for others and aspiration for lifelong learning. In his theories, Confucius extolled the achievement of harmony, center, and equilibrium and the value of education, justice, morality, and trust. Mengzi reformed the philosophy of Confucius and developed it further. He ensured that Confucianism became the Chinese state philosophy under the Han dynasty. Like Confucius, Mengzi also traveled around the vast Chinese empire for 40 years, offering his advice to its rulers.
Mencius (circa 370-290 BC)