Apr 19, 2012

It’s party time: Why Chinese banks love team bonding

Chinese employers are stepping up their team building activities this year in an effort to boost morale and help achieve annual performance goals. One Chinese financial services firm recently held “success seminars” for hundreds of its employees. One of the participants tells that he supports the programme because his own success contributes in a small way to the overall performance of the company.

Local banks tend to organise more team gatherings and dinners during holidays and traditional festivals, but team bonding is an ongoing process. Clemmie Zhang, banking consultant, Antal International China, comments: “Usually the banks organise some activities, for example dinner parties, singing, travel and so on. These can help the bankers to promote their team-working capabilities.”

But there’s more to bonding that just the chance to party. Activities are often designed to tackle a specific issue. “Staff can communicate with their line managers about work troubles that they don’t feel comfortable talking about during work time. Team building provides a more relaxed environment for them to solve problems,” says Zhang.

It also brings employees closer together, which helps them focus on winning new business. And it is a tool for line managers to keep their team motivated. Rao Min, senior consultant, Team Power, says it’s vital to address the needs of specific teams or departments, rather relying only on a generalist, workforce-wide strategy.

Bonding does not always have to be grand and formal. Colleagues from the same department holding parties in their free time is a good example of this, says Zhang.