Best Companies to Work For in Greater China 2015: Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung on creating win-win scenarios for all
As one of the opening speakers at the Great Place to Work in Greater China 2015 Awards Ceremony, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung outlined the changing profile of the local workforce.
Quoting the latest projections from Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department, Cheung pointed out that the total size of the labour force, excluding foreign domestic helpers, is going to drop from last year’s figure of 3.6 million to 3.11 million by 2064 – a loss of nearly 500,000 people.
What’s more, the participation rate in this workforce is also projected to fall from 59.3 per cent in 2014 to 48.6 per cent by 2064.
Cheung emphasised how nurturing the best possible employer-employee relationships is increasingly important to Hong Kong’s future.
“These statistics are rather stark and serve as a wake-up call to company management – you must not forget about the importance of employee-friendly practices,” he advised.
“In a world increasingly propelled by knowledge, information technology and innovation, it is imperative for enterprises to have continuous access to a high-quality talent pool.”
Cheung said he believed that employer-employee relationships are inherently symbiotic in nature, and a difficult, tense and unfriendly working environment is the most often cited reason for staff resignations.
Encouraging local businesses to implement robust strategies to lure, develop and retain good employees, Cheung said that labour relations have never been a zero-sum game.
“There are no winners or losers in the workplace. On the contrary, it has to be a win-win scenario for all stakeholders if an enterprise is to survive in today’s fiercely competitive and fast-changing business world, let alone thrive. Thanks to the strenuous efforts and mutual understanding of both employers and employees, Hong Kong has been blessed with generally harmonious labour relations.”
He added that, for some time, a favourable economic climate and a stable labour market had kept the local unemployment rate at around 3.3 per cent – a rate that was the envy of economies around the world.
Cheung paid tribute to the businesses from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who would be collecting awards later in the evening.
“These awards give recognition to companies that are strong in terms of their teamwork and people management, and who foster an employee-friendly corporate culture. All these are successful ingredients for the success of an enterprise. They are also crucial for the socio-economic development, long-term sustainability, and vibrancy of a society.”
He expressed his appreciation to the companies for their success, not only for boosting the morale and productivity of their staff, but also for helping Hong Kong attract, nurture and retain talent.
“In doing so, you have played an important role in fuelling our economic development and sharpening our competitive edge,” he said.