Sur­vey: HR work­ers pri­or­i­tize hap­pi­ness over level of in­come

Peo­ple who oc­cupy higher po­si­tions are not nec­es­sar­ily more con­tent in their jobs

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING zhaoxiny­ing@ chi­

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey, more than 70 per­cent of hu­man re­sources staff say that in­ter­nal sat­is­fac­tion is most mean­ing­ful and im­por­tant to them, which re­flects a main­stream sense of val­ues among Chi­nese white-col­lar work­ers.

The sur­vey, con­ducted by Ren­min Univer­sity of China’s School of La­bor and Hu­man Re­sources, found that 70.7 per­cent of the HR work­ers sur­veyed agreed that “a suc­cess­ful ca­reer is about achiev­ing a bal­ance be­tween work and life”.

It also found that 70.3 per­cent of those polled pay more at­ten­tion to the in­ner sat­is­fac­tion their job brings them, rather than the wealth and ben­e­fits they get from the job.

About 5,200 peo­ple work­ing in HR po­si­tions all over the coun­try par­tic­i­pated in the sur­vey. More than half held a bach­e­lor’s de­gree, while the av­er­age age was 35. Six­ty­five per­cent were fe­male.

Zhou Wenxia, deputy di­rec­tor of the school who led the sur­vey, said the find­ings also re­flect a main­stream sense of val­ues among Chi­nese in all walks of so­ci­ety.

“The find­ings re­versed a preva­lent mind­set that Chi­nese only care about the money,” said Zhou, who has been re­search­ing ca­reers for more than a decade.

She said that peo­ple are more ea­ger to gain recog­ni­tion, un­der­take im­por­tant tasks and do things they are in­ter­ested in.

“We are now in an era when peo­ple seek per­sonal value and self-ful­fill­ment,” Zhou added.

Wang Tongxun, vice-chair­man of the China Tal­ent Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion, said Chi­nese peo­ple’s cri­te­ria re­gard­ing a suc­cess­ful ca­reer have changed greatly over the years.


“In the past, peo­ple mostly talked about pro­mo­tion and salary in­creases. But now, we of­ten hear peo­ple talk about com­pe­tence, hap­pi­ness and ful­fill­ment,” Wang said.

Zhou said she found that the el­e­ments of a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in the minds of Chi­nese can be di­vided into three di­men­sions: ex­ter­nal re­wards, in­ter­nal sat­is­fac­tions, and har­mony and bal­ance.

“We were sur­prised to find that ex­ter­nal re­wards are not nec­es­sar­ily con­nected with in­ter­nal sat­is­fac­tion,” Zhou said. “That is to say, peo­ple in higher po­si­tions and on higher salaries are not nec­es­sar­ily hap­pier or more con­tent with their jobs.”

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