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Electronics Production | December 14, 2010

Ryder Industries paths workforce stability in China

As many analysts predict shortages of skilled labour and risk from rising costs in Chinese factories, Swiss-owned EMS-company Ryder Industries focuses on fair compensation, good working conditions and effective employee communications.
"Some customers reported to us that during the financial crisis, their manufacturing suppliers in China disappeared without warning. Business conditions have improved since then and many unstable companies are no longer in operation; however people are now realizing that long-term stability and supplier credibility are critical in choosing a China-based manufacturing solution. One important dimension of stability is a reliable labour force", explained Shin-Tein Lei, Ryder’s CEO.

A cornerstone of Ryder’s workplace relationship management is the '1+3' Employee Communication and Negotiation System, which has started attracting increasing amounts of attention not just from other private-sector enterprises but even from academic and government circles. Ryder’s system has been adopted by around 30 other businesses, and is being advocated by local and municipal Shenzhen labour and social security experts as a model for Chinese companies to use to improve employee satisfaction.

The 1+3 System became part of the Ryder Industries management organisation in 2005 following the arrival of CEO Shin Tein Lei, and has been cited as a key factor in the company's excellent labour relations and effective work practices. During the difficult 2008 financial crisis, when many Chinese companies experienced major problems and even failure, Ryder Industries had less than one percent employee turnover and no serious customer supply chain disruptions.

The '1' in the 1+3 System refers to one goal, a shared vision among company workers that contributes to a unity of purpose and forms the foundation for open communications and a win-win approach to employee negotiations. The '3' refers to three platforms of communication connecting upper management, midlevel managers and frontline employees. The System involves regular meetings, a secure online portal, and a commitment to two-way information flow, regardless of hierarchy. The concepts are simple but have created a uniquely effective working environment at Ryder Industries.

In addition to effective communications, Ryder has emphasized fair pay and good working conditions. Pay scales for Ryder Industries employees are well above the minimum on average. Employees are not required to work overtime, and are under less pressure to do so thanks to their higher basic wages. At least one day off per week is mandatory for everyone, and learning allowances and bonus pay are also available, states the company.

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