The 6 Best Tips To Build A Successful Team In China


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Are you looking to build a successful team in China? Is your team divided and feeling a lack of direction? Do you feel like your team is moving at a slower pace than it should be? 

This is something that many foreign companies have to face when they decide to invest in China.

Having an effective team is something that companies want in order to grow their business in China. Problems may arise that can destroy the productivity of the business and damage the performance of the entire company.

In this article, we will help with tips and strategies to build a successful team in China.

Introduction to the Work Culture in China

You cannot think about creating an effective team in China if you don’t consider the work culture in the country.

The work culture is what makes the company unique and is the sum of values, traditions, attitudes, behaviors. It is something valued a lot by employees and it is important in relation to the retention of employees in the company.

I want to talk about the main aspects that differentiate the Chinese work culture from the western one:

  • The importance of hierarchy in China – Hierarchy is an ideal dating back to Confucius and it is something that we can find in different aspects of society. The workplace is not an exemption and employees know that it is important to follow the guidelines and instructions given by the boss or supervisor.
  • Overtime – In China, working beyond normal working hours is considered normal and sometimes also incentivized. Especially in technological companies, it is common to see employees finishing working after 8 in the evening.
  • Napping – While in companies in the West, sleeping in the workplace is punishable and undoubtedly not well seen by managers and colleagues, in China napping is accepted. So, it is normal to see Chinese employees sleeping 20 minutes after lunch before going back to work.
  • The importance of relationships (Guanxi) – Guanxi is an important concept in China. It can be translated as “network, connection”. Usually, when colleagues do you a favor, you should repay back. And it is also important to show that you are integrated into the team, and willing to be part of it, working together to achieve results.

The 6 Tips and Strategies to Build a Successful Team in China

The first key aspect to consider to build a successful team in China is to develop goals and clearly understand what those goals are. When teams are put into place they have specific goals that they need to reach for the team as a whole. Make sure that everyone understands these goals, including yourself.

Talking about tips to build the best team in China, below I share with you some of the strategies that can help your team to be productive and achieve great results.

1) Understand what a great team is

A great team consists of a few elements that must be present at all times: 

  • Clear objectives – each team member must be aware of the meaning of a particular activity as part of a larger objective.
  • Clear roles – Every team member must understand what are their roles and what to expect from these roles
  • Communication – Every team member should be able to communicate without restrictions because in this way, the other team members will have a chance to learn more and improve.
  • Cooperation – A team that doesn’t cooperate can bring problems and bad performance for the company.

2) Establish a connection with each team member

As the leader of the company, you must know your employees and understand what are their problems, strong points, and ambitions. When you know these things, you can match each worker with the right task. That’s the best way to help them boost their productivity and become more satisfied with the job. Find out how their strengths can be used to improve the team’s output. 

3) Communicate exactly what is needed

In a country like China, where hierarchy is such an important part of the culture, employees wait for their leader to tell them what to do. And as a leader of the company, you have to communicate in the most accurate way what you need from the team and each team member. Lack of communication can create a great deal of frustration and resentment. Be clear and direct with your team so that they know exactly what is expected of them.

4) Be protective and supportive of your team

As a leader, you must guide with authority. But a great leader is also protective of their team because these are the people who help the business succeed. They know how hard you work to be successful and they understand the sacrifices you make to ensure that every member on your team is taken care of.

5) Invest time in team-building events

China is a collectivist country. People are used to staying together and family is extremely important in society. A team is not different and to learn how to achieve the best results together, it is wise to spend time and energies in the organization of team-building activities. These types of events are a great way to foster better communication and collaboration amongst team members. If approached in a way that is both educational and entertaining, it can create a memorable experience that creates lasting friendships and partnerships.

6) Monitor and review

Evaluation techniques are part of the process of developing a great team. These techniques are used to guarantee that the performance of the team is in line with the goals of the company and that there aren’t problems among the team members that can impact the company and the team itself.

How a PEO in China can Help to Build a Successful Team

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) has many benefits for small businesses interested to invest in China. Not only helps with payroll, social benefits, taxes, but also with the aspects related to the employment of locals and expats.

As part of the activities of a PEO, recruitment is an important one, not only after you successfully find the candidate to hire, helping your company with the onboarding process, but also before you find the candidate.

A PEO can help you to search for the right candidate to join your company, using all the expertise in the industry, to find the best talents for your company. Not only this, a PEO can also help after your employee joins the company, helping to mitigate the possible problems that can arise with your company and advising on the best tips to effectively manage your employees and the team to be successful in China.


Hiring employees in China is complicated because of the many rules surrounding employment, HR, and payroll. And building a successful team in China can be hard if you don’t know what drives the performance of a team.

We hope that this article was helpful to understand more about how to build a successful team in China. Feel free to contact us if you are in need of PEO service in China or if you need to outsource payroll in China!

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