Empowering the workplace: Modernising corporate culture to position Hong Kong for success

22 January 2020, by Cynthia Chung, Elsie Chan,

Deacons’ Employment and Pensions practice has released an inaugural report on the state of corporate culture in Hong Kong entitled ’Empowering the workplace: Modernising corporate culture to position Hong Kong for success’.

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 working professionals and 100 senior in-house human resources and legal managers in Hong Kong, the report reveals significant disillusion with corporate culture standards in the city.

The number of employment related complaints handled by the Equal Opportunities Commission in Hong Kong has increased by more than 70% in the past three years, and with the city facing intensifying competition for talent from other major Asian cities, Deacons decided to undertake the survey to examine the current strength, characteristics and perceptions of corporate culture in the city.

The report found that long hours (65%), domineering senior management (64%) and lack of communication from senior management (60%) were the three leading concerns of employees. Companies cited a lack of communication from senior management (72%) as their primary grievance.  For Generation Z, a lack of diversity in the workplace ranked first (65%). Emerging issues such as not having a whistleblowing policy (47%) and a lack of support for mental health and stress (45%) were viewed as more concerning than traditional areas such as racism and insufficient child care provision (both 35%).

The survey also revealed that employees have a far stronger understanding of well-established company policies in relation to diversity & inclusion (73%) and paternity & maternity leave and benefits (70% and 68%, respectively) compared to whistleblowing (57%) and the use of AI and automation in the workplace (50%).

Commenting, Cynthia Chung, Partner and Head of Employment and Pensions, Deacons said: “As we enter the Year of the Rat 2020, Hong Kong’s business community is facing steeper competition than ever before.  Companies that promote a ‘speak up’ culture, healthy work-life balance and fairness and equality, will win the hearts and minds of employees and be more productive and profitable businesses as a result.”

Read the full report here.