HR Masterclass Series: High-level HR strategy training workshops
with topics ranging from Analytics, to HR Business Partnering, Coaching, Leadership, Agile Talent and more.
Review the 2019 masterclasses here »
A boss on the mainland took some extreme measures in hope of getting his staff to work harder and earned himself the reputation of “horrible boss”.
In pictures shared in a post entitled “The most cruel punishment” on Weixin, a group of employees were seen nibbling on bitter melon in a conference room. There are more than 10 bitter melon on a table in the room. The pictures where shared by a person who claimed to be a friend of a staff remember of the company working at Happy Fashion Decoration, a renovation company based in Chongqing. It was reported that they were punished for not hitting sales targets.
A staff member of the company told The China News Service that management of the company often put staff through physical punishment like doing squads, push-ups, burpees and running around the office building. She said management thinks staff has already got use to these punishments, so they have to think out of the box for new methods to “motivate” them.
According to management, eating bitter melon will not harm the health of staff and the bitter taste can motivate staff to work harder.
A spokesperson from the company defended the physical punishments is harmful, saying that eating bitter melon is a reminder for staff that life is bitter if their performance is not up to standard and nobody wants a bitter life.
However the physical punishment has proven to be a talent management disaster. A staff member said about 50% of new joiners quit because they were embarrassed by the punishment.
The sales director of the company surname Shi said that as many as 40 sales staff were given the bitter melon punishment last week because they did not hit their targets. He also claimed that the punishment has been very motivating as sales figures jumped three times just a few days after staff were punished.
The management of the office might found themselves in trouble with the law not that their actions have caught media attention. According to mainland’s labour law physical punishment is illegal at the workplace.