Why 80% of China Central Television’s expats renew their contracts

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An estimated 40% of expatriated workers return home prematurely, which can lead to monetary losses exceeding $1 million for each failed assignment.
 
At China Central Television (CCTV)’s studio and news headquarters, however, 80% of employees renew their contracts to remain with the company in Beijing.
 
Some of the strategies behind CCTV’s success in retention include:
 
  • Requiring the expat to wait between six weeks and four months before beginning the onboarding process, which ensures that the employee has time to place items in storage and terminate phone and internet contracts
  • Providing a pre-departure guide that includes advice on Chinese power outlets, smartphone apps to aid with Mandarin Chinese, and medical guidelines
  • Besides a quick meeting with managers on the second day, forbidding work during the employee’s first week, instead allowing the expat to acclimate to Beijing                  
  • Writing an orientation guide that fully informs expats on where to find safe drinking water, customary practices when dealing with money, and English-friendly grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Taking the employee for a walk around the neighborhood to point out nearby amenities such as places to buy a cell phone or grab a coffee.
 
“We also prepare a ‘Welcome’ bag for all new employees with information about the city, a map, a prepaid subway card, and other materials that help them hit the ground running,” said Glen Loveland, HR manager.
 
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