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Retaining Staff and Lowering Employee Turnover in Shanghai Research Paper


Chinese economic potential is rapidly growing, and the importance of international companies is increasing. However, many factors contribute to the fact that international companies experience high fluidity of the personnel (Warner 101). When managing human resources, the leadership should take into account many nuances, while the problems of recruiting and retaining employees, especially skilled ones, increase costs (Warner 101).

It is the most difficult to find the required workforce for such companies, the activities of which are creative, involve risks, and require high-quality control, for instance, for companies working in the field of HR, sales, distribution, branding, and project implementation. Moreover, multinational and international companies are forced to compete with Chinese companies for workers.

Problem Situation and Research Questions

As a rule, an employer provides employees with various bonuses, incentives, free accommodation, pays the cost of means of communication, and so on. More than one-third of multinational companies in Shanghai provides employees with vehicles (Kwok 244). With all of these expenses, the total retention expenditure per employee is twice more than a worker’s. Nevertheless, the problem of staff turnover remains acute and requires immediate resolution. To explore this problem from different angles, it is essential to find answers to several fundamental questions: What factors affect the turnover rate at the moment the most? What are the strategies for the retention of the workforce? How a company’s leadership can minimize staff turnover taking into account its international background?

Objectives of the Study

The study has several objectives to achieve, which are aimed at investigating the connection between the expectations that employees have and the practices that employers utilize. It is necessary to research such aspects as job satisfaction, employee motivation, and commitment. Also, it is crucial to search for the strategies that managers apply to retain employees and what issues have not been considered in this perspective. Furthermore, one of the objectives is to analyze what factors influence the turnover rate the most ranging from salary, job performance, and other work-related aspects to employer contributions and requirements such as training and so on.

The Importance

The proposed study is crucial as, despite the measures taken by the heads of international companies, the staff turnover is unchangeably high, and it has a tendency for the increase. The current situation evidences that firms in Shanghai do not apply effective strategies to be able to retain their employees and experience an increase in expenditures. Even though the problem of high employee turnover is acute for the country and Shanghai, in particular, it requires more profound research and investigation (Kwok 244).

It should be noted that China has unique market conditions and requirements and the experience of other countries is applicable, but it needs to be adapted and modernized to meet the needs of the international companies that are based in Shanghai exclusively (Vance and Paik 370).

Theoretical Framework

Many scientists define the notion of turnover as a movement of the working personnel in connection with the forced dismissal or departure on their own accord (Kwok 239). The workforce fluidity occurs at different organizational levels of the company, and each of them has its particular reasons. Because the turnover background has a versatile nature and may be related to different reasons, it is necessary to analyze the existing literature to determine the leading directions in this regard.

Fyock et al. outlined that companies should distinguish the reasons for low employee commitment (330). The researchers defined that there are two basic types of turnover, which are voluntary and involuntary. It is hypothesized that companies should pay special attention to the reasons for quitting the job that is under their control because some of the reasons are linked to the employee’s objectives solely and cannot be managed. Voluntary turnover is the type related to employee’s perceptions. It can be caused by the discontent related to salary or work conditions and other reasons while the second type is referred to as gross misconduct by the employee.

The voluntary resignation is also divided into several categories as defined by other researchers. Finney and Robbins identified that this type of resignation can be functional and dysfunctional (335). The first one is referred to as the dismissal of non-functional members of the company and the second type implies the loss of effective employees, which might cause serious losses for the organization. The latter type can be divided into an avoidable and unavoidable turnover (Finney and Robbins 233). The company’s management shall effectively address the avoidable turnover while the unavoidable one is connected to such underlying reasons that are out of the leadership authority.

Besides, Vance and Paik claim that the international background of companies may divide the types of turnovers into more categories building a multi-tier system including ethical concerns, practices accepted by different nations and nationalities, differentiated expertise, and so on (371). It can be stated that the application of the proposed framework will allow effectively addressing the raised problem.

It will allow structuring the wide range of reasons for resignation and building new approaches to retention strategies based on the proposed categorization of turnovers. It should be noted that during the study progress, an expansion of the theoretical framework might be required. Research on the peer-reviewed articles and academic works related to the topics of the study will be conducted if the study requires so.

Research Methods and Data Collection

Quantitative research methods will be utilized to conduct the study. It will allow obtaining numeric information and define the causal associations between several variables both from the employers and the employees working in international companies in Shanghai. Also, the application of the quantitative methods is to provide statistical tools to check the solidity and importance of the variables and their interactions (Punch 252).

The primary and secondary data will be collected from the employees of different units working in the international companies and the employers (management) including middle level and senior managers. The data will be collected through two types of surveys depending on the position (employer-employee). It is assumed that the survey questions should be sent to the participants in emails to achieve a greater scale and feasibility and allow the participants to choose the most convenient time to complete them.

The survey will consist of a set of open-end questions. The survey aimed at employees will address the current level of job satisfaction, commitment to work, previous experience, and other questions regarding the possible or past resignation. The employer survey will concentrate on the practices and strategies the management applies to lower employee turnover in their company.

Ethical Issues

To avoid any conflict of interest and ensure the security of the participants, the collected data will be presented in the statistical format without mentioning any names or personal information that might hurt the participants. The letter explaining the purpose of the survey and guaranteeing the anonymity of the results will be enclosed to the email including the survey. Also, the participants will be informed that if they are not obliged to fill in any information that they consider inappropriate and may not answer those questions that they are reluctant to answer. This information will be placed in the survey document before the survey questions part.

Data Analysis

The obtained data will be analyzed after compiling it and grouping into corresponding categories. For that purpose, MS Excel will be used, and the information will be disassembled using descriptive statistics (Punch 253). This method will allow assessing the variables and defining the general patterns from a variety of different responses.


The main aim of the study is to find out what are the leading reasons for the high employee turnover in international companies in Shanghai. The study is to investigate the factors that can be prevented and eliminated by the management so that the employees do not quit. Also, the study will develop strategies that HR can implement in their organizations to ensure retention of the valuable workforce and to help them minimize the economic and intellectual costs, which are the inevitable consequences of the high employee turnover.


The resources to be used:

  • Literature and other sources in the area of investigation (articles, books, academic writing, relevant news from reliable sources);
  • Survey templates that can be used to conduct the research;
  • The list of HR contacts to help with conducting the survey.

Tasks and Timescale of the study:

  • Contacting the participants, contact persons (by 20.10.2016).
  • Preparing the survey questions (by 20.10.2016).
  • Writing the profound theoretical basis for the prospective study (by 28.10.2016).
  • Conducting the survey (by 28.10.2016).
  • Compiling the collected data in MS Excel (by 03.11.2016).
  • Writing the sections of the quantitative research (data analysis, results, discussion, conclusions).
  • Informing the contact persons from HR regarding the survey outcomes (by 09.11.2016).
  • Compiling the final report.

Works Cited

Finney, Martha, and Stephen Robbins. Successful Management Guidelines. Upper Saddle River: FT Press, 2013. Print.

Fyock, Cathy, Martha Finney, Stephen Robbins and Leigh Thompson. The Truth About Managing Effectively. Upper Saddle River: FT Press, 2013. Print.

Kwok, Hong. “The Generation Y’s Working Encounter: A Comparative Study of Hong Kong and Other Chinese Cities.” Journal of Family and Economic Issues 33.2 (2012): 231-249. Print.

Punch, Keith. Introduction to Social Research. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2013. Print.

Vance, Charles, and Yongsun Paik. Managing a Global Workforce. New York: Routledge, 2014. Print.

Warner, Malcolm. ‘Making Sense’ of Human Resource Management in China. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, October 11). Retaining Staff and Lowering Employee Turnover in Shanghai. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/retaining-staff-and-lowering-employee-turnover-in-shanghai/

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"Retaining Staff and Lowering Employee Turnover in Shanghai." IvyPanda, 11 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/retaining-staff-and-lowering-employee-turnover-in-shanghai/.

1. IvyPanda. "Retaining Staff and Lowering Employee Turnover in Shanghai." October 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/retaining-staff-and-lowering-employee-turnover-in-shanghai/.


IvyPanda. "Retaining Staff and Lowering Employee Turnover in Shanghai." October 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/retaining-staff-and-lowering-employee-turnover-in-shanghai/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Retaining Staff and Lowering Employee Turnover in Shanghai." October 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/retaining-staff-and-lowering-employee-turnover-in-shanghai/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Retaining Staff and Lowering Employee Turnover in Shanghai'. 11 October.

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