Survey finds that China’s corporate leaders value quality of life in their organizations, and believe it will become even more important in the future. Almost all of China’s corporate leaders interviewed in a recent survey, a resounding 98%, believed that improving the quality of life in their organization makes their employees happier.

According to a new Sodexo-Harris Interactive survey of 50 Chinese business leaders who manage enterprises with more than 2,000 employees, 66% say that the next generation of China’s workforce will be the most important lever in raising the quality of life in the nation’s corporations. And it found that 62% believe public authorities, laws and regulations will also play an important role.

The survey is the first of its kind to examine the impact quality of life can have on corporate performance. 780 business leaders and decision-makers in the corporate, healthcare and educational sectors in Brazil, China, France, India, UK and USA were surveyed during November 2014 to January 2015.

"Improving Quality of Life is already recognized as an important element in China’s corporations, and I am encouraged to see that corporate leaders believe our younger employees will further understand the impact it has on the success of a business. I am confident that work culture will change with time, so that the cost of designing and implementing Quality of Life programs will be seen as an investment, rather than an obstacle,” says Christophe Solas, CEO of Sodexo Greater China.

"This survey is the first barometer among key decision makers. It is a unique study in that we did not solicit the point of view of end-users or consumers, as has been done previously, but rather those who take the decisions that influence quality of life in their organizations,” says Delphine Martelli-Banégas, Head of the Corporate Department at Harris Interactive.

The Quality of Life International Survey, China results

1. How does Quality of Life impact performance in China?

Employee satisfaction was the most important impact in Chinese business leaders’ minds (98%), which topped staff efficiency (76%), image and reputation with external stakeholders (66%) and their corporations’ business and economic performance (64%). In the current war for talent in China, how job seekers’ view a corporate brand and reputation has a real impact on whether or not they will pursue a career with them. As a young generation enters the jobs market, investing in employee satisfaction contributes to building a stable and motivated workforce.

2. What are China’s priorities for improving Quality of Life in corporate organizations?

At the heart of corporate success is thinking into the future, and to this end the overwhelming majority of China’s leaders (84%) said Quality of Life is important and so they are actively promoting it (82%). What did they think were important ways of making the workplace experience better? Health and nutrition were vital (70%), which is on trend with the younger generation’s expectations of good healthcare as part of their employment package. The physical environment of the office, factory, or workplace was in leaders’ thoughts, with most (80%) saying it was one of their initiatives for improvement. It is apparent from the survey that China will focus on these issues going forward, as almost all (90%) of respondents said they felt Quality of Life will become more important in the future.

3. What challenges do corporations in China face to improve Quality of Life?

At a time when China’s young talent is creating new benchmarks in the workplace, the majority of business leaders (66%) thought the rise of the younger generation would be the most powerful lever for improving Quality of Life in the future. Most corporate leaders (62%) are looking to public authorities, new laws and regulations to facilitate the changes their young workers – who are increasingly moving to new cities in search of a better career – will be demanding. As corporations accept that the future shape of jobs and the workplace are changing, some employers (56%) felt that the cost of implementing improvements would be a challenge. But most (78%) have a dedicated budget for programs to improve Quality of Life, proof that they know such an investment will bring value to their enterprise.

Highlights of Sodexo's China survey

* 98% said improving quality of life impacted employee satisfaction
* 90% said it would become more important in coming years 
* 84% of Chinese leaders interviewed said quality of life is important to their organization
* 78% have a dedicated budget for programs to improve quality of life
* 70% of organizations with initiatives in place had chosen to focus on health & nutrition
* 66% said next generation will be an important lever to improve quality of life in the future
* 56% said cost was the main stumbling block to improving quality of life in their organization
Quality of Life initiatives can be classified according to 6 categories:

• Physical environment
• Social interactions
• Ease and efficiency
• Health and nutrition
• Recognition
• Personal growth

For more on the survey:

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