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AIM Members get a first-hand glimpse of management in China

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A pair of young Australian managers have recently returned from an eye opening journey to China after being sponsored by the Australian Institute of Management.

Lee-Anne Tomkins and Matthew Scott, both from Virgin Australia, were part of an international delegation that attended the Asian Association of Management Organisation’s (AAMO) Young Manager’s Program, held in Macau.

The aim of the program is to provide a Chinese and Asia-Pacific perspective to young managers in areas such as talent acquisition and retention, employee engagement, market strategy and building corporate culture.

As the manager of Virgin Australia’s Global Corporate and Alliance Sales Strategy, Matthew Scott AFAIM was excited to have been offered the opportunity to attend the program and said he found the experience very rewarding.

“It was exciting to join young managers from a varying range of industry segments within the Asian region,” Mr Scott said.

“Having the opportunity to visit large Chinese and multi-national companies provided an insight into the different management styles and techniques used in this unique market and it was informative to learn about the different cultural challenges they face when developing young managers.

“With so many of the younger generation attending university in China, many are finishing their studies and looking to move into management roles immediately, a huge shift from previous generations that would begin their career in entry level positions.”

Lee-Anne Tomkins AFAIM, Virgin Australia’s Head of Government and International Relations also said that she found the trip very rewarding and thanked AIM for the opportunity.

“It was great to hear the insights from the Chinese perspective but by also having young managers from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region we were able to hear their unique ideas as well,” Ms Tomkins said.

“There were some definite parallels in China to some of the challenges we face in Australia with meeting the needs of the younger workforce, who are no longer content to spend their entire career with the same company.

“One particular company we visited had a workforce of which 75 percent were under 30 years of age and local management had to develop new initiatives to improve the job satisfaction of these young workers.

“Local management suggested playing music on the factory floor but head office management was resistant to the idea as they were concerned that it could lower productivity.

“After the idea was trialled and there was no reduction in productivity, it was considered a success and there was a noticeable boost in employee satisfaction.”

The AAMO Young Manager’s Program has been running since 2011 and AIM sponsors two managers to attend the program annually.