【商業智慧】李嘉誠：「員工養活了整個公司，公司應該多謝他們才對。」"Employees are the ones who sustain the entire company, and the company should be grateful to them," said Li Ka-shing
The Hong Kong government has been calling for "compete for talents" to attract top-notch innovation and technology talents from all over the world to Hong Kong. However, after successfully attracting elites from various fields, it is crucial to retain them. Many of Li Ka-shing's subordinates had been with him for many years, up until their retirement. In contrast to many American companies that solely focus on systems and processes, he places greater emphasis on personal relationships. He not only values talent, but also places people at the centre of his business philosophy.
Li Ka-shing once advised young entrepreneurs, "A large corporation is like a big family, with each employee being a member of that family. Given their immense contributions to the entire family, they deserve what they earn. To put it the other way around, employees are the ones who sustain the entire company, and the company should be grateful to them."
In the late 1970s, although Cheung Kong Holdings was thriving, the plastic manufacturing company where he started, was in decline, with profits nearly zero. However, he insisted on continuing plastic flower production out of consideration for his long-time employees. Even when the factory ceased operations, Li Ka-shing still arranged for the employees to work within Cheung Kong Hutchison Group.
Li Ka-shing once mentioned that he was extremely reluctant to lay off employees, as it would not only lead to unemployment but also cause remaining employees to lose motivation due to concerns about their own job security. However, the plastic manufacturing company had no choice but to lay off workers due to poor management. He promised the laid-off employees that he would rehire them as soon as the company's operations improved. In the end, he fulfilled this promise, and the rehired employees became even more loyal than before.
Li Ka-shing shared that to establish employees' sense of belonging to a company, it is necessary to make them aware of their impact on the organization, rather than treating them as mere tools. Before each meeting, he would carefully consider useful suggestions put forth by employees, allowing them to participate in decision-making.
Li Ka-shing values personal connections and relationships, treating the company as a big family and employees as family members. He fostered a sense of belonging among employees, encouraging them to see themselves as an integral part of the company. Under his management, outstanding talents came together, ensuring the continued prosperity of his business empire.