A video has gone viral on the Chinese internet recently showing a group of employees crawling on all fours through the street, the boss claims that they did so “voluntarily.”
The Paper spoke with the boss of a Jilin car loan company on April 7th, who confirmed that those were in fact his employees groveling through the street; however, he has a reasonable explanation. He says that because they did not reach their sales target, he decided that as the leader he would take responsibility by lowering himself to crawling through the streets like a baby.
But, when workers heard what their dear old laoban was about to do, they volunteered in his stead. Therefore, on April 2nd, at around 2 p.m., more than 10 men and women were told to “begin to fulfill their commitments!” Dropping to their knees, they followed a man holding a red flag as residents flocked around to snap some pictures of their humiliation.
Netizens too flocked to social media to take a crack at this unusual corporate “motivation technique”:
“An extremely thorough brainwashing, I admire his leadership skills,” commented one netizen.
“For these young people, this is awful. Young people are quietly being reduced to slaves, used as beasts of burden, do your mom and dad know?” wrote in another.
“How can you endure this kind of humiliation? Is your salary in the millions or could you not find other work and if you quit, you die?” wondered another web user.
Other netizens speculated that what the company had done wasn’t just morally wrong, it was criminal; while others thought that it was simply a promotional tactic meant to drive up sales.
Responding to this second criticism, the boss replied innocently that he had no idea that this whole thing would go viral, he just wanted to set a good example for his employees to follow. He added that company morale has greatly improved following the exercise.
Watch the video below:
He isn’t the first boss in China to humiliate their employees in an attempt to make them work harder. Last year, a Zhengzhou sales staff was forced to crawl around a lake after failing to achieve targets. Earlier that year, a group of employees dressed in suits were asked by their boss to kneel on an overpass in Xiamen for 60 minutes as punishment for not completing their work.
Still, it is not clear that these kind of punishments actually help. Here is the best way we know to improve company morale:
Wanna improve company morale? Make your employees dance.
Posted by Shanghaiist on Friday, March 25, 2016
Well, either that, or this:
Military-style corporate brainwashing for employees of a new spa.
Posted by Shanghaiist on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
[Video via YouTube / Tencent]