South China SME interview

Frank J Adick [IMG_0042]

Name: Frank J. Adick

Position: Founder & Managing Director

Company: Dew-Point International Ltd

Location: Hong Kong and Shenzhen

Company size (no. of employees): 15

Sector: Management training and management consulting

Core business: Training and development

When did you come to China?

I came to Hong Kong, China, in 1972. I started Dew-Point International Ltd In 1973. I started doing business in Mainland China in the mid-1980s.

Why did you come to China?

My purpose for coming to Hong Kong, was to start my own business in the management training and management consulting field. I came by invitation from my Hong Kong-based clients who were operating in China.

Why did you choose Shenzhen as your mainland location?

Its close proximity to Hong Kong made it a good base for us to start our operations under the Close Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) scheme between Hong Kong and China. Dew-Point was, in fact, the first company in our industry to be registered in China under the CEPA scheme.

What is the biggest challenge for SMEs in China?

Securing qualified personnel with integrity, and retaining them. Talent retention is a significant challenge that even large multinational companies face. When employee turnover is high, expenses increase and it has a negative effect on staff morale. We have to remember that people are an ‘appreciating asset’: the longer we stay with an organisation the more productive we become – we learn the systems, we learn the products and we learn how to work together more effectively.

Most business owners and managers think retention is based on monetary compensation issues. In reality the driving factors go deeper into the human psyche, to the actions and attitudes that make employees feel successful, secure, appreciated and fulfilled. This means that monetary incentives are not enough. Sufficient non-monetary rewards to recognise the contributions and accomplishments of employees should also be a part of a successful management culture. An organisation’s retention strategy should also provide opportunities for employees to develop new skills and to advance in the organisation as their performance and desire dictates.

Research has identified these, and other fundamental characteristics, in companies with low turnover and high employee engagement and productivity. Another characteristic is a work environment that allows and encourages open and honest communication – from management to employees and vice versa, and across the different work units of the organisation.

Organisations whose policies, practices and work culture affirmatively help employees achieve a work/life balance also promotes stronger staff loyalty and retention.

What is the biggest challenge for SMEs in your particular sector?

The biggest challenge for SMEs in our sector is developing experienced people to become effective management trainers and consultants. This requires extensive exposure to different organisational and people issues where the upfront investment in time and resources is significant. Local people in Mainland China are very ambitious and will try to do things for themselves after they have received their training, and will often not respect contractual agreements. This is the reason why we rely extensively on our own pool of trainers and consultants from Hong Kong and the international market.

Are you aware of EU-funded support projects for SMEs and have you ever used any?

No, I am not aware of the EU-funded support projects and therefore I have never used any.

Dew-Point International Ltd is a recognised provider of training and organisational development consulting services in Hong Kong, China and the Asia-Pacific region. Founded in Hong Kong in 1973, Dew-Point specialises in developing the effectiveness of companies and their people, and has worked for many well-known local and global organisations. Dew-Point’s network of trainers and consultants are practitioners with industry knowledge and experiences drawn from around Asia and other parts of the world.