Human resources | Macau’s high turnover makes corporate trust difficult, says expert

Lalita Raman

Macau’s industry characters have given this city an element of basic trust, but establishing a high level of trust across town remains to be seen due to the city’s mono-industrial economy, according to Lalita Raman, corporate trainer at Dale Carnegie Training Hong Kong and Macau.

Last week, Raman spoke to a group of around 30 people at Macau Tower during a human resources seminar organized by the France Macau Chamber of Commerce (FMCC).

On the sidelines of the seminar, Raman shared some of her personal thoughts on human resources and building trust, credibility and respect in Macau. 

“Industry absolutely matters, and also organization culture. FMCC chose this [the seminar] mainly because Macau is a very transient place. People come and go, and there is always a feeling of ‘how can I trust them?’ They are here today and maybe they are gone tomorrow. So it’s important for both Hong Kong and Macau, because trust is sometimes questionable.”

“The topics matter in terms of the type of people who come [to the seminar], the organizations they work for and the organizational culture,” said Raman, explaining that her training topics vary, depending on the industries which different participants work for.

In Raman’s opinion, there is a lot of volatility in the gaming industry and it may be difficult for Macau to establish a high level of trust.

“I think it’s just the nature of the industry itself. There is a degree of skepticism, because it’s all about gambling. Yet I think there is already an element of trust, because when you go to a casino […] I think you wouldn’t enter that place and be willing to bet your money [unless an environment of trust has already been created]. Otherwise, why would I walk into a casino and be willing to gamble?” Raman remarks.

“I would say that in organizations here, possibly, people feel there is a lot of turnover. Not in a bad way, just the nature of the place. Maybe people get a two-year contract [and they leave after the contract ends]. I think that the element of trust may not be as much as we expect, and yet there is trust. It is a bit ironic. An element of basic trust exists – [although] maybe not be a high level of trust – that’s the feeling I am getting sometimes,” said Raman.

According to Raman, most of the Dale Carnegie programs are designed for senior leaders, but the programs also receive requests from mid-level management as well.

Participants are from all nationalities, including Chinese, Westerners and Indians. They mostly come from corporations, although some are students.

“The majority is probably Chinese. Because again, Hong Kong has seen a change in the past four or five years. It is becoming more and more Chinese-dominated,” said Raman, explaining that the ratio of Chinese and non-Chinese program participants is 3 to 1.

The topics offered at Dale Carnegie training programs range from communication to leadership. JZ

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