China Harbour Bridges Cultures Through Stimulating Activities
November 29, 2013

Life at China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) may not be all that it seems in the public eye, endless hours at dusty project sites, long planning meetings, and the obsession with tweaking designs at the computer. Yes, it does include dedicated labour. However, there is another more exciting side to China Harbour, one that’s enjoyed by both the Chinese and local staff.

As a multinational company that hires mainly young incumbents from completely different backgrounds and foreign languages, it is necessary to implement a programme offering cultural exchange to strengthen relationships within the workplace. CHEC’s Regional Human Resource Manager, Andrea Jarrett, has embraced this requirement with great enthusiasm by planning staff excursions or events that take place at least once every three months.

For the past year, these well-attended socials have included a hike to Blue Mountain Peak, paintball and basketball competitions at Sun Coast Adventure Park in St Thomas, and, most recently, an excursion to Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios. In November, two coaster buses with 40 staff members spent the entire day experiencing the thrilling bobsled, zip line and sky explorer rides, topped off by a delicious meal overlooking the island’s northern coastline.

CHEC parties are held regularly, sometimes celebrating a Chinese or Jamaican holiday, creating a comfortable atmosphere for the staff to converse, eat, laugh, dance, and even perform together at the cultural events.

The local staff are benefitting from their Chinese counterparts’ quest in acquiring knowledge to remain competitive in the regional market by joining the twice-weekly Spanish lessons offered free of cost to the employees in preparation for their possible mobilisation to Central or Latin American countries. The CHEC English-speaking staff are also very enthusiastic about learning Mandarin through classes offered to them at the Confucius Centre, organised by the company.

The strategy of investing in human resource enhancement programmes, encouraged by the general manager of the Regional Office, Zhongdong Tang, is essential for the expansion of China Harbour Engineering Company’s operation in a territory that hires English, Spanish and Chinese-speaking employees.