Management Training – but not as we know it

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fortune_cookie_message_1600_clr_7951A motivational trainer in China has been forced to apologise for spanking under-performing bank employees.

With a cry of “get your bums ready” Mr Jiang Yang walked behind them with a stick hitting each of them four times.

Now I’m not saying some bankers don’t need public humiliation but actually spanking them, and in some cases shaving men’s heads and cutting women’s hair, seems over the top.

The punishments were filmed on a phone and widely circulated online as a result of which a couple of executives have been suspended (not sure by which part of their bodies) and the training terminated.

The 8 employees – four men and four women – who were made to stand in a line of shame were among 200 from the Chanhi Zhangze Rural Commercial Bank in Shanxi province who were attending a 3-day training camp.

The unfortunate eight were the lowest performing participants on the day. They were made to confess their shortcomings e.g. “I didn’t exceed myself”, “poor teamwork”, “not brave enough” before the beatings were delivered.

The Shanghai-based trainer, who charges £10,000 a day, has apologised to his client but not the victims, some of whom had apparently thanked him “for changing them“.

Jiang Yang says he’s been punishing trainees for years using sit-ups and head shaving. “Physical punishment can also be called ‘touching flesh’ a way of waking up a person’s vigour. This kind of positive-energy physical punishment is a better teaching method because pain is an effective way to wake up a sleeping spirit” he said.

He’s been accused of spanking the women harder than the men so obviously needs some equal opportunity counselling and diversity training.

One blogger was concerned that “there was no man on the spot to stand up and protect the beaten female colleagues“.

It brings a whole new dimension to managing performance. Perhaps I should discuss the possibilities with my consultant colleague before our next workshop (and also review our fees)?

Original report in The Times