Wolfgang’s Balancing Act

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The article discusses the need for companies to adjust their performance-based pay systems to better suit local Japanese culture. The Japanese head of HR healthcare was dissatisfied with the global performance system but did not engage in discussions on how to improve it. The article suggests that HR should adapt the system to better fit Japanese culture, including increasing the percentage of variable pay and adopting compensation for special needs. Japanese and German workers are different from western workers and may panic about losing half their salaries with a performance-based pay system. However, Japanese and German workers are serious about their jobs and have a strong work ethic, regardless of their pay structure.

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They should move the percentage of fixed and variable pay from international standardized to Japanese local role. From the article, we can learn that the Japanese head of HR healthcare was not happy with the global performance system but did not really engage in discussions about how to improve or adapt the system. This is very Japanese-style, Japanese people are not asking a lot, and it is the responsibility of the manager to figure their un-satisfaction. Also, the individual and my unit component should also adopt the way local people do. As the article states, it is difficult for HR to variable pay based on individual performance in Japan. It is also a big issue if they keep using the international standardized policy. It is a lot easier for letting the local Japanese do it.

They can delete the fringe benefits. Because if you hire people in Japan, you need never worry about their working attitude. They won’t ask a lot for fringe benefits, you don’t need to get them variable pay based on performance, because they will do their best anyway. They can also add compensation for special needs. Japanese people will appreciate it if you help him/them. You pay not a lot for those special needs, but the people who get paid will motivate a lot to do a better job.

Yes, they should change the percentage of salary. As the article says, the German didn’t agree to the system of 65percent fixed and 35 percent performance-based on pay. They are panicked about losing almost half of their salaries. Some people, like German and Japanese, are different from most western people. They are very serious people, when they think “depend on performance”, they might think they need very very perfect performance. They will be always worrying about it, as consequence, the panic will lead to a bad result on their work.  Most Japanese or German will take their job very serious, no matter how you pay them. They have a very good attitude even if you pay them a fixed salary.

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Wolfgang’s Balancing Act. (2016, Aug 27). Retrieved from


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