In a move that makes questionable HR practices in some Nigerian banks look like child’s play, a video has surfaced online showing staff at a Chinese bank being publicly spanked for poor performance.
The video, which has sparked public outrage, has been widely shared on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, since Sunday.
Apparently taken by someone in the audience with a smartphone, it shows a hired corporate coach asking eight employees of Changzhi Zhangze Rural Commercial Bank in northern China why they did not “exceed themselves” at training.
A total of 216 bank staff were divided into 27 teams, and the bottom-ranked team – comprising four men and four women – was spanked.
“Get your butts ready”, the trainer said before proceeding to spank them with what appears to be a thick wooden slab.
One woman is seen recoiling each time a stroke lands on her, apparently in pain, while some members of the audience, seated at dinner tables, can be seen turning their heads away in embarrassment.
Shanxi Provincial Rural Credit Cooperatives Union, the bank’s supervisory body, has removed two executives from their posts over the incident.
Jiang Feng, the coach with the Shanghai Hongfeng Leadership School, later apologised for the stunt in a video post. “This incident also offered a great lesson to myself, that it reminds me I should improve my teaching methods,” he said.
Beijing News, a state-run newspaper, reported that Jiang’s two-day corporate boot camp cost the company 100,000 Yuan ($15,300).