Chinese Paper Company Promotes Employee Well-Being through Running Incentives

Guangdong Dongpo Paper, a paper company based in Guangdong, China, is reshaping the conventional corporate bonus structure by tying annual bonuses to employees’ physical fitness levels.

Chairman Lin Zhiyong recently revealed an unconventional program where the size of the annual bonus is directly proportional to the number of miles an employee runs each month.

Under this fitness-centric initiative, employees must achieve a monthly running target of 62 miles to qualify for an annual bonus equivalent to 130% of their monthly salary. Those covering a more modest 31 miles per month still earn a bonus equivalent to one month’s salary. As an added incentive, employees who sustain a pace of 31 miles per month for six consecutive months are rewarded with a complimentary pair of running shoes.

Lin Zhiyong, who has scaled Mount Everest twice in 2022 and 2023, justified the program and said to Business Insider, “My business can only endure if my employees are healthy.” 

While some employees have embraced the initiative as a novel way to stay fit and earn extra income simultaneously, social media platform Weibo has witnessed skepticism.

Critics question the feasibility of expecting employees to run two miles daily to meet the ambitious monthly target, speculating whether the company aims to transform its workforce into track athletes. Concerns about potential health risks have also surfaced, with some individuals fearing that the rigorous physical requirements may lead to injuries or health complications. 

Despite the mixed reactions, Guangdong Dongpo Paper’s innovative approach to employee incentives has sparked discussions about the delicate balance between workplace motivation and individual health, leaving observers curious about the long-term impact of this incentive program on both the company and its employees.