'IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT people. We have our own mindset and it may not be applicable to other people,' Isaac Yeung, Hongkong and China Gas Investment's assistant general manager of human resources and training, said about handling staff from different cultural backgrounds. 'There are historical reasons for the differences, and communication is the way to resolve them. 'As long as staff members uphold the principles of 'safety, reliability and service', we can be flexible in handling matters.' Mr Yeung said corporate culture could unite different individuals, and therefore classes had been held for staff of different levels about the company's vision and values. 'It is important that all joint-venture companies move in the same direction so that everyone is working on a common platform.' Liza Cheung, Amway's director of human resources, Greater China and Southeast Asia region, said Hong Kong people would find the work style of mainlanders very different. For example, most Hong Kong workers would observe project deadlines, but mainland workers could be quite flexible. Moreover, some mainland people were less mindful of conflicts of interest, such as using the services of an employee's own company or that of their relatives. 'They don't see any problem with this and will argue that the company has to spend the money anyway. However, we won't compromise professionalism and customer service just because the workers don't understand the concepts. We'll give them the necessary training in customer services and corporate culture; on how to partner with the company and serve our customers.' Ms Cheung said most senior staff had no problems handling differences with colleagues from other cities. 'Their pace of work may be different, but they have lots of chances to work together. And corporate culture will help pull them closer.'