According to global communications firm Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer survey1 of 33,000 people in 27 countries, eight out of ten respondents said that how a company treats its employees is one of the best indicators of its level of trustworthiness. Furthermore, 67 percent of the respondents said that they would not buy products from a company that is unreliable in the way it treats its employees. These results indicate that a company’s investment in its employees can heavily influence the way a company is viewed and, subsequently, the way it performs.
Samsung Electronics holds ‘Talent First’ as one of the core values that drive its success. Based on the belief that ‘the people are the company’, Samsung actively invests in its employees to help them leverage their capabilities and realize their full potential. In this series, ‘A Journey Towards a Sustainable Future’, Samsung Newsroom illustrates the company’s efforts to become a sustainable company, with this installment focusing on its investment in its employees.
Strengthening Employees’ Capabilities is One of the Key Factors that Lead Companies to Success
Continuous growth and development is what people look to do after joining a company. However, it is not an easy task to use extra time for self-development. To support their employees’ growth, Samsung has prepared various programs for its employees to focus on developing their capabilities to the fullest.
STaR (Samsung Talent Review Session) is one of the company’s representative programs, set up for employees and heads of divisions to design the path for personal development and utilize various career programs to achieve growth. For example, employees can register for various development programs such as MBAs, academic training, task expertise, local expertise and AI expertise according to their career development phases. Under the same initiative, the company’s Device Solutions (DS) Division is operating an HR Fair system.
Following the trend of internationalization that began in the 1990s, the Local Expert System was implemented for those employees who have worked with the company for three years and above. The one to two-year self-management overseas training program supports participants in learning various foreign languages and cultures to become local experts. As of today, more than 3,500 local experts have been made in over 80 different countries thanks to this program. Samsung’s Local Expert System is widely recognized as a program that displays the company’s willingness to cultivate talent and trailblaze in the global market.
Samsung also gives opportunities for employees to change their responsibilities and support their career development via its internal Job Posting system. Over the last three years, more than 2,100 employees have been able to successfully change to new business responsibilities. Both Samsung and its employees have greatly benefited from this program.
Samsung Semiconductor Institute of Technology (SSIT) started as an in-company semiconductor technology university in 1989 to boost employees’ technical capabilities within the field. In 2001, SSIT became an official college, approved by the Korean government. Today, SSIT offers four-year undergraduate courses of field work in Equipment, Infrastructure and Display. Samsung also formed a strategic alliance with Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) to launch an in-company graduate school, establishing the Semiconductor Display Engineering and Mobile Communication Engineering departments to help foster next generation of tech talent. As of 2019, SSIT has seen 414 bachelors, 655 masters and 83 doctors successfully graduate.
In 2014, the Samsung Electronics Leadership Center (SELC) was established in Yongin City, Gyeonggi Province, Korea. The Center serves as a talent hub, able to host 2,300 students a day with room for 500 people to spend the night. The SELC runs various education programs for global employees to come and develop their talents. On weekends, various cultural performances, including concerts, are held for those staying.
A Journey Towards Diversity and Inclusion Through the Launch of Various Programs Around the World
Global companies around the world have been highlighting workplace age, gender and background diversity. Over the years, Samsung has been committed to raising awareness of this and launching stage-by-stage programs on diversity and inclusion.
For example, in North America, the annual Seoul Sisters Conference is held to promote new opportunities for female employees. Furthermore, Samsung last year held a conference for its D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) counselors and content managers from 13 different nations to enhance related education.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Samsung Electronics Vietnam has more than 75 percent female employees, operating with a variety of welfare systems for women including supporting pregnant women with free dietary supplements, providing special meals, and having an in-house gynecologist in the facilities. Samsung Electronics Vietnam also has 22 Mommy Rooms for its estimated 4,000 pregnant employees and 5,000 nursing mothers. Based on these efforts, the company was commended by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL) as “Enterprises for Laborers” in 2017.
Samsung Offers Facilities to Help its Employees Heal their Bodies and their Minds
Employees can be busy all day and their physical and mental health can be affected from this. To help mitigate these issues, Samsung offers various relaxing spaces for employees to unwind and recharge in after a hard day at work. Its Life Coaching Center, with over 50 counselors and 13 psychiatrists, is a specialized organization for psychology consultation and coaching. Employees with domestic worries, work-life balance issues and stress in personal relationships can visit the center and receive consultation.
Additionally, Samsung’s Muscular Skeletal Disease Prevention and Exercise Center offers precise measures on the postures and muscular status of employees, with expert trainers on hand to correct their postures and relieve pain. More than 30 trainers work across seven centers. “In just six months, the center treated me to fully regain physical balance. I will be sure to exercise properly in order to maintain a healthy body from now on,” said Jung-hwa Seo of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.
The company’s DS Division has an additional Safety and Health team. This team uncovers and prevents possible accidents and risks that could occur in the everyday working environment. They also tend to the health of employees who have discovered irregularities in their body after health examinations. Furthermore, they work to improve employees’ lifestyles by hosting events such as health lectures, resting in the sun and walking excursions.
In 2010, Samsung became the first domestic company to establish a private industrial health care research center, its Health Research Institute, in Korea. The institute researches potential threats in industrial sites and works to prevent employees’ exposure to diseases or chemical substances while on the job.
Medical facilities established in Samsung’s campuses and major company buildings, including Suwon’s Digital City, save employees the trouble of having to travel out of the workplace to visit a hospital. Samsung has established large-scale medical facilities including family medicine, dental, dermatology, otolaryngology and physiotherapy clinics to benefit the health of its employees. In addition, in-company fitness centers, swimming pools, spinning classes and other various health management facilities and programs have been set up to give employees options in managing the ways they train their mind and body.
Samsung is continuing to invest in its employees’ capability development and to develop a culture of diversity and inclusion, and plans to actively implement programs for optimum health and safety in the workplace.