Korean CEOs Connecting with MZ Employees
CEOs from Samsung, LG, and other top firms seek to strengthen their communication with the MZ generation, a Korean term referring to people born in the period from the early 1980s through to the early 2000s. As the younger generation is now taking the center stage in each company, such efforts are interpreted as a move to get closer to young employees and facilitate communication within the company for lasting success.
"When we thought of what CEOs looked like in the past, there was a strong image of giving instructions and orders to employees with a stern look. It is different now. Employees nowadays have less loyalty to their companies than their predecessors, so the CEOs want to show that they are taking care of their employees," an official from a local conglomerate said on condition of anonymity. "As part of efforts to beef up communication with young employees, CEOs are using communication tools such as in-company mobile messenger platforms that allow employees to express their opinions about the company comfortably and directly answer questions or reflect the voice of employees in the workplace," the official added.
Among the CEOs, Kyung Kye-hyun, CEO of Samsung Electronics' Device Solutions division, appeared on the company's YouTube channel, introducing how employees are spending their daily working hours, on May 13. Kyung made his appearance on the video at the request of an employee who asked for an interview.
When asked if he could give advice to office workers as a senior who has worked in the company for more than 30 years, Kyung gave realistic advice, saying "it is most important to do something that you like and have fun, getting to understand well the world you are working in." He also shared his personality type based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, saying "I don't remember well because I had the test exceptionally long ago. I am a little introverted and a little bit scared of meeting people. The test also showed that I also had an achievement-oriented aspect."
Kyung is widely known for his efforts for effective communication with employees. Since he was CEO at Samsung Electro-Mechanics, he launched the Thursday Talk program to listen to the voices of his employees, and this culture was also implemented at Samsung Electronics since he was appointed as a CEO in December 2021. In a conversation with employees in January, many complained that the special bonus was lower than its rival company and he answered, "I am aware of the complaints and will consider measures for additional compensation." A few days later, employees received an additional bonus of up to 300 percent.
Cho Joo-wan, CEO of LG Electronics, also recently held a web conferencing session called Reinventing Day. The virtual meeting was held in response to a recent survey in which its employees pointed out that people in high-ranking positions neglect the voices of employees below them. During the meeting, Cho said "Companies that drive change have a strong organizational culture. Let's create LG's own organizational culture to lead the future."
Source: Baek Byung-yeul from The Korea Times (May 2022)