SEOUL, June 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Samsung Electronics is switching from its current seven-tier rank system to a simpler four-tier scheme. All employees will now address each other by Mr. or Ms., and not their job titles.
On Monday, June 27, the company announced a revised HR management plan that focuses on simplifying its rank system and encouraging horizontal relationships among employees, to which a ‘career development stage’ has been introduced.
The existing rank system consisting of seven different tiers (staff 1-3, assistant manager, manager, general manager, director) has changed to a four-tier system of CL1 – CL4. The vertical relationship structure within the company will only reflect an employee’s career development stage based on his or her competency level.
According to a company representative, an employee may be promoted by selection but their years of service or rank have typically limited opportunities in the past. “But now anyone can be promoted to a higher position regardless of how long they have been working at the company if they are competent enough,” he added.
Furthermore, meetings and reports will also be subject to change.
Only those who are required to attend will participate in meetings, and they will be able to freely share their opinions and participate in finding a conclusion. The number of attendees will be kept to a minimum, and meetings will not be held for more than an hour. Employees will be expected to comply with these recommendations.
Also, report submitting will not be done in order from lower ranks to higher ranks; instead, everyone will be notified simultaneously. Formality will be of less concern and only key points will be communicated concisely.
Unnecessary overtime work will also be eradicated. The habitual practice of staying past one’s regular working hours because a supervisor is still working will be rooted out.
Meanwhile, employees will be able to plan their vacation period freely as well.
Starting this year, wearing shorts during the summer season will also be allowed.
Samsung Electronics declared that it would establish ‘cultural innovation’ within the organization last March by adopting the fast turnaround time and communication methods typical of startups. Three major strategies of this plan included creating a parallel organizational structure, raising productivity, and strengthening voluntary commitment.
The company, which is well-known for a management system based on efficiency, is embracing the creative and independent mindset often found in startup companies. Some speculate that Lee Jae-yong, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is driving a new generation of Samsung by altering the fundamental principles of the company to face the global economic downturn.
The deeply-rooted ‘top-down’ culture is shifting to a ‘down-top’ approach.
“To gain global competitiveness and create parallel corporate structure, the current HR management system stemming from seniority principles is being reformed in order to concentrate on each employee’s capabilities and expertise,” said a Samsung Electronics official.
The new HR management system will enter effect in March 2017.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)