Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Spare The Hike, Spoil The Worker

South Korea famously requires all men to serve almost two years of mandatory military service.  And once that's finished, all Korean entry-level employees may face the possibility of "corporate" military service / training:
"Other examples include Daegu Bank taking 64 recruits on a 100-kilometer hike last October, or Shinhan Bank forcing new employees in 2014 to hold a saddle stance while reciting passages written by the famous Korean independence activist Ahn Chang-ho. 
Unsurprisingly, such methods are not very popular with employees themselves. According to a survey of 296 people by Job Korea, a job searching website, 74 percent of respondents said training new recruits is 'necessary,' with 66.7 percent adding that the purpose of such training ought to be to learn basic information about the job.
Yet many companies continue to feel that these practices are the most effective. 'This happens because companies have a militarized view and ignore the value of creativity and independence,' said Lee Byoung-hoon, professor of sociology at Chung-Ang University. 'But in the fourth industrial revolution, this militarized view is outmoded.'”
Discussing this article with my adult students, I was happy to just sit back and let the older ones share their (insane) stories of Korean work culture in the 70's and 80's.  You may think a group hike would be a relaxing team-building exercise, but in South Korea it's a competition between various company departments.

It's Korea.  It's always about competition.

Also worth noting / puking about:
"Recently, KB Bank faced public criticism when it was revealed it had made hirees walk 100 kilometers (62 miles) and had provided birth control pills to female employees. 'We provided birth control pills based on desire,' said one KB Bank official. But one employee who participated in the training said, 'The hiring team gave us the birth control, telling us to control our periods during the training period.'”

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