Samsung Electronics could make its organization chart very flat


Employees walk into Samsung Electronics headquarters in Seocho district, south of Seoul. [NEWS1]


Samsung Electronics says it is trying to reform its rigid corporate culture, which hinders productivity and constructive discussions, with big changes to its job classification and performance review system.

As of Monday, the tech company has been hosting workshops with its Change Agents (CAs) – employees who focus on improving the corporate culture – and executives. The sessions were held to discuss the overhaul of the organization of the company.

A reform of the system was announced by the company on November 11 via its online bulletin board. The announcement said it will change the performance appraisal and promotion system.

The changes are not yet finalized, but the company plans to end the traditional top-down culture.

The hierarchical ranks of positions will be reworked. Samsung Electronics currently has a four-level career level (CL) ranking system. It divides employees below the managerial level into four levels – CL1 (assistant), CL2 (professional), CL3 (senior professional) and CL4 (senior professional) – being ranked higher as the number increases. After the new change, the number of job ranks will be reduced to two or removed completely.

The last time the company simplified its employment ranks was in 2017, reducing the number of ranks to four instead of the previous seven.

Young employees should especially designate their seniors by job titles such as “bujangnim” Where “chajangnim“to show respect, but everyone will soon start to refer to” pro “, as in professional, or the Korean honorific suffix of”nim”, To maintain a horizontal corporate culture.

To prevent employees from continuing to refer to each other by job titles, other ways of knowing people’s years of experience will be removed entirely. Employee ID numbers, which can be used to identify when the person started working in the company, and job ranks will no longer be displayed on the company intranet.

“We will not have to worry about the title to appoint other employees in business meetings with the change, and we will be able to freely exchange opinions on an equal footing,” said an anonymous employee of Samsung Electronics .

Rather than being evaluated by bosses for the year-end performance review, three peers that employees have worked with will evaluate them.

The so-called “base-up” program – increasing the salary by a defined minimum percentage each year – will be abolished. The base rate this year was 4.5 percent. Employees will get pay increases based on their performance review, which will give more incentives to employees who perform well.

The electronics maker’s new plans are similar to those recently implemented by Samsung Electro-Mechanics, which is 23.7% owned by Samsung Electronics.

Since October, the company has abolished all employee job titles, except for the group leader and the section leader. Employees now refer to each other with the suffix “pro”. Job titles cannot be found on the company’s intranet, email system, or internal email application.

The list of employees benefiting from a year-end promotion is not disclosed. Employees all use honorary titles to talk to each other, regardless of age or years of experience.

Samsung Electronics plans to talk to its unions, division heads, CAs and other employees and finalize the policies. The spokesperson for the company said they “cannot explain the reforms in detail until the changes are finalized.”

BY CHOI EUN-KYUNG, LEE TAE-HEE [[email protected]]


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