A company that values its employee’s individual development. A corporate culture that actively supports communication and global cultural understanding. These are just a few of the key philosophies that POSCO strives to realize. In the first episode of “POSCO, the Great Company to Work at” series, we introduced the POSCO Toastmasters Club as an example of the various corporate efforts to improve its employees’ speech and presentation abilities. Today, let’s have a look at what POSCO is doing to build global competence and foster cultural understanding through programs geared toward developing global human resources.
POSCO Group University: Helping Employees in Overseas Offices to Become Global Leaders
POSCO Group University is dedicated to improving the abilities of the company’s employees working in both local and overseas offices. The goal of POSCO Group University is to lead these employees on the road to becoming global leaders. Among the programs that specifically aim to enhance the abilities of POSCO’s global colleagues are the POSCO Cultural Innovator Program and the Global Junior Executive Development Program. These programs invite overseas employees to the Global R&D Center located at Songdo, Incheon, during which the participants eat, sleep, and learn together for an intensive two weeks.
On June 30, 43 employees from 22 offices in 13 countries participated in the programs, with 22 in the Global Junior Executive Development Program and 21 in the Cultural Innovator Program. Shall we take a closer look at the curriculum that these 43 global talents experienced?
Be Proactive: POSCO Cultural Innovator Program
The POSCO Cultural Innovator Program trains employees to establish a localized education system that spreads POSCO’s unique values and corporate culture. Participants of the program return to their respective offices to actively implement new systems and plan and develop a unique culture of their own instead of simply relaying the contents provided during the program.
Having an interest for others is the first step in truly understanding different cultures. Participants of the Cultural Innovator Program had a chance to learn ways to solve problems and overcome disagreements caused by cultural misunderstanding. They also freely shared their experiences and hardships they had to overcome as employees working in an unfamiliar Korean culture.
Interview: Dominika Gracz / Team Leader / POSCO-PWPC (Poland)
I learned a lot about the process of executing a project. I’ll definitely have a better idea of managing a project when I go back to Poland. Also, it was a great opportunity to talk with people from other countries and share our different cultures and experiences. I think the networks we established during the program will be beneficial in exchanging work-related ideas and information in the future.
Interview: Massimo Menghini / Sr. Manager / POSCO-ITPC S.P.A (Italy)
It was an opportunity to learn and improve together with colleagues from various different countries. Along with my global colleagues, I was able to learn how to manage projects and solve problems. Also, it’s my first time to visit POSCO HQ. I’m looking forward to going back and sharing with my colleagues at my office in Italy the unique POSCO culture I’ve experienced here.
Global Junior Executive Development Program
Through the Global Junior Executive Development Program, POSCO takes a proactive step in training its overseas junior executives to become global leaders of the future. Team leaders who participate in the program prepare to become exemplary managers by honing their leadership skills and practicing management problem-solving. Participants also experience firsthand real issues presented by the branch managers of each overseas office, an activity that strengthens management capabilities. Because of the high quality and benefits of the program, more and more overseas branch managers are looking for a chance to participate.
One of the main activities in the program is the Action Learning Mentoring session. Before arriving at Songdo, employees received from their office heads tasks related to overcoming cultural differences and enhancing leadership skills. Participants analyzed these tasks beforehand, and solved the problems through two weeks of Action Learning Mentoring.
Interview: Hyun-chul Bong / Professor & Program Instructor / Jeonbuk University School of Business
These people are potential future global leaders, so the learning sessions aimed to improve crucial management and leadership skills. Before coming to the program, the participants were given a wide array of unique individual tasks which covered product quality issues, productivity issues, and logistic issues. Although the participants are from different offices and factories, they were all able to relate to each other quite easily because in the end, the work they are doing are similar. It was wonderful to see them interacting with one another freely, giving advice and asking questions.
Interview: Hoang Anh Le / Team Leader / POSCO E&C VN (Vietnam)
We were able to solve many real problems we face at our respective offices thanks to the useful concepts and problem solving tools the professor provided us.
Learning the History of POSCO
After a week since the programs began, the participants were invited to a special tour of the history of POSCO. For many of them, it was the first time to visit the POSCO HQ and get a firsthand experience of the company. Leaded by a guide, the participants enjoyed a meaningful time learning about the history and corporate philosophy of POSCO.
Interview: Santosh Kumar / Sr. Manager / POSCO-India
The tour on the history of POSCO was very comprehensive; I learned not only about the history of the company but also about the history of the steel industry in Korea as well. There were a lot of resources about the late president Mr. Tae-jun Park. I respect him for founding such an impressive business and am proud to work here. POSCO is truly a great company.
Epilogue: Completion Ceremony
The participants of the POSCO Cultural Innovator Program and the Global Junior Executive Development Program gathered at the conference hall where they first met each other two weeks ago. The 43 participants congratulated one another as they received a certificate to commemorate the completion of the intensive programs.
Interview: Brett McCleary / Manager / POSCO-AAPC (US)
It was a very meaningful experience: I learned a lot about POSCO core values and the history of POSCO which was very interesting to me. I also learned a lot of different HRD strategies that I can use when I go back to my home country. It frankly is kind of a relief; it was a lot of work! But it was very enjoyable to meet some great people and learn a little about everybody’s culture, and I feel that’s going to help me when I go back to deal with the different cultures that we do have at our office.
Interview: Potjaman Khongthon / Associate / POSCO-Thainox (Thailand)
The presentation skills to be an insightful instructor would be good for me because I will go back and give a lecture for my colleagues at my office in Thailand. I think I can be a better instructor because I have learned new techniques, and I am thankful for the company for providing me with such a great opportunity. The conversations I had with my global colleagues will definitely belong with me for a long time.
POSCO is taking active steps to train future global leaders through a systematic training program. We hope to see our global employees go back to their countries and continue their efforts to make POSCO a truly global company. Please look forward for many other efforts that POSCO is making in order to become a great company to work at!