CEO COLUMN

Published Feb-2022, [No.273]
Subject The hidden secret of Name Tag

 

Sometime I talk with drivers who transport domestic and imported raw materials to the factory. When they're worried about their lunch, I respond, "Our company provides free meals to everyone, so you can go to the cafeteria and have lunch. If you go to the second floor of the welfare center, you can also drink coffee for free."

Then, the driver, who is a person met for the first time, looks at the name tag attached my chest and asks, "Who are you to guide me so kindly?" and replies, "I'm Sung Chun Baik, the CEO of this company." The drivers tilt their heads and wonder why the title 'CEO' isn't marked on the name tag.


As the organization and the number of people increased after foundation of LCC, opinions on how to mark the name tag were divided. For example, How to distinguish the names of the departments and how to mark the position (manager, department head, and so on). Conclusionally, except company name It would be better to mark only the names of people. It was concluded that the company is small, has only seven to eight executives, and it is easy to know which department the other party is in.

There were concerns that if external customers visit LCC, it could be inconvenient if they did not know the department, position of the person they met, but I insisted "All Employee of the company should be personally equal. The opinions of the upper ranks take precedence when making important decision." So It was concluded that the name tags of LCC members had no departments or positions and only mark their name, and this name tag marking standard still continue.


It happened when I graduated from university in 1974 and worked at the Choeup Factory of LG which located in Busan. I visited Dongmyeong Wood Company, where my university colleague was working. I toured the factory, and had lunch at the cafeteria. What I felt strange was that the cafeteria was divided into executives, managers, employees, and on-site employees, and there was a difference in food level. Not to mention that the company where I worked had a meal with the factory manager and the on-site employees sitting face to face and the menu was the same as well.

Several cafeteria would have been needed to accommodate thousands of employees, but it felt strange to me, a beginner in society, to distinguish restaurants according to position. I felt that authoritarianism was pervaded.

Workers voices were not loud until 1970, but since the 1980s, workers demand for equality have increased as workers struggles began in earnest along with the democratization movement. Furthermore, Along with the recession in the domestic and foreign architectural economy, the surge in wood prices, which are raw materials for plywood, led to the failure of the Dongmyeong Group.


Dongmyeong Group was founded by 20-year-old Seok-Jin Kang in 1920s, and plywood made of low-wage cheap labor and Korean sincerity, diligence, and excellent handcraft skills was exported to various countries around the world due to its excellent quality. Business expansion and export performance surged to $100 million as a single item in 1977, winning the 'Best Export Award' for the third consecutive year since 1968, sweeping all the Korea Industrial Medal, Gold, Silver, Bronze Tower Trophy, and Presidential Commendations 20 times. They served as a pioneer in the export industry.

The myth was ended in 1980 due to soaring international wood prices, backwardness as a private company, not an open corporation, and expansion of octopus development businesses such as industry, shipping, and heavy industry. But I think the rigid and authoritarian corporate culture may have been another cause of the failure.


I asked my new nutritionist a few months ago that what the difference was between the previous company and LCC. The first was that all companies frequently asked to cut back on cafeteria costs, but LCC often talked about idea, how to provide delicious meals to employee rather than costs.

Second, the former company had never seen its CEO eat at a cafeteria even after a year, but the LCC CEO had never eaten the meal outside of cafeteria. That's right. The company's CEO should clean, work, and eat with employees who are internal customers.

In particular, CEO of small and medium-sized enterprise will be able to defeat authoritarianism' when working together with employee of the organization. Also it helps me to quickly recognize the needs of employees and establish countermeasures.


"Please stop, stop, stop.

Today's ggondae Latte starts again.

One in the morning and three in the lunch.

I drank 10 cups in the evening..."


It's part of the lyrics of 'GGondae Latte' sung by 'Young Tak' who is the famous Korean Singer. The dictionary meaning of GGondae(ubervisor) can be defined as 'not a logical or scientific basis, but a word and action that emphasizes self-assertion according to stereotypes and prejudices experienced in the past.'

It refers to a person who tries to cut the world by one's narrow moral standards, a person who randomly treats young or inexperienced people by ranking them in numbers, a person who lacks consideration and empathy for others, and speaks formally and polite words to superiors and speaks informally and impolite words to inferiors.

In particular, in the 2000s, resistance was added to nagging and authoritarianism, it became a disparaging __expression__ of the other party, and according to a survey by the employment portal 'Incruit', about 90% office workers are under a lot of stress because of ubervisor(GGondae) in the company.


Unlike IT companies and sales companies, manufacturing companies have no choice but to work with various generations from two to three, including office workers, production workers, and senior and new employees. Differences in values and conflicts between generations are bound to exist, but if not minimized, Synergy for corporate goals and visions cannot be created, and companies will eventually face a major crisis.

In addition, the authoritarian, self-righteous, and dominant leader becomes a 'severe ubervisor' who can only be emotionally rejected, and only the leader who sacrifices and serves while sharing pain can show practical leadership.


In the case of small and medium-sized manufacturing industries, salaries and benefits are lagging behind large companies, but they can feel accomplished through work, increase their capabilities, set up a future vision to take on new challenges with growth. If the employee can feel the stability of the company because there is no risk of bankruptcy due to the low debt ratio, long-term service of employee will be possible.

If the communication is blocked and there is an authoritarian company culture that precedes instructions and orders without discussion, it will lead to accelerate transfer of employee. Also it is impossible to foster the talent employee for the future of company.


Like the story hidden in the Name Tag, when creating a company culture where employee get respect and realize their happiness and dream, when servant leaders lead the company based on concessions and sacrifices, our vision, 'Realize 100-year old company through export' can also be realized.






CEO BAIK, SUNGCHUN

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