To illustrate its position as a true global company, POSCO is working hard to continuously expand its overseas businesses. So much so, in fact, that more than 40 percent of all POSCO employees are global staff members working for overseas affiliates. Furthermore, last year, over half of POSCO’s sales were generated overseas. Considering this, POSCO has made some recent changes in its HR system.
In particular, the newly modified Global Mobility Program (GMP) enables global employees to experience POSCO’s unique work system while they are working on projects at POSCO Headquarters. There are currently nine global employees working in Seoul, Pohang and Incheon as the first GMP participants. These staff members, who will take the leading roles at overseas affiliates in the future are focusing on strengthening their skills and networking, as well as working on their own projects.
Equal Opportunity for All
According to POSCO’s Open & Collaborative Human Resources Management policy, all members of POSCO Group are given equal opportunity regardless of their company or nationality and are capable of reaching the top level of the organization based on their abilities and achievements.
To expedite this policy, POSCO modified its existing HR system last March and implemented the Group Integrated Job Grade System, assigning “G grade” to all members of POSCO’s overseas affiliates.
Throughout 2015, POSCO has focused on securing superior talent in essential roles at overseas affiliates, as well as constructing a thorough process to foster and retain quality professionals and to help them to enhance their career competitiveness.
Global employees can master 18 subjects that are helpful in enhancing their skills through audio-visual education materials created by POSCO and are available in three languages (English, Chinese and Japanese). Overseas affiliates can create and enforce a comprehensive education system tailored to each affiliate by adding their own educational content to these materials.
Fostering Superior Global Talent
POSCO is committed to sharing its corporate vision with its global staff while helping them to acquire core work competencies through online modules which contain POSCO’s management philosophy, company history and innovative activities, and are available in eight languages. Global employees have been participating in this educational program since May.
Those who complete the e-learning programs and prove their excellence in learning will be promoted to “P grade” from “G grade.” These personnel will be given priority in global job recruitment and the Global Mobility Program application process, and can build their competitiveness by working abroad.
Furthermore, POSCO is also offering various learning opportunities including group training at POSCO Headquarters, an e-MBA program at local universities and higher-level programs at POSTECH Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT). Any POSCO employee can apply for the learning programs and improve their competencies. POSCO is also establishing a strategic HR scheme to motivate employees through a reward system based on individuals’ achievements.
Ms. R. Khuanhatai of Thailand, one of the first participants of the Global Mobility Program, noted that the opportunity to participate in such training has expanded her knowledge and enhanced her job skills. “I was originally assigned to STS Quality Control in Pohang, where I learned about POSCO’s defect mechanism, inspection control and quality standard. Additionally, I had a great opportunity to spend a month learning about quality design and new product development in GTC Solution (Seoul) and marketing concept in PAC (Songdo). Now that I have returned to Thailand, I am developing a plan to adapt the quality standard of Pohang to POSCO-Thainox.”
New Global Staff Training Program
In 2008, POSCO implemented the Global Challenge Program, which consisted of a Korean Regional Studies educational program, a short-term assignment at Headquarters and job rotations, in order to train and foster global talent.
This program came to a halt in 2011 and was reborn as the Global Mobility Program this year. During this four-step program, selected candidates will participate in an introductory course, a group project, a personal project, an interim workshop and an evaluation process.
Currently, the GMP is a form of affiliate-to-Headquarters assignment, but the scope of work place will soon be expanded to connect affiliates in the same region, as well as in different countries.
Application for the GMP is open to superior talent working for an overseas affiliate who hold a leadership position and demonstrate strong growth potential. GMP participants will be involved in various projects and will be trained by POSCO so that they may better understand the work culture at Headquarters, as well as establish their social networks.
“I have learned how to strengthen relationships with overseas employees by having a better understanding of their cultures and traditions, and experience first-hand how they face their personal and work-related challenges,” noted Ms. Andrea G. Medrano of POSCO-Mexico. “I think all global employees should strive to participate in the GMP so they can feel proud of POSCO, and feel more confident in regards to the job they do.”
Ms. Bei Huang from POSCO-China had a similar experience, having entered the program with the expectation to learn more and to build good relationships with her colleagues in Korea. She remarked, “Through the six-month assignment, I was able to experience a better working environment in Seoul than in Beijing. The staff in Seoul motivated themselves to be more positive regarding the harsh market situation. They always worked together to find the optimal solution to various problems. This positive working attitude is what influenced me the most.”
But GMP participants not only have a chance to enhance their own work skills, but also to take what they’ve learned in Korea and apply it to the workplace in their home countries. Mr. Yerui Liang of Zhangjiagang Pohang Stainless Steel (ZPSS) in China consistently took note of how things were done at Headquarters, comparing it to his own throughout the duration of the program. “I was able to learn many new things, as well as areas to improve,” he said. “As soon as I arrived back at ZPSS, other challenges were waiting for me. I was able to share with my colleagues at ZPSS my experiences and knowledge gained during my time in Seoul.”
Through these efforts, POSCO will continue to strengthen its position as a global leader in the steel industry, all the while fostering the skills of its global employees so that they, too, can reach their full potential.