| Nam Yoon-joo, public relations chief at the outdoor gear maker Blackyak, is both excited and worried as the weather gets warmer. A new employee to the company, she has to join mountain climbing training for new staff at the end of next month.
"Hardcore training will continue for three weeks at Mount Dobong because we have to camp out there and take rock-climbing classes," she said. "I like extreme sports but I get afraid when I hear colleagues saying how tough the training is."
The annual spring recruitment season has just begun, and certain companies will hold intensive onsite training to boost employee loyalty. The programs are devised to have new recruits undergo rigorous training in their respective businesses.
Blackyak`s rock climbing is well known for its disciplined and rigorous training. All employees joined the company must undergo such training every spring or fall and obtain a certificate of completion. The training is mandatory for staff ranging from those in support teams, which are not related to climbing, to retail store sales crews. Blackyak Chiarman Kang Tae-sun, a former mountaineer, stresses the principle of "back to the basics," saying, "Rock climbing is necessary to make and sell products that satisfy consumers."
Participating employees must first take theoretical education, then change into climbing shoes and safety belts to start rock climbing. They also camp on the mountain. A few who suffer from a weak body and fear of heights burst into tears when they finish climbing, but when they complete training, they share camaraderie with their coworkers. "We now have a culture of taking care of each other," said Kim Jeong-bae, a manager at the extreme team in charge of education. "This not only boosts employee understanding of mountain climbing, it also helps them easily adapt to the company."
Mille, another outdoor gear maker, recently introduced a similar program and is providing rock climbing education for its employees.
New staff at Genesis BBQ Group must complete the "chicken college," an in-house program. Executives are not exception to this. Employees cook and eat different types of fried chicken sold in stores for two weeks. They need to practice 12 hours a day to make at least two chickens. Over the two-week period, participating employees gain three to four kilograms though all three daily meals are composed of vegetables.
Park Hwan-il, who recently joined the company`s domestic business division, said, "Never in my whole life did I eat too much chicken like this in such a short period. I played ping pong with my colleagues and ran in the gym to prevent gaining weight." After waging a diet war, staff have pride when the training is over. "By cooking by myself based on the recipes I learned about, I was able to have pride in the menu and this experience will be a great help to me at work," Park said.
Hotel Shilla has a four-month "Dream Team" training to nurture top service staff for distinguished guests. Since the aim is to serve top-class guests, the program offers rigorous classes, covering international business etiquette, hair design, makeup and even Marine training. In wine class, trainees learn how to pour the appropriate amount of wine into a glass so that it does not flow out when the glass falls. "The final program of the training involves inviting parents and serving them, and employees shed tears in recalling severe training and were deeply moved," a hotel staff said. "Through the hard training, they came to share pride as the best service team, which boosts organizational vitality."