South Korea’s mental health taboos causing pressure on employees

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Management in Korea is a regular column written by members of Egon Zehnder Seoul that addresses various aspects of Korean companies and business leaders and provides management advice. The suicide of a Naver employee in May rekindled concerns about harassment and bullying in the workplace in South Korea. In the incident, an employee wrote in his suicide note that he had been physically and verbally abused by management, and emails and logs from in-house messaging services supported the allegations, according to the Naver’s preliminary investigative report. The report continues to accuse top management of ignoring complaints about this executive in early 2021. The founder later apologized, saying he had held himself and the management team accountable. Naver isn’t the only company whose culture has been challenged, it’s simply the most tragic recent example. South Korean leaders need to better end the stigma of mental health and create work environments that promote safety. of employees.

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