Few companies truly understand the value of employee well-being and the ways to achieve it; a recruitment firm in South Korea knew exactly how to take care of its employee’s well-being. The recruitment company in Seoul made its employees stage their own death. The country has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. It has being said that the reason behind the high numbers is the increased level of stress, which is mostly work-related.
Staffs’ President, Park Chun-Woong, was aware that curbing depression and stress isn’t an easy task. He thoughtfully devised a strategy which would the employees of his company be much appreciative about life. The activity he designed not only provided his employees a vital closure on unhappiness and life but also improved their relationships with their family members. The activity took place in the office building where the company’s employees were asked to wear a yellow hemp rode and made to write mock wills and notes to their beloved family members. During the act, most of the employees got emotional and once they were done writing their messages, they were made to watch videos of people tried to overcome adversities – like cancer and several other health issues through their sheer will to survive and live. After watching the inspirational video they were to step into their respective coffins placed for them on the office floor. In the wooden boxes, they all hugged a picture of them. The coffins were then shut by a man posing to be The Angle of Death. The boxes remained shut for 10 minutes allowing the everyone inside to contemplate about their lives – good things as well as bad. When the employees finally came out they had a fresh new perspective about life and death.
Our company has always encouraged employees to change their old ways of thinking, but it was hard to bring about any real difference,” said Park Chun-woong to BBC. “I thought going inside a coffin would be such a shocking experience it would completely reset their minds for a completely fresh start in their attitudes,” he said. The act, even though grossly shocking and dark, may have imparted refreshingly positive thinking in the participants. One of the employees who participated in the fake mass funeral said “After the coffin experience, I realised I should try to live a new style of life. “I’ve realised I’ve made lots of mistakes. I hope to be more passionate in all the work I do and spend more time with my family.”
People often need a remainder that adversities are a part of life and one merely needs to have a strong will to overcome them. In this fast-paced materialistic world, few people are immune to stress. The casket workshop should compel organizations around the world to re-visit their employee well-being programs and introspect if they are endorsing the cause on a superficial level.