Right Thing = Good Business w/ Michele Glaze, Samsung Austin Semiconductor

RecognizeGood: One of the things that really stands out about Samsung Austin Semiconductor is this culture of empowerment – if you’ve got an idea, you’ve got an outlet for it and your idea’s not going to get swept under the rug. How does that benefit your employee morale and attitude?

Michele Glaze: Samsung Austin Semiconductor cares about the safety and integrity of our employees in the company and so, through our global compliance efforts, we have multiple ways that employees can share their perspectives and their opinions. First of all, we have an open-door policy, so I as an employee can go speak to my manager – or my manager’s manager or any other executive in the company.

On our internal website, we also have an ethics hotline where they can report any concerns that they have in an anonymous fashion and then we will look into all of those and investigate them.

In addition, we have a global code of conduct and business conduct guidelines that we share with all employees and every year we all take an assessment to make sure everyone’s aware of those programs.

We also have cultural programs that we’ve put into place, such as employees giving feedback through our annual Samsung Culture Index survey. It’s like an employee satisfaction survey where they can give feedback to their managers as well as through the tool itself. We also host through our quarterly meetings an opportunity for employees to give anonymous questions that we answer through our internal newsletter and when we were meeting in person, those quarterly meetings also had an opportunity for employees to ask questions directly.

RecognizeGood: Despite being a very, very large organization the policies and procedures that have been built in to lift everybody up and keep people happy and purposeful – and therefore more productive – have just always been such a fascinating study.

Michele: You know people see Samsung as this global brand, yet we are here in Austin and we have our own facility. We are a subsidiary, but we have a closed loop system within our own organization as well. In fact, employees have another process where they can give feedback and ask questions. We call it E Town. I literally had a question the other day that said, “Hey, I don’t understand why we changed the intranet. The way it looks and I would like for this, this and this to happen.”

So we get the feedback and then we respond directly to the employee so employees can have this voice in multiple levels of the company and with all levels of the company.

RecognizeGood: When it comes to diversity and inclusivity for some companies, meeting the standard bar would be good enough. Y’all exceed it. What’s the payoff in the end because of that?

Michele: For Samsung Austin Semiconductor being an inclusive and welcoming environment for all employees is very important. We have employees at every stage of life who work here, from high school graduates to those who are nearing retirement. Every generation works here at Samsung, and it’s very important to us that every employee feels like they can come to work being who they are.

Diversity and inclusion, it’s a never-ending process we’re going to continue to work and strive to be better at, every day. We have two employee resource groups, and we are working this year to expand those programs. We have opportunities for employees to speak to their managers and their executive teams in different ways throughout the company with open door policies and online opportunities.

But the real reason why we are committed to inclusivity and diversity is because we want to be a reflection of our community and be a good corporate citizen so that people are proud to work here. We want companies are proud to be a partner with Samsung, and that our community values and the fact that we are here, hopefully making a difference.

RecognizeGood: So being a good corporate citizen goes beyond just giving back to the community. It’s your reputation internally too! With thousands of people passing through the doors every day, it can be hard managing that reputation and building that trust for the community. Would you consider having that reputation and that trust one of the benefits to kind of going above and beyond to make sure everybody has a wonderful experience during their time there?

Michele: For Samsung, being an ethical company is centered on doing the right thing for the right reason, like every good ethical company. It does build your brand. It provides trust for your employees, but also trust for your customers in the community – for us, while we are focused on trying to make sure that our employees have a great place to work, we also want our community to believe that this is a great place to work and that we are sharing our lessons and our employee time, talent and treasure with the community. It’s a wonderful ecosystem of support and trust.

If our employees trust us, we trust them and then the community can trust us as. Our leadership team believes that being a good ethical company is more than just doing the right thing.

It is building an atmosphere that permits employees to provide feedback. It creates an atmosphere where our partners, our vendors, and everyone who works onsite knows that they can be safe and that they can be who they want to be. In addition, it also allows us the opportunity to reach out to our community and build this wonderful ecosystem of strong relationships and partnerships and trust.

It is really an honor to be here in Austin, Texas, because we are at the heart of trying to advance key social issues, key ethical issues and make the Austin and Central Texas community better than it’s ever been before.


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About RecognizeGood

RecognizeGood: THE Foundation (commonly known as simply RecognizeGood) is a local nonprofit that provides a means for individuals, businesses and other nonprofits to illuminate selfless volunteers, charitable acts and community service throughout the greater Austin area. There are several active RecognizeGood programs that work toward this mission from different angles, but the common theme is simple – the illumination of GOOD in our community.