Over the last ten years, Samsung C&T Resort Group has been developing and fine-tuning a mental well-being program and now hopes to bring “emotional vitamins” to people throughout Korea in the near future.
It has long been realized that working in the service sector can be stressful and emotionally taxing. But any kind of work can wear a person down after a while, and all workers need to be equipped with the tools to regulate their emotional state and increase their mental resilience.
An academy to train service personnel
Samsung C&T Resort Group established the Experience Innovation Academy, formerly called the Service Academy, in 1994 as a specialized workplace learning institution to train service personnel at a time when the concept of “service” was not yet strong in Korea. Through continuous research and development, the Academy devised a service philosophy and training systems for Everland, Korea’s premier theme park. The Academy is now Korea’s top institute of service training, having produced a cumulative total of 600,000 graduates so far, not just for Samsung C&T Resort Group but for public institutions and other domestic companies as well.
This year marks the 10th year of Experience Innovation Academy’s “Vitamin Camp,” an emotional welfare support program that helps workers to regulate their own emotions and trains them in mental resilience.
Originally developed for the Resort’s Groups service workers in 2014, Vitamin Camp became the first program of its kind in the Republic of Korea to give workers the emotional skills they need to do their jobs well. The program is more than theory – it includes hands-on activities using the workplace learning expertise gathered through the years while running Everland, as well as the beautiful natural scenery in and around the park.
How the program works
Samsung C&T Resort Group’s Experience Innovation Academy has developed its Vitamin Camp program in collaboration with several prominent experts in the field.
In the empathizing step, people share their feelings with other participants to learn to understand each other’s emotions. Then participants take part in physical activities or meditation to empty their minds of accumulated stress. Next, lightened of external stress factors, people fill their minds with positive emotions through a variety of activities. Lastly, participants are taught how to cultivate these good feelings even when they are back at work.
Everland’s beautiful Forest Camp, a beautiful natural preserve full of more than 300,000 trees that have been cultivated for almost half a century, is a special place where Vitamin Camp participants can “zone out” for a while, admiring and breathing in nature.
This year, to celebrate the 10th year of Vitamin Camp and to further strengthen the experience of nature, a special Forest Dome has been built of cypress wood and clear glass so that people can sit under this transparent dome and meditate, stretch, or just listen to the sounds of the natural environment while looking at the sky.
Expanding the program
For most of its existence, Vitamin Camp has been there to help workers in the service sector. However, as the importance of good mental health maintenance became more understood during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to expand the scope of the academy to also help workers in manufacturing, IT, and finance. Mental health maintenance helps to prevent workers from burning out, suffering anxiety, depression, or excessive stress.
Inquiries are now coming in from other companies and organizations because of the high levels of participant satisfaction with the program. Commenting on this, Lee Yu-ri, head of Samsung C&T’s Experience Innovation Academy, said, “We will develop a program for the whole nation to boost not just the service industry but the mental resilience of all workers.”