Interview - May 13, 2019

How to Utilize Human Resources: Interview with Hiroshi Ogasawara, President of Yaskawa Electric (2/2)

Interview with Hiroshi Ogasawara, President of Yaskawa Electric Corporation

Yaskawa Electric is a company in which employees feel rewarded

  Yaskawa Electric is a world-class builder of industrial robots, servo motors, and inverters.  President Hiroshi Ogasawara is responsible for employees’ development and he focuses on the utilization and training of human resources. Ogasawara has been promoting the reform of working practices and the key points he says, “it is important to introduce an evaluation system that balances rights and obligations, equality and fairness, freedom and responsibility, and to make employees feel a sense of worth when working for the company.  This is why our evaluation system should be digitalized.”

―― You are responsible for development in human resources. Please tell us about your efforts to utilize and train employees.

Our policy of reforming working practices is to make this a company in which employees can feel rewarded.  The work environment and the work style differ from person to person.  Our company has been establishing a system to enable employees to work in accordance with their individual circumstances and to evaluate these circumstances fairly.  For example, some female employees may be unable to go to a customer’s site quickly, such as during pregnancy.  In other case, there may be employees who need to take care of someone in their family.  We need to provide an environment where employees can work according to their individual situation and evaluate their work fairly since situations differ for each person.  In our company, we must balance rights and obligations, equality and fairness, freedom and responsibility.

―― This is very difficult to do.

It is also important to digitize the evaluation system. In other words, we evaluate the results, including the work process.  We prepare a job description for all jobs, define the jobs, and evaluate the degree of achievement [1].  It is OK to institutionalize various systems like telecommuting, childcare leave, and so on.  However, the system prepared by company and individual wishes don’t always match, and so this is difficult to implement.

―― As the president, what commitments to the utilization of human resources do you have?

Since I became president of the company, we have conducted a monthly questionnaire on employee satisfaction for approximately 2,500 employees.  We regularly ask if they receive adequate explanations from their supervisors about the company’s current policies and business activities.  A small number of people answer negatively.  They maybe don’t have a good working relationship with their boss or are unhappy at work. It could also be that the work is not suitable for them.  We are working to resolve the cause of this.

―― The fact that employees are able to express their “negative opinions” in a questionnaire makes Yaskawa Electric’s corporate culture stand out.

It is important to resolve problems if employees are dissatisfied.  If our company does not want to solve a problem, nothing will change.  When employees write, “I would like to say to the president…” or “I would like to ask the president…” in the free space of the questionnaire, I always answer their questions by myself. I think this is important, although it is difficult to produce visible results.

―― What other policies do you utilize?

Interactive meetings have been held for a long time.  Executives and General  Managers including myself always have opportunities to discuss issues with employees. I often have these meetings over lunch with five to six people for about two hours or so.  I explain the current situation of the company and think about the content, requests, and issues depending on the parties gathered.  I say what I want to say, and hear what they want to say.  I prepare the documents for this meeting by myself.  I meet and talk directly with at least one hundred people every year.

[1] editor’s note: Most of Japanese companies do not have detailed job descriptions traditionally.

 

Insights     Shu Yasumi, editor-in-chief

A strong company has some rational and universal reasons as be strong.  Yaskawa Electric established more than 100 years ago and they have always been a company which has not been afraid to make changes in its long history.  Also, the past and current presidents have very strong leaderships and emphasize on utilizing human resources.  That is, “make changes”, “leadership” and “human resource utilization” would be positive key words to survive in next 100 years. Very universal.

▶How to Utilize Human Resources: Yaskawa Electric is a company in which employees feel rewarded(1/2)

Source: SEISANZAI MARKETING Magazine May 2019 issue

This article was translated by “T-4OO”.

Share On :

Recommended

Interview
- May 10, 2019

How to Utilize Human Resources: Interview with Hiroshi Ogasawara, President of Yaskawa Electric Corporation(1/2)

Interview with Hiroshi Ogasawara, President of Yaskawa Electric Corporation Yaskawa Electric is a company in which employees feel rewarded   Yaskawa Electric is a world-class builder of industrial robots, servo motors, and inverters. ...

News
- May 16, 2018

AI technology exhibition for the manufacturing industry

The Second AI EXPO was held in Tokyo Big Sight from April 4 to April 6, 2018.  Approximately 46,000 people came from a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, telecommunications, and services.  Attention was focused on exhibition...

News
- January 20, 2018

Focus on teach-less technology at a special exhibition

"2nd Robodex" exhibition on robot development and utilization was held at Tokyo Big Sight on January 17 to 19,2018.  A total of 114,000 people attended the four exhibitions held at the same time. A technology that attracted attention was...

Interview
- May 13, 2019

How to Utilize Human Resources: Interview with Hiroshi Ogasawara, President of Yaskawa Electric (2/2)

Interview with Hiroshi Ogasawara, President of Yaskawa Electric Corporation Yaskawa Electric is a company in which employees feel rewarded   Yaskawa Electric is a world-class builder of industrial robots, servo motors, and inverters....

News
- October 5, 2017

Yaskawa launches a new automation concept

On October 5, 2017, Yaskawa Electric announced that it would launch a new solution concept, i3-Mechatronics, to automate and digitize plant lines. The concept is a total solution that combines the company's products, such as servo, inver...

Most Popular

1

News
- April 20, 2018

Mazda and Toyota tag team on U.S market strategy

On March 9, 2018, Mazda and Toyota Motors announced the establishment of a joint venture, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA (MTMUS), in Alabama. MTMUS will manufacture Toyota’s Corolla models as well as all new Mazda models, for the North A...

2

News
- December 3, 2018

Japanese motor giant invests in innovation on its home turf

On August 30, 2018, Daihatsu announced that it would construct a new plant at the Kyoto Plant in Oyamazaki Town, Kyoto Prefecture. Approximately 35billion yen is invested. The total floor area is approximately 42,000 square meters. The n...

3

News
- January 25, 2019

Honda increased production of motorcycle scooters in India

On October 4, 2018 Honda announced that it would establish a new production line at the plant of affiliated corporation in India, where motorcycles have been manufactured and sold. The new production line will be set up at the fourth plant ...

4

News
- March 27, 2019

North America Toyota makes a large investment of $ 750 million

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), Toyota Motor's affiliated corporation in North America, announced on March 15, 2019 that it would invest $750 million in five US vehicle and power train plants. TMNA intends to expand local production o...

5

News
- November 19, 2018

Japanese watch pioneer halves production costs through automation

Automated production lines for watches started operation at a plant in Yamagata CASIO, a production subsidiary of Casio.  Investments are not disclosed. Casio's long-selling digital watch "A159WA" will be manufactured on the line.  The a...

6

News
- November 21, 2018

Japanese chip manufacturer and American partners expand territory

On July 24, 2018, Toshiba Memory Corporation opened a construction ceremony for a new manufacturing building in Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture.  Total investment is expected to reach 1 trillion yen.  It boasts the largest scale in the comp...