We consider diversity to be one of our most important management strategies as we believe that diversity and inclusion are essential for companies to attain sound growth and ensure happiness for all employees. We strive to promote diversity in order to utilize new values and ideas coming from an employee-friendly workplace that accepts different people regardless of their gender, age, disabilities or nationality.
Created Special Section to Promote Diversity
We undertook the “DIAMOND Project” in 2013 to promote women's participation and advancement in the workplace. We also created the “Diversity Promotion Section” in April 2018 in hopes of becoming the kind of company where diverse workforces are able to play a powerful role, seniors have increased involvement at work, employees have support in dealing with both childcare and nursing for the elderly, and employees with disabilities have more active roles.
Strengthening and Maintaining Initiative to Promote Active Participation of Women
As a first step to promote diversity, we started building a more female-friendly working environment in 2013. We believe the active participation of women is a driving force to change corporate culture and the minds of management and other female employees. One example of our efforts is that one female employee and her supervisor tried working together on higher level tasks. To accomplish these tasks, the supervisor helped the employee by giving advice throughout the process. We also held lectures and training sessions for all managerial staff to deepen their understanding of diversity management. Furthermore, in all departments including our domestic group companies, general managers formulated action plans that suited their own departments. We gave awards to the departments with outstanding initiatives. The action plans are not limited to the promotion of women's participation in the workplace but are being expanded to cover all areas of diversity. We are also expanded systems to create more female-friendly working environments.
Receiving approval for those activities, NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. was selected as one of the “FY2019 Nadeshiko Brands” and part of the “New Diversity Management Top 100” (sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). As a delegated promotion leader, we cooperate with Aichi Prefecture to support women's initiatives. As part of our positive action program, female employees aiming to become managers can participate in a special training programs where senior executives serve as their mentors.
Utilizing Retired Employees
Since a labor shortage is expected due to a declining birthrate and an aging population, providing job opportunities for senior citizens has become an important issue since the minimum age for receiving national pension has increased.
Starting in 2001, we have introduced a post-retirement re-employment system for retired employees so that their wealth of knowledge and expertise are effectively utilized. In fiscal 2018, 49 senior employees began taking advantage of this opportunity and 204 senior employees in total are working.
In 2018 we launched the “Platina Project” with the aim of creating an environment where all employees can continue to play an active role by enhancing their knowledge and skills while pursuing a personalized career path.
Employment of the Disabled
We established Nittoku Smile Co., Ltd. in order to promote employment of workers with disabilities and it was certified as a special subsidiary in January 2018. We aim to create a comfortable environment for workers with disabilities. The percentage of employees with disabilities in fiscal 2018 rose to 2.21%, reaching the mandated employment rate of 2.2%. Furthermore, by April 2021, we plan to achieve the mandated employment rate, which is scheduled to be increased to 2.3% and we continue to create a better working environment by expanding our business accordingly.
Next Generation Management Global Development
In order to foster leaders for the next generation, we have held a “Global Next-Generation Management Personnel Development Program” for discovering and developing people eligible as candidates for the next-generation of management regardless of nationality since 2016. We hire and recruit employees regardless of nationality and provide opportunities and environments that enable every employee to do meaningful work.
In these recent times of great change, the program is intended to offer learning opportunities to personnel who represent the next generation, and is called “HAGI” after the “Shokasonjuku” cram school located in the city of Hagi in Yamaguchi prefecture, from where many talented people went out into the world at the end of Edo period. The program operates with our company chairman as its principal.
Focus on Employing Non-Japanese Nationals
We have been working on human resource recruitment adapted to the global organization in response to rapid globalization.
Since 2013, we have started putting a particular focus on employing non-Japanese nationals in our new graduate recruitment and have consistently employed at least three non-Japanese students each year.
Moreover, recently we have not only been putting efforts into employing foreign students at Japanese universities, but also non-Japanese students who have learned Japanese at universities overseas and wish to find work in Japan.
Initiatives that Consider Work-Life Balance
We are promoting initiatives improve the work-life balance of employees. As a part of it, we have launched a “Labor Reform Committee “with both employees and employers and reviewed the work-life balance of our employees aimed at becoming a company where every employee is able to work energetically. The number of employees on child care leave is approximately 50, and 98% of female employees are eligible for paid family leave.
Recently, male employees take leave every year as well. Almost all employees returned to work after the leave. In 2015, we changed the short working hour system by extending availability from the conventional term of the first grade of elementary school to the end of the third grade. This makes it possible for the employees both to work and spend time with their children. We introduced another short working hour system for nursing care since 2017. We will continue to work creating an environment that allows our diverse staff to continue to be active in their respective workplaces.