Responsibility to and Actions Concerning Employees
Supporting employee growth and respecting diversity
At Murata, we regard CS and ES* as important values, and we seek to realize innovation through continuous emphasis and improvement in the areas. To us, CS means “continuing to create and provide value that is recognized by the customer.” And ES means that “every employee achieves satisfaction and continuing growth through the performance of their work duties.” We strive to be a company in which these goals can be realized in employees’ jobs daily. We will continue to foster diverse environments and implement a range of initiatives toward the cultivation of this type of corporate culture. In addition, we take an employee survey during alternate years to understand the situation and initiate improvements.
* CS and ES
Generally speaking, CS means “customer satisfaction,” and ES means “employee satisfaction.” At Murata, however, we define CS as “creating and providing value” and ES as “motivation and growth.”
Recruitment and education of human resources
Recruitment of human resources
Murata seeks to recruit personnel who sympathize with our Company Philosophy and who think for themselves and act independently, perform their jobs in a way that involves the people around them and value teamwork, challenge themselves to realize ambitious goals, are conscientious and will keep at a job until it is finished, and value speed in their work. Which of these elements will be stronger depends on the person, and we believe that this contributes to diversity. In addition, to enable us to recruit diverse human resources, we seek out individuals who are full of vitality, and we actively engage in mid-career recruitment. After joining Murata Manufacturing, we interview applicants and provide training within six months of joining the company, etc. to help new employees display their potential in a new environment.
*Murata Manufacturing alone
Number of mid-career hires (people)
We have set a female employee ratio target for recruiting new graduates for engineering career-track positions of at least 10%. By conducting a variety of recruitment activities specifically searching for female recruits, such as conducting “Seminars for Rikejo” (Rikejo is a woman who majors in science.) and distributing “Pamphlets for Rikejo” at various universities and holding job fairs with only female recruiters. we achieved a ratio of 14.8% for women in technical positions in fiscal 2021.
Human resource development
At Murata, we see the fostering of human resources as our most important management objectives and we make efforts in this area on an ongoing basis. We have formulated a policy for fostering human resources as a pillar of these efforts, and we are working to ensure that the policy becomes entrenched in the company. We provide our employees with education and work opportunities that enable each individual to make the most of their strengths and unique characteristics and maximize their innate talents and abilities. Based on this policy, we offer a variety of human resources development programs and support for career formation.
Policy for fostering Human Resources
By heightening three abilities – the ability of the individual to be nurtured, the ability of superiors and the work environment to nurture, and the ability of the company to cultivate and develop – we will realize a corporate culture of mutual nurturing and development.
- The ability of the individual to be nurtured: The desire for independent growth in all of our employees
- The ability of superiors and the work environment to nurture: A nurturing mindset, management ability
- The ability of the company to cultivate and develop: Support to heighten the above two abilities.*
*The “ability of the company to cultivate and develop” refers to the provision of support to heighten both the “ability of the individual to be nurtured” and the “ability of superiors and the work environment to nurture.”
For example, we are conducting initiatives including hierarchy-based training, optional training, selective training, occupational training, and personal development programs in order to support the “ability of the individual to be nurtured.”
In addition, to support the “ability of superiors and the work environment to nurture,” we are conducting initiatives including training to enhance management ability. By means of these initiatives, we are seeking to further cultivate a corporate culture in which every individual is able to utilize their strengths and distinctive characteristics and maximize their innate talents and abilities.
Example of initiative conducted to heighten the “Ability of the individual to be nurtured”
Promotion of global talent management
Due to the expansion of production and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) outside of Japan, the ratio of employees outside of Japan has reached 60%. Accordingly, it has become our urgent mission to strengthen human resources development not only in Japan, but also globally. Consequently, we have held global human resources meetings since fiscal 2013 in order to discuss andexecute various measures including promotion of talent management along with staff in charge of human resources at offices outside of Japan.
- Setting Global Leadership Competency (GLC)
Clarify required competencies for global leaders for Murata
- Establishing leadership development programs for the next generation
Creating a structure in which matters regarding development of leaders t are shared throughout the world with programs at the Head Office and each region
Participation by employees from all over the world in programs at the Head Office
- Introducing global unified evaluation system for managers
Introducing a system that incorporates GLC in order to instill a culture that values human resource development
Going forward, we will continue to disseminate GLC as globally shared human resource requirements while applying it to global human resource development and allocation of the right people in the right positions.
Examples of initiatives conducted to heighten the “Ability of superiors and the work environment to nurture”
Initiatives to enhance management ability
Murata actively conducts initiatives aimed at enhancing the management ability of its managers. One of these is Murata Management Basic (MMB) training, a program spanning approximately eight months that involves group training and repeated practice in the actual workplace. Members of our management team from across the entire range of job types and departments in the Murata Group participate. In addition to teaching participants the basics of management, the aim of the program is to strengthen mutual bonds between participants by encouraging them to discuss a variety of issues. The program was initiated in 2008 and, as of the end of FY2020, had provided training to a total of 1,692 participants. We are also holding workshops at various locations in order to deepen understanding of the importance of developing a mindset that recognizes that the responsibility for fostering management candidates is their own, and of consciously providing subordinates with work and encouraging self-reflection and introspection.
Link: Murata's human resource development and training systems
Support for career formation that utilizes the individual’s distinctive characteristics
At Murata, we have established mechanisms enabling employees possessing a diverse range of value systems, experiences, and abilities to think independently about their own careers.
We offer young employees a “Career Formation Program.” We conduct career interviews and provide opportunities for employees and the company to think together along the axes represented by the employee’s future job and individuality. Based on the results, we conduct job rotation, enabling the employees to expand their abilities by enlarging their perspectives and networks and gaining new experiences in a new workplace.
Furthermore, for mid-level employees, we have introduced a personnel management system by contribution course. In this system, each person’s expected contribution (management, specialist personnel, etc.) is made clear, and evaluations and development are realized in accordance with that contribution. For employees at the middle level or above, we will conduct annual career workshops to enable these employees to think independently about what work means to them and their ideal vision of themselves, and to take action to move toward those goals, and we will provide career interviews with company career counselors to employees who so desire. By these means, we will encourage these employees to think for themselves about how they can utilize their own strengths and natural abilities to continue contributing to the company’s performance; it will help them to continue expanding and developing those strengths and natural abilities.
*Results for Murata Manufacturing
Career training implementation results for the core layer
Developing world-class engineers
For Murata, the basis of research and development is vertical integration of technologies. While engineers are specialists in their unique technological areas, they are also required to gain extensive knowledge in other related fields.
As an educational program aimed at improving the skills of its engineers, Murata offers engineering education courses.
Our top in-house engineers in each field act as instructors and cooperate in offering standard, basic, and specialist courses, thereby supporting the development of engineers. In addition, by holding in-house lecture meetings led by visiting lecturers, Murata also provides engineers with opportunities to be exposed to advanced technical information from outside the Murata Group as well as academic information. Large numbers of engineers from throughout Murata’s locations in Japan take the engineering education courses, which help them to develop their own abilities. In the future, we also intend to increase the availability of engineering education courses throughout our offices.
Global personnel rotation
Anticipating future overseas expansion of our business, Murata is increasing its employment of human resources globally. We are advancing the active utilization of these human resources, and in FY2007 we established a job rotation system that seeks to put the right person in the right place on a global level. This system places employees in Murata locations other than their local region. As of FY2020, the system had rotated a total of 958 people. Furthermore, during fiscal 2020 the number of dispatched employees decreased year on year due to the impact of immigration restrictions, etc. resulting from the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.
In the near future, even within the rotation system, we will pay more attention on especially increasing the work experience ratio at other sites for overseas indirect employees. We aim to increase this ratio from 5% in fiscal 2020 to 7% by fiscal 2024 and 10% by fiscal 2030, in order to promote the use of human resources with work experience at other overseas sites, and to create opportunities for global interaction. We will manage the organization with a greater focus on autonomy, comprehensiveness, and progress through developing human resources with diverse viewpoints and experiences.
Promotion of diversity and inclusion
Seeking to realize innovation through a diverse workforce
Diversity and inclusion at Murata means the acceptance and utilization not only of diversity in terms of visible characteristics such as gender, age, and race, but also of traits such as thought, knowledge, experience, and viewpoint. We believe that this approach leads to greater growth of the individual, and hence of the company, which is the sum of the individuals that make it up.
Based on the slogan “Innovator in Electronics,” shared by all Murata employees, Murata is advancing diversity and inclusion, seeking to realize further innovation, the creation of new products through novel ideas and free thinking, through the application of diverse human resources.
Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion
At Murata, we are promoting diversity and inclusion along three axes: “activities to entrench diversity and inclusion,” “diversity of management styles,” and “implementation of measures to support diverse human resources.”
*M-DIP is a committee established by Murata Manufacturing in 2016 in order to enable us to make full use of the diverse knowledge,abilities, and viewpoints possessed by our employees. Applications for membership on the committee are called for within the company. Among the activities for the promotion of diversity and inclusion conducted by the members of the committee are the establishment of websites, the holding of lecture meetings, and the organization of meetings to promote dialogue.
Promotion of women in the workplace
Until the present, Murata has recruited diverse human resources, expanded initiatives including a system supporting the realization of work-life balance, and supported the creation of environments and the implementation of career formation initiatives that allow the independent development and utilization of the diverse abilities possessed by individual employees. Going forward, with inclusion as one of the pillars of our efforts alongside diversity and independence, we will foster an organizational culture and awareness that accept different viewpoints and ways of thinking, allowing them to mutually ignite each other’s creativity in order to realize growth for and promote innovation by each individual.
Regarding the promotion of women in the workplace, we will facilitate women taking on a greater role under the approach described above. Previously at Murata Manufacturing, we established a target of "a 10% ratio of women in technical fields in new graduate career-track hiring." Going forward, we are accelerating our efforts by adding a new goal of "a 10% ratio of women in managerial positions by 2030."
*Murata Manufacturing alone
Ratio of women under each indicator
In addition, Murata is actively announcing to society that it is a company that promotes women in the workplace. During fiscal 2020, Fukui Murata Manufacturing and Sabae Murata Manufacturing registered with "Fukui Companies Promoting Women in the Workplace." Going forward, we will participate in local initiatives while also disseminating messages regarding the promotion of women and our initiatives as a company.
Employment of physically challenged
Murata is in agreement with the concept of “normalization” of the disabled, which holds that it is desirable for the physically challenged and the able-bodied to both be of use to society, with no distinction made between them. Based on this principle, we are working to expand our employment of the physically challenged and to improve our working environment from this perspective.
In addition, we established a special subsidiary called Murata Cosmos in 2020 to promote the hiring of persons with disabilities at satellite offices of each worksite while also providing seasonal hiring and other opportunities in which diverse personnel can play an active role in a manner which is both mentally and physically healthy with the goal of realizing an environment in which each individual employee can continue to work in a spirited manner.
Enhancing the job satisfaction of our older employees
Murata Manufacturing has programs in place to enhance the job satisfaction of our older employees and offers opportunities to these employees to think about their careers independently. Career Management Training, which employees receive when they turn 50, helps them to take stock of the experience, skills, and strengths they have developed up to that point, and to formulate a “second career plan” based on their personal values and how they wish to develop. After the training, a career supporter (company career counsellors) interviews these employees and then provides personal support for developing their second careers.
In addition, we have introduced an in-house application system that provides older employees with opportunities to utilize their knowledge and experience at work.
This system allows Murata organizations to call for applications from personnel with knowledge and experience in specific areas of work. It also targets people who wish to come back to work with Murata. Our aim is to make use of the expertise possessed by and to ensure that it is passed on within the company, and to provide workplaces in which older individuals are able to continue to work with satisfaction even after their retirement.
Promoting an understanding of SOGI
At Murata, we promote environmental improvements which enable people to work comfortably regardless of their SOGI (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity). During fiscal 2020, we held dialog sessions for officers and department heads to exchange opinions, and also held study sessions for human resources representatives. During fiscal 2021, we held a total of four study sessions on SOGI for supervisors and general employees, with 466 individuals attending. We will continue to hold regular study sessions on similar topics to promote employee understanding. We also continue to implement measures in facilities, such as modifying restrooms and changing rooms so that they are accessible to all regardless of SOGI.
Entrenchment of Management Philosophy that connects diverse individuals
By promoting diversity and inclusion, we believe that Murata will display strengths based on the distinctive characteristics of each individual employee. At the same time, in order to ensure that these diverse strengths resonate and generate innovation, it is more important than ever to ensure that all employees share the values that Murata has cultivated.
At Murata, beginning with training sessions organized by our executives, in which they act as lecturers to discuss Murata’s Management Philosophy (Company Philosophy), we are engaged in a variety of efforts to deepen understanding of our Company Philosophy on a global basis, for example by providing materials to promote mutual discussion in the workplace and holding workshops in all locations. In addition, when we welcome new employees who have just been hired or who have joined the Group through M&A, etc., we begin by generating a feeling of connection with Murata’s Corporate Philosophy in each individual as a member of the Murata team, making efforts to create the groundwork that will enable us to incorporate the diverse backgrounds of each individual in the practice of Murata’s Management Philosophy.
In addition, we have started new initiatives according to the environment such as providing the employees with an online opportunity to learn the Murata philosophy and the path of Murata history as well as think about the future of Murata and their own role.
Employee engagement initiatives
Since 2004, Murata has continued to reform organizational cultures in order to establish a company culture that provides both meaning and opportunities for growth to employees. At Murata, we believe that it is important for employees to feel that their work is meaningful and to continue to grow. We therefore had been conducting employee surveys at each site in order to determine and analyze issues as we continue to improve.
In fiscal 2021, we began conducting global surveys and running through a global PDCA cycle. The positive response ratio for "employee engagement" has been set as a medium- to long-term benchmark, with a goal of 70% by fiscal 2024 and 76% or higher by fiscal 2030.
Creating workplaces that promote work satisfaction
Seeking to create mentally and physically healthy environments in which diverse human resources are able to flourish
At Murata, we want our employees not only to simply to perform their jobs, but also, by through their roles in their families and in the local community, to grow as people and cultivate and attain a rich understanding of humanity and of their own careers. We recognize that the provision of an environment in which each individual employee can realize work-life balance and create value on the basis of mental and physical health is essential to the realization of these goals. In order to both increase productivity and support the realization of work-life balance, we are actively introducing systems that allow flexible ways of working, providing our employees with the choice of a diverse range of working styles.
Main support systems (Murata Manufacturing)
In response to the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children, we have introduced a variety of systems that go beyond the requirements of the law in order to support the realization of work-life balance and career continuity.
Additionally, in April 2019, we opened the Kaede nursery in Nagaokakyo City and the Murata Yumenomori nursery in Izumo City as company-run nurseries. They are aimed at supporting a smooth return to work for employees who took maternity or childcare leave, and supporting diverse work styles for employees who wish to work while raising their children.
Based on our Action Plan for the Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children, in order to support the healthy development of the children who will form the next generation, we hold events “Children’s visit days” in which employees’ children are invited to visit the company at all of our worksites. Through the experience of seeing their parent at work and touring their parent’s workplace, we are trying to give children a real sense of “work,” and to instill a feeling of gratitude toward their working parents.
Looking ahead to the Murata style of "working and leave" in the New Normal era
In order to realize the sustainable development of Murata going forward, it is essential to further increase productivity and create an environment in which employees can create value under conditions which are mentally and physically healthy and within reasonable working hours. We believe that promoting a style of work which does not easily rely on overtime working can create an environment in which personnel with diverse attributes can feel a sense of purpose while playing an active role. A telecommuting system has been employed at Murata since March 2019 for the primary purpose of improving productivity, but the spread of the novel coronavirus infection has given us the opportunity to rapidly expand working from home to completely change our way of working to one in which "everyone reporting to the office to work" is no longer routine. Amidst a significant transformation of the relationship between the company and the individual, we are once again having discussions between labor and management about the Murata style of "working and rest" in the New Normal era and revising the systems of work and leave around the concepts of "differences," "autonomy," "responsibility and obligations," and "self-selection." While discussing the ideal form of these systems for the sustainable development of Murata going forward, we will create an environment in which employees can create value under conditions which are mentally and physically healthy.
Employment system revisions from April 2021
【Primary revision details】
①Full-scale revision of the telecommuting system
- Expansion of the people that it applies to through a re-examination of the system objectives (including the objective to harmonize one's private life and work in addition to improving productivity)
- Removal of the unified upper limit on the number of times that telecommuting is implemented
- Permission to step out for personal business during telecommuting
②Revision of the flextime system
- Removal of the ban on application to child-rearing and nursing care temporary part-time workers
- Reduction of core time hours
③Increase in the number of annual paid leave days granted (from October 2021)
④Reduction in the number of prescribed working days (affiliated group companies in Japan)
Building stable relationships based on mutual trust
The Japanese Electrical Electronic & Information Union has member labor unions within Murata Manufacturing.
Recognizing that labor disputes can be resolved through mutual understanding and trust, on the basis of dialogue between parties, we strive for corporate development and for the realization of stability in employees’ lifestyles from the standpoint of both labor and management. Labor-related systems and standards are set, changed, and reviewed through discussions with the labor unions, and are carried out on a basis of mutual agreement. At domestic Group companies with no labor unions, there are organizations that represent employees known as employee associations, to which every employee other than management belongs. In addition to holding discussions and exchanging views with top management, these groups facilitate communication among employees. Meetings are held at appropriate times to explain labor-related systems and standards to management and newly appointed officers, who do not belong to unions or employee associations.
Safe and secure work environment and health management
A foundation of Murata's philosophy and the important values of “CS and ES” is the “physical and mental health of employees.” Based on this recognition, we established “safe and secure work environment and health management” as a material issue. Murata’s vision is for “all employees to be able to work while feeling that they are healthy.” To that end, we will carry out initiatives with that enable employees to concentrate on their work with peace of mind by practicing healthy and safe behavior, and ensuring that potentially dangerous situations are mitigated.
Employee health and safety (Occupational health and safety)
Occupational health and safety
We promote health and safety activities to create a workplace environment that enables employees to feel secure while doing their job. The number of workplace accidents has fluctuated since fiscal 2017, but the overall trend has been flat. We are aware of need for improvement in the safety education for the rapidly increasing number of employees and better management oversight of our rapid business expansion from several M & As. These are issues that must be tackled as a company.
Therefore, we will work to create safe and secure work environments with safety as the highest priority, raise employee awareness of hazards, and form organizations that ensure safety. Specifically, we will roll out measures across a range of perspectives, such as fostering a safety culture by holding management technical conferences (including health and safety), taking a health management approach, and reviewing risk assessment systems, improving health and safety education systems, reviewing risk assessment systems, conducting safety evaluations with external consultants, and training the next generation of health and safety managers to enhance the safety literacy of each individual. We aim to create a safety-first workplace environment and increase employees’ sensitivity and awareness through a duty to consider safety borne by all executive and management levels, as well as a duty of self-insurance borne by employees themselves.
Health and safety management
As mechanisms to prevent workplace accidents, the Murata Group uses the lessons learned from past accidents to prevent similar accidents, and verifies that operations can be conducted safely by carrying out safety inspections in relation to factors including the actual positioning of personnel and lines of flow on site, for example when completing a new building. In addition, we are conducting risk assessments that we utilize in accident prevention by identifying hidden risks in a range of daily operations at each of our worksites, evaluating the potential seriousness of accidents in advance, and examining and implementing countermeasures.
System for oversight of health and safety by our board of directors
Murata has appointed a Vice President/Director to be responsible for health and safety, and we have established a health and safety oversight system under which the Board of Directors holds discussions whenever matters for deliberation in regard to health and safety arise.
Murata Group health and safety initiatives: targets and results
In principle, the Murata Group is conducting health and safety initiatives with the realization of zero accidents as its target. As part of these efforts, we have established and are currently operating Health and Safety Committees at each of our worksites to deliberate on measures to ensure safety.
Fiscal 2019–2021 mid-term goals
●Serious accidents resulting in death or residual disability: Zero*(Target: Employees, temporary employees, manufacturing contractors, and other permanent contractors)
●Annual work-related accident rate per 1,000 people (including accidents not accompanied by lost worktime: Internal standards): No more than 1.60
Occurrence of serious accidents in fiscal 2020 and responses
In fiscal 2020, we did not experience any fatal accidents or serious accidents that resulted in employees with permanent disabilities, as was also the case in fiscal 2018.*(Target: Employees, temporary employees, manufacturing contractors, and other permanent contractors)
We will continue efforts to prevent serious work-related accidents by implementing risk-reduction measures based on risk assessments and ensuring thorough control measures by issuing company-wide notifications and conducting in-house safety patrols.
In the event of a serious work-related accident, we will respond quickly in accordance with the following procedures to prevent similar accidents.
(1) Immediately after the occurrence of an accident, the office where the accident occurred will contact the head office and provide the latest report on the accident.
(2) Immediately after receiving the report, the head office will issue the latest report on the accident to management and the entire company. Depending on the nature of the accident, it may be reported to customers.
(3) Within two weeks after the accident, the office where the accident occurred will inform the head office of the cause of the accident and details of measures to prevent recurrence.
(4) Immediately after receiving the report, head office will communicate the cause of the accident and details of the measures to prevent recurrence to management and the entire company. Depending on the nature of the accident, management and the company will discuss measures to prevent recurrence of the accident and spread them horizontally throughout the company.
(5) After the implementation of the recurrence measures is completed, the accident site and head office will hold a company-wide committee meeting attended by management to discuss the final report.
Murata Health Declaration
In April 2019, Murata announced the Murata Health Declaration, which outlines the relationship between the company’s management philosophy and employee health. In line with this, we are promoting initiatives based on our Health Management Plan.
President Norio Nakajima
Murata’s management approach pertaining to the Health Management Plan
To support employees’ health, Murata has formulated the Murata Health Management Plan as a mid-term guideline. In the review process, we discussed issues and measures based on quantitative data (health checkups, stress check results, work-related injury or illness data, etc.) and qualitative information (employees’ physical and mental conditions as gleaned through activities such as interviews and on-site monitoring). Murata’s management issues related to health are as follows: to improve the impact on the health of employees associated with global business development (dealing with time differences, shift work, etc.); to reduce work-related injury or illness that may stem from employees’ physical and mental health conditions; to help encourage and support employees in mental health wellness; and to respond to the mental and physical stress on employees caused by the spread COVID-19. To address these issues, we have established the following four plans based on the “down-to-earth health management” concept.
We continually work on refining these plans through the Plan–Do–Check–Act (PDCA) cycle, making use of the Health Management Plan Dialogue Meeting (held four times a year) established in fiscal 2021. The dialogue includes industrial health professionals and health promotion administrative staff at 27 business sites, as well as members involved in safety, HR, and the Health Insurance Societies. It is an opportunity to reflect on company-wide trends, share examples of initiatives at each business site, and consult with each other. In the Plan phase, we confirm our vision and the purpose, decide on company-wide priorities for the next year, and determine initiatives to rollout at each business site. Then, the dialogue functions as a resource to get feedback on how to do a better job in the Do phase and for reflection in the Check phase. Based on the information that comes out of the meeting, each site then moves to the Act phase and considers in which areas improvements can be made. In addition, the appointed executive regularly joins meetings with industrial physicians from across Murata and meetings with health staff (health nurses and nurses) to discuss how to proceed with Murata’s health management. We believe that these initiatives will foster a culture that encourages health and safety, increases the number of employees who can practice healthy and safe behavior, enables employees to recover quickly from mental or physical problems, and reduces work-related injury or illness.
With the health management officer as a part of the top management team, we have established the “Health and Safety Promotion Committee” and “Sustainability Department Health Support Section” as main functions. At our worksites, we are promoting healthy management through the cooperative efforts between the health management department and Health And Safety Committee. For industrial health professions, we have 16 exclusive industrial physicians as well as 60 health nurses and nurses.
Here, we introduce Murata’s initiatives in detail.
- Countermeasures for the New Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19)
- In this unprecedented situation, how are we to fulfill our social responsibilities as a parts manufacturer that supports social infrastructures that is capable of responding to customer expectations while protecting our employees? We have establishing a Crisis Management Center with the President as chief of headquarters and set 3 response guidelines that include, “prioritizing the safety of employees when considering business continuity,” “focus on both physical infection countermeasures and psychological care,” and “handling responses assuming this crisis will continue for a long period of time.” Based on these guidelines, we have set up initiatives to protect the health and safety of our employees as well as our business operation.
(1) Securing the safety and security of our employees
Under this state of anxiety and tension, we have prioritized swift maintenance of a safe work environment for our employees and employees from partner companies. At our manufacturing base in China, which was the first of our bases to face this crisis, we swiftly disinfected the worksite, created infection response manuals, and thoroughly had our employees perform temperature measurements and disinfect their hands. In the Philippines, we established 6 commitments*, created booklets with these commitments described in them, and distributed them to our employees and their families. Furthermore, we educated all 2,700 employees based on this content.
*1. Take actions to prevent infection. 2. Not going to areas where you are likely to become infected. 3. Take behavioral records. 4. Take records of your body temperature and physical condition. 5. Contact a hospital and the company if there is a possibility of infection. 6. Protect the human rights of the infected and those who have experienced high-risk contact.
Domestically, we have changed the office layout to avoid the three Cs (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings), introduced a QR code registration system to trace employee movement as they approach the dining hall and smoking areas, and installed Murata’s CO2 measuring equipment. In addition, in response to limitations to the daily activities of our employees, we have offered support for personnel systems by recommending remote work, flex work systems, and staggered commuting, as well as applying attendance restrictions for employees feeling unwell (leave compensation) and special paid holidays for temporary school closing, etc. While we have restricted overseas and domestic business trips, we have prepared various initiatives from various perspectives which enable our employees to work securely such as by recommending WEB meetings and through environmental maintenance.
In fiscal 2021, we conducted workplace vaccinations for our employees and employees of partner companies at seven locations, including the head office, with the goals of preventing the spread of infection in the workplace, reducing the strain on the community related to vaccinations, and accelerating vaccination rates. Before conducting workplace vaccinations, our industrial physicians held briefing sessions to educate employees on the advantages and risks of taking the vaccination.
Murata is promoting telecommuting amid the intermittent spikes of COVID-19 cases in Japan.
COVID-19 education for employees in the Philippines
(2) Stabilization of the mental and physical states of our employees
We are currently moving out of the early 2020 emergency response to a stage of operations under life with COVID-19. At this time, we believe that it is effective to share correct information on COVID-19 in order to alleviate employee anxiety to ensure their mental and physical well-being. Accordingly, public health nurses in the company regularly compile the latest research on COVID-19 in a manner that is easy to understand. That information is then distributed through the company intranet and company newsletter. English and Chinese versions are also created and rolled out globally. In addition, our industrial physicians hold online briefings on COVID-19 for our employees and employees of partner companies as the occasion demands. So far, we have held sessions on the basics, on vaccines before conducting workplace vaccinations, and on the Delta variant that caused the fifth wave in Japan. In addition to sharing the session materials employees’ families, we also developed videos from these briefing sessions and turned them into e-learning materials to create and created an on-demand environment where employees can learn at any time.
COVID-19 has greatly changed the work environment, relationships with people, and the way we communicate. In early 2020, we compiled and distributed best practices for employees working from home, as well as communication techniques for managers. We also sent out messages from top management and had industrial health professionals interview employees who were experiencing mental and physical challenges as a result.
In fiscal 2021, we are providing mental and physical care to gives employees a sense of security by being a member of Murata, to help alleviate the prolonged effects of COVID-19. We collected information on changes and trends with employees that arose through health management consultations in Japan, and organized the most effective ways of providing mental health care through managers or supervisors (called “line care” in Japan). We turned these examples and methods into teaching materials so that they can be utilized in workplace management and distributed them to managers to enhance line care. In addition, in departments with cases of COVID-19, managers take the lead in protecting the rights of infected persons, calling on everyone to avoid discrimination or prejudice. At the same time, if the colleagues of infected persons have a high level of anxiety, our industrial physicians provide opportunities to ask questions about COVID-19. This helps create a comfortable work environment by having a platform for accurate information to deepen an understanding of the virus. These efforts have enabled us to maintain trust and unity within our teams at many workplaces.
- Sleep improvement initiative
- One effect on the health of employees associated with the globalization of our business is poor sleep due to time differences and shift work. To address this, we worked with Dr. Kazuhiro Yagita of Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine to promote sleep improvement by utilizing the theories of circadian rhythm and biological clock. We started this collaboration in July 2021. We are now improving the ability of our industrial health professionals to address questions about sleep and are revamping sleep training materials. We will also use Murata’s fatigue/stress meter* to make this initiative more effective. The fatigue/stress meter was used to improve sleep among employees at Okayama Murata Manufacturing through an initiative that integrated health management and QC activities. As Okayama Murata Manufacturing has processes that handle dangerous goods, we had been actively working on safety measures in terms of equipment and the environment, as well as measures to raise employee safety awareness. We incorporated a health perspective to make further improvements, and focused on employee drowsiness while working. To better understand the state of employees’ health, we used objective data in addition to employee subjectivity (medical questionnaire). We therefore decided to measure the state of the autonomic nervous system based on two vital data points, heart rate and pulse, using a fatigue/stress meter developed by Murata. By acquiring data before and after sleep, it is possible to visualize sleep’s fatigue recovery effect. The results showed that fatigue recovery outcomes were different even if people got the same amount of sleep. To improve the quality of sleep, we had people do two things: (1) not use a smartphone within one hour of going to bed, and (2) take a hot bath one hour before bedtime. We then made a before and after comparison. The result was that the average sleep time increased by 1.8 hours, and employee fatigue reduction (improvement of autonomic nervous system condition) was also seen. Using the fatigue/stress meter to visualize their physical and mental condition helped employees become more mindful of their lifestyle habits and improve their overall health awareness. Going forward, we will continue to make efforts in line with the actual situation at our sites.
*Link: Fatigue stress detector
- Mental health
- “Better stress management” is one aspect of our health management plans. After identifying which levels of our organization are affected most by COVID-19 and in need of support, we introduced an online self-care training program for new recruits working remotely. We were initially concerned that we would not be able to notice the challenges that the new recruits may have, as working remotely limited their opportunity to build relationships with colleagues. The purpose of the training program was to have employees understand the importance of stress-coping methods and reaching out to others, rather than feeling anxious alone. The training delivered coping methods such as self-care through group work. Since we were able to confirm the positive impact through a questionnaire, we are planning to implement a self-care training program in fiscal 2021 for mid-career employees who are in similar situations.
- Support for expatriates
- As a global business, Murata has numerous employees who travel overseas as well as expatriates. Since fiscal 2020, we have enhanced our health follow-up system so that our employees can lead safe, secure, and healthy lives while overseas. Our industrial physicians check the health status of employees bound for long-term overseas business trips, and interview those who need it before they travel. Useful information is provided through the “First-time guide for overseas business trips,” which includes precautions concerning such trips, that are posted on the company intranet. The Global Human Resources Department and the Health Management Office work together to hold seminars for expatriates and their families that cover risk management, health management, and mental health aspects to be aware of while living abroad. Participants have commented that the seminars gave them a deeper understanding of life overseas and helped alleviate concerns. After employees go abroad, we provide annual health checkups year, as well as follow-up support based on the results. In fiscal 2021, our health nurses are conducting self-care training for expatriates who are under increased stress due to difficulties in traveling to and from Japan. To date, this training has been provided at sites in Singapore, India, and Europe. Through these initiatives, we are creating an environment where our employees can work overseas in good health and with enthusiasm.
- Health events
- We hold health education classes as an opportunity to reflect on one’s own health so that all Murata employees can take care of themselves more effectively. This initiative is based on “Implementation of health policies conforming to data and actual conditions of employees,” one of our health management plans. For example, during our health education classes held at the head office in 2020, we covered gender and age-related health issues. We provided our male employees with education on lifestyle choices such as, exercise, eating habits, and sleep. We provided our female employees with education on topics specific to women, such as hormonal balance. We leveraged chat and voting features, to enable employees to proactively participate in these online programs.
- Anti-smoking measures
- We have been promoting anti-smoking measures as one of our health management initiatives since 2018. In collaboration with the Health Insurance Societies, we are expanding our smoking cessation program while also creating an environment to prevent passive smoking. Over the past few years, we have stopped the sale of cigarettes in our in-house shops and vending machines, held health events, implemented counseling for all smokers, put up no-smoking posters, and closed our indoor smoking areas. In cooperation with the Health Insurance Societies, we also introduced a smoking cessation program using ICT.
Fukui Murata Manufacturing conducted an awareness survey related to smoking for all its employees following its approval of the “Echizen City Declaration of Measures Against Cigarettes.” In addition, it established a committee for passive smoking countermeasures that includes both smokers and non-smokers from labor and management, and set a goal based on the results of the awareness survey. Aiming to achieve its goal of a “fully smoke-free business site after April 2024,” Fukui Murata Manufacturing has been holding promotional activities that provide smoking cessation and passive smoking, such as events for employees and their families as well as health lectures given by rakugoka (comic storytellers), closing its indoor smoking areas, and holding monthly No Indoor Smoking Days. As a countermeasure for COVID-19, all indoor smoking areas have been closed as of April 2020, but Fukui Murata Manufacturing is continuing its educational activities as well as smoking cessation support.
- Support system for balancing cancer treatment and work
- Because of advancements made, certain cancer patients can still work while receiving treatment. Nevertheless, the reality is that there are barriers to continuing treatment while working the same as before, such as the need for time off for regular hospital visits. To help alleviate certain challenges, we introduced a support system for employees who work while regularly going to a hospital for cancer treatment.
Health management in numbers
Indicators for health management initiatives
Indicators for awareness and behavioral change
- Rate of employees receiving regular health checkups (Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.): 100% of employees received health checkups in fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020.
- Rate of employees receiving stress checks (Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.): Over 98% of employees received stress checks in fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020.
- Number of participants in the self-care training for new recruits at worksites with a high rate of people working from home (Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.): 187 participants in fiscal 2020 and 143 in fiscal 2021.
- Number of COVID-19 information sessions attendees conducted by industrial physicians (Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.): Approx. 3,000 people participated in fiscal 2020 and approx. 4,800 in fiscal 2021.
- Sleep improvement indicator: Percentage of respondents on a health checkup questionnaire to the item, “I feel rested after sleep.” (Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.): In fiscal 2019, 69% of respondents replied that they feel rested after sleep, and 71% did so in fiscal 2020.
- Percentage of respondents who answered that they are healthy, in their subjective view of health (Murata Group): In fiscal 2019, 77% of respondents replied that they are healthy, and 78% did so in fiscal 2020.
- Certification as a Health and Productivity Management Organization, White 500:
Consecutively acquired the certification from 2017 to 2021.
Intellectual property rights of employees