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 13.4% for women in technical positions in fiscal 2020.
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: In-house Training System for Development of Human Resources (PDF: 12.7KB)
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.
Murata’s job rotation system not only increases the motivation of the employees and assists in their development, but also contributes to creating the groundwork to enable us to tackle management issues with Murata worldwide working as one.
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, the officers first engaged in a discussion while also implementing training for the human resources representatives. Going forward the training participants will be expanded to the employees as we strive to promote further understanding.
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.
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
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
Murata promotes a healthy business management which enables its employees to feel healthy while spending a fulfilling life. In April 2019, Murata announced “Murata Health Declaration” which represents the relationship between the company’s management philosophy and employee health.
President Norio Nakajima
Health Management Plan
To sincerely support our employees’ health, Murata has formulated the “Murata Health Management Plan” as a mid-term guideline in April 2019. After this, we have faced great changes such as the reformation of our internal organization which includes the integration of Health Insurance Societies and establishment of the Sustainability Department as well as the spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19). We decided to revise this plan to 2020 in response to our employees’ changes in awareness following environmental changes related to “health and safety” both inside and outside the company. With “practical and healthy management” as our concept, we have improved the content based on the current situation by setting our goals again. We had asked our employees to volunteer, and as a result, we ended up having over 40 members volunteer to review our plans. A variety of members from the Murata Group's 11 business sites in Japan, including occupational health proffesions (occupational physicians and occupational health nurses), administrative staff in the health promotion function, and the head office safety function and health insurance societies, held discussions for several months. Halfway through, members of the Murata Group’s human resources function and safety function joined the health management plan discussions, and integrated perspectives of various functions into the plan. We have formulated 4 plans based on the mental and physical states of our employees that were acquired through data and everyday health management tasks.
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 56 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 actions as they approach the dining hall, 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.
COVID-19 education for employees in the Philippines
(2) Stabilization of the mental and physical states of our employees
COVID-19 has greatly changed our work environment, relationship with others, and how we communicate. We prioritize “care for the mental and physical states of our employees” to maintain a sense of belonging to Murata by relieving stress and anxiety caused due to the infection.
Our members from top management have continued to state that business operations are being performed by prioritizing safety, security, and health while offering respect and gratitude for the daily efforts of our employees and support from their families. In addition, we have published easy-to-understand information on COVID-19 that was gathered by our in-house health nurses on our in-house intranet and newsletter (Japanese, English, Chinese).
At our offices in Europe and the United States, which were the quick to shift operations to remote working, we have been distributing e-mail newsletters as a tool for connecting employees. It features photos, articles, and messages from the managers. In Japan, the Human Resources Department compiled specific advice on communication and labor management under the issuance of a state of emergency and shared it with managers. Each workplace makes efforts to create a sense of teamwork, such as setting up time for online small talk. A collection of remote work knowhow (in Japanese and English) was issued for all employees to encourage staying healthy while continuing to work from home. Later, the safety, human resource, and health promotion functions cooperated to create a self-assessment tool for remote work environments and health conditions. In addition, we are proactively implementing individual interviews that are hosted by occupational health professions for employees that are anxious about their mental and physical states.
Currently, online information sessions concerning COVID-19 are being hosted by occupational physicians. Employees from partner companies have also joined these information sessions. The documents available through these sessions can be shared with the families of participating employees. In the event that there is a department where someone tests positive, the managers play a central role in reminding others not to discriminate or show bias to protect the human rights of the person who tested positive. At the same time, if their colleagues are extremely anxious about the situation, an industrial physician will establish an opportunity for questions and answers concerning the novel coronavirus to encourage the proper understanding of the coronavirus and create a reassuring workplace environment. Through these initiatives, we have been capable of maintaining the teams’ sense of reliability and unity at various worksites.
(3) With the local community
As a member of the local community, we have contemplated and executed what Murata is capable of under these circumstances. We value confirming and supporting the needs of the local community. During the first wave of infections, we provided support by distributing thermometers and over 160,000 surgical masks to each of our bases in Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In Europe, we donated equipment such as ventilators and equipment for intensive care units to hospitals. After that, we had shifted our focus to system support. We have been engaged in donation activities for each municipality with aims to support medical treatment sites that are under extreme pressure. In addition, we are preparing support for students that are having difficulties continuing with academic activities due to the distressful circumstances of COVID-19. Izumo Murata manufacturing recieved a messeage from a student who received our support saying, "I can't return anything directly, but I think that studying hard for the future will respond to my wishes, so I will do my best even more."
“Social distancing” is a keyword we often hear during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we feel a strong connection and bond with people of various regions.
- Mental health
- “Enhancement of stress management” is one of our health management plans. We are engaging this plan by setting our sights on correspondence to the effects of COVID-19. After discovering which levels are affected most and require support, we have introduced an online self-care training program for new recruits at our worksites with a high ratio of remote workers. We feared we wouldn’t be able to realize the problems these new recruits may have since they had been assigned to work remotely without having had the chance to build relationships with their colleagues. This training program aims to have our employees understand the importance of stress coping methods and consulting with others when feeling anxious. It offered educational opportunities on methods such as self-care through group work. Since we were able to confirm the effects through questionnaires concerning the training program and follow-up interviews, we are planning to implement self-care training programs for mid-career employees who are in similar enviroments.
- Health event
- We are hosting health education classes as opportunities to reflect on one’s health so each participant would be able take care of themselves more effectively by understanding their health conditions. This is an initiative that is based on “Implementation of health policies conforming to data and actual conditions of employees” of the health management plan. For example, during our health education classes held in 2020 at the head office, based on data analysis results, we picked up characteristic health issues by gender, targeting age groups that are about to reach an age in which various health issues occur. We provided our male employees opportunities to consider their health by reflecting how they spend their daily lives through categories including exercise, eating habits, and sleep. We provided our female employees opportunities to gain basic knowledge on various conditions such as hormonal balance that are exclusive to women. We aimed to enable our employees to actively join these programs by utilizing chat and voting functions that can only be performed online.
- Smoking measures
- As a health management initiative, we have been promoting measures for smoking since 2018. Through collaborations with the Health Insurance Society, we are expanding the smoking cessation program and are creating an environment to prevent passive smoking. In the last few years, we have stopped selling cigarettes in our concession stands and vending machines, hosted health events, implemented counseling for all smokers, posted no smoking posters, and closed our indoor smoking areas.
Fukui Murata Manufacturing puts effort into smoking measures and has implemented awareness surveys 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 of labor and management, and set a goal based on the results of the awareness surveys. Aiming to achieve its goal for a “fully smoke-free business site after April 2024,” Fukui Murata Manufacturing has held promotional activities that provide knowledge on smoking cessation and passive smoking by hosting events for employees and their families as well as inviting Rakugoka (comic storytellers) to give health lectures, closed its in-door smoking areas, and held no in-door smoking days (once a month). As a countermeasure for COVID-19, all in-door smoking areas were closed in April 2020, but Fukui Murata Manufacturing is continuing its promotional activities that provide knowledge on passive smoking as well as smoking cessation support.
- Support for expatriates
- Murata, as a globally active company, has numerous employees that often go on overseas business trips as well as expatriates. We are enhancing our health follow-up system so that our employees can lead safe, secure, and healthy lives while overseas. Medical interviews are implemented by industrial physicians to confirm the physical conditions of our employees that are bound for long-term overseas business trips before they travel. Information is distributed by publishing the “First-time guide for overseas business trips,” which includes precautions concerning overseas business trips, on the in-house intranet. Through cooperations between the global human resources department and the health management office, we have implemented seminars that cover risk management, health management, and mental health aspects to be aware of while living abroad for expatriates and their families. Participants have stated that they were able to further understand life overseas and that these seminars helped them get rid of anxiety. After arriving, we have implemented regular medical examinations and stress checks once a year, and have provided support based on the results.
- Balanced support system for both cancer treatment and work
- Today, cancer is a disease that enables patients to work while they receive treatment at hospitals. However, if going through chemotherapy, patients are required to secure time to receive periodic treatment and it is difficult to continue treatment while working at the same pace prior to receiving treatment. As a measure for these time constraints, we have introduced a support system that balances treatment and work for employees that regularly go to the hospital for cancer treatment while they work.
- Sleep improvement initiative
- At Okayama Murata Manufacturing, we are improving the sleep of employees that integrated health management and QC activities. Because there are processes which handle dangerous substances at Okayama Murata Manufacturing, thus far we have been actively undertaking safety measures in terms of the equipment and environment and policies to increase the employees' safety awareness. To achieve further improvement, we incorporated health perspectives and decided to focus on the drowsiness of the employees performing the work. In order to assess the actual health status of the employees, we decided to utilize objective data in addition to their subjective impressions (medical interviews). Accordingly, we used the fatigue stress detector(*) developed by the company to measure the condition of the autonomic nervous system from vital data consisting of the heart rate and pulse. We were able to visualize the effects of fatigue recovery by acquiring data before and after sleep. As a result, we learned that the fatigue recovery results differed even when taking the same type of rest. Therefore, to improve the quality of sleep which leads to fatigue recovery, we had the employees (1) refrain from using smartphones within one hour before sleeping and (2) take a bath one hour before going to bed and then compared the before and after results. In the results, the average sleep time increased by 1.8 hours, and a reduction fatigue was seen in the employees (improvement in the condition of the autonomic nervous system). Visualizing their mental and physical condition with the fatigue stress detector made the employees more careful about their daily life rhythms and improved their health awareness. Going forward, we hope to carry out other initiatives based on actual worksite conditions.
*Link: Fatigue stress detector
Health management in numbers
- Rate of employees receiving regular medical examinations: 100%
- Rate of employees receiving stress checks: Over 98% of our employees have received stress checks in 2019.
- Participants of the self-care training for new recruits at worksites with a high rate of remote workers: There were 187 participants.
- Participants of the information sessions concerning COVID-19 held by industrial physicians: Approximately 3,000 people participated.
(Actual results from August 2020 to March 2021)
- Certified as a Health and Productivity Management Organization, White 500
Consecutively acquired the certification from 2017 to 2021.