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Creating a Dynamic Work Environment

  • NSK's Approach
  • Human Rights & Diversity
  • Human Resources System
  • Resources Development Programs
  • Safety and Health Care
  • Work-Life-Balance
  • Labor Relations

NSK's Approach

NSK's Approach: Creating Workplaces Where Employees Feel Job Satisfaction

The NSK Group's Management Principles clearly state that the Group seeks, “To provide challenges and opportunities to our employees, channeling their skills and fostering their creativity and individuality.” The Group sees human resources as the foundation of its business. This is why the Group strives to create work environments where employees can work enthusiastically and enjoy ever-increasing job satisfaction. The Group also works constantly to globally develop human resources who will lead the Group in the future.

Figure 1. Creating a Dynamic Work Environment
Figure 1. Creating a Dynamic Work Environment

Making the most of diverse human resources

  • Realization of diversity
  • Facilitating a work-life balance

Creating environments where employees can work with vitality

  • Respect of fundamental rights at work
  • Creating secure, safe, and comfortable workplaces

Providing opportunities and workplaces that foster the growth of self-motivated employees

  • Realization of talent management
  • Providing workplaces that foster self-development and offer educational opportunities

Global Human Resources Strategy

With the global expansion of the NSK Group's business, the strengthening of cooperation between bases in and outside Japan has become more important than ever. Accordingly, production, technology, sales, and other departments within the Group have been cooperating across borders to conduct education that contributes to the standardization and upgrading of services provided to customers.

Furthermore, since fiscal 2006 NSK has been holding global human resources conferences attended by the heads of human resources departments from each region worldwide in order to maintain close cooperation with bases outside Japan and push its global human resources strategy forward. Conference participants exchange information and discuss a wide range of issues, including their respective human resources systems and human resources development programs.

Human Rights and Diversity

1. Respect of Fundamental Rights at Work

1) Basic Approach

Respecting the fundamental rights of workers is one of the most important ways for the NSK Group to fulfill its social responsibility as a corporate citizen and employer operating a global business. As such, the Group is committed to conducting business in a way that respects every individual.

(1) Prohibiting Discrimination and Respecting Fundamental Rights at Work

Respecting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the NSK Group promotes activities based on the declaration's ideas. Having clearly stated its aim “to provide challenges and opportunities to our employees, channeling their skills and fostering their creativity and individuality” in its Management Principles, the Group also defines the “prohibition of unfair discrimination” and “respect for basic fundamental rights at work” in the NSK Code of Corporate Ethics. Prohibiting discrimination-on the basis of race, appearance, belief, gender, social status, lineage, ethnicity, nationality, age or disability-as well as harassment, forced labor and child labor, the Group creates workplaces where diverse human resources can work enthusiastically while working hard to provide equal opportunity in recruitment, job assignment, evaluations and other employment issues.

In addition to making the concepts with regard to NSK's approach to human rights better known among its employees, the NSK Group identifies acts to the contrary through internal audits and its internal reporting system and, when necessary, implements initiatives such as the taking of rapid appropriate action.

(2) Employment that Preserves the Stability of Both Society and NSK

As a corporate group that is committed to monozukuri (quality manufacturing), the NSK Group pursues sustainable growth. This is why the Group approaches employment from a long-term perspective and also why it believes that it is essential to continually recruit and develop outstanding human resources who will be able to carry the business forward. The Group has also established a policy to prevent big layoffs and engages in appropriate employment practices in accordance with the laws and ordinances of each country and region where a business site is located.

(3) Labor-Management Relations Based on Dialogue

2. Fostering an Organization that Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

1) Basic Approach

The NSK Group is striving to develop a corporate culture and work environment where each and every one of its diverse members can experience job satisfaction by being empowered to make the most of their abilities and individuality regardless of nationality, age, or gender.

NSK considers diversity and inclusion a source of competitive strength that holds the key to the future and believes that employees from diverse backgrounds in regard to gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, culture, lifestyle, and values can contribute different abilities and strengths. This gives rise to new perspectives, approaches, and ideas, can lead to stronger corporate competitiveness, and help avoid risk.

The NSK Group is striving to create an organization and culture that embraces diversity by hiring and promoting outstanding human resources regardless of their nationality, race, gender, or other traits. Its goal is to enhance education and training systems that encourage understanding of NSK's corporate culture, to allow diverse human resources to work enthusiastically while sharing NSK values, and to help individuals achieve personal growth along with the growth of the NSK Group.

(1) Diversity Roadmap and Priority Measures from the Fifth Mid-Term Management Plan (2016 - 2018)

In its drive to promote diversity and inclusion, NSK has separated the decade from 2016 to 2026 into three stages. The first three years-the period of the company's Fifth Mid-Term Management Plan (2016 to 2018)-has been designated as a period for changing awareness. During this stage each employee will work to recognize the importance of diversity and take action to achieve the company's goal of fully embracing individuals from different backgrounds.

Figure 1. Roadmap for Promotion of Diversity Management
Figure 1. Roadmap for Promotion of Diversity Management

During the Fifth Mid-Term Management Plan, our initiatives are based on the following four priority areas:

  • Priority area 1: Fostering an understanding of diversity & inclusion.
  • Priority area 2: Supporting employees with childcare and nursing care responsibilities
    Work-Life-Balance
  • Priority area 3: Supporting career advancement for women
  • Priority area 4: Reforming working style   Work-Life-Balance

(2) Diversity Promotion System

NSK established a Diversity Development Team in 2006, and has been working to create workplace environments that support the work-life balance of employees. In order to further enhance diversity promotion, the initiatives of the Diversity Development Team were strengthened in 2015, followed by establishment of the Diversity Promotion Office in 2016., The Diversity Promotion Office encourages the creation of diversity initiatives at NSK by developing measures with a focus on priority areas so that all employees can maximize their abilities and work with enthusiasm.

(3) Promoting Understanding of Diversity and Inclusion

In order to foster an organization that respects and embraces diverse human resources and their values, the following initiatives are being promoted to help every employee understand the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Main Initiatives Include:
  • Strengthening executive commitment (diversity training for officers, messages on diversity from the president)
  • Implementing diversity seminars
  • Holding LGBT* seminars

*LGBT is an inclusive term for sexual minorities which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

2) Global Human Resource Utilization

Under its Management Principles, the NSK Group works “to provide challenges and opportunities to our employees, utilizing their skills and encouraging their creativity and individuality” and “to manage our business from an international perspective and to develop a strong presence throughout the world.” In order to achieve business efficiency from an optimal viewpoint while promoting the localization of operations that are spread across the world, two key themes are developing management human resources who possess global views━regardless of their nation and region of origin━and the recruitment and training of local human resources to support those leaders. For this reason, the NSK Group aims to appoint outstanding employees, irrespective of their nationality, race, or gender, etc., who fully understand the characteristics of the regions concerned. NSK also actively plans exchange of personnel across national and regional boundaries, and aims to optimize human resource utilization on a global basis.

3) Supporting Women's Careers (Japan)

In fiscal 2015, the percentage of female employees at NSK and its group companies in Japan was 7.0%, which was low even in the traditionally male-dominated machinery industry to which NSK belongs. The percentage of women in management positions at NSK on a non-consolidated basis was also extremely low, at 1.3%. To rectify this situation, the NSK Group has launched initiatives to promote gender diversity, including measures to support career advancement for women, while also increasing the proportion of female employees recruited and investigating ways to expand the occupational scope for women. The Group will continue to foster a corporate environment where more women can play active roles by striving to improve the level of its various initiatives.

(1) Action Plan to Promote Women in the Workplace

In response to the Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, NSK reviewed its policies on the advancement of female employees, analyzed the underlying issues, and formulated an action plan based on the results.

(2) Supporting the Advancement of Women's Careers

Since 2015, NSK has been steadily implementing efforts to support career advancement for female employees. In addition to conducting training for female managers and assistant managers to change awareness and strengthen their skillsets, the company also provides special training for male managers with female subordinates in order to promote career support for women. Working-group activities are also carried out at the department level to encourage the active participation and advancement of women in the workplace. For exanple, in the sales department, for female employees has been expanded the range of activities such as discussion sessions, study meetings, and plant tours.

(3) Public Recognition with Eruboshi Status

Eruboshi is a certification granted by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to companies and organizations that are actively creating workplaces where the full participation of women is promoted. The program is based on the Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, which took effect in April 2016. NSK was recognized for its outstanding level of initiatives in all five of the evaluation categories (recruitment of women, continuing employment, work style options including working hours, female manager ratio, and diverse career advancement courses), and obtained Grade 3, the highest certification level.

Public Recognition with Eruboshi Status
Certification of “Eruboshi”

4) Employment of Seniors: Utilization of Human Resources to Support an Aging Society (Japan)

Japan's population is aging rapidly. In light of changes in the public pension system, it has become a social challenge to enable workers to have access to employment opportunities even after mandatory retirement. NSK recognizes that the knowledge and skills of experienced senior employees are beneficial in growing its business. The Company's basic policy is to provide work opportunities to healthy persons willing to work after retirement. The Company has had a reemployment program since April 2001.

The Company recently revised its reemployment program, including working conditions, to ensure stability in life, augmenting the basic policy in light of Japan's Revised Law Concerning Stabilization of Employment of Older Persons, which came into effect in April 2013.

5) Providing Work Opportunities to Persons with Disabilities (Japan)

NSK believes that one role it should perform is providing suitable work opportunities to persons with disabilities who are willing to work.

An NSK special subsidiary*1 called NSK Friendly Services Co., Ltd., in particular, provides employment opportunities where persons with intellectual disabilities can work with enthusiasm.

* A subsidiary regarded as a part of its parent company for the purpose of calculating the percentage of employment of persons with disabilities, and that has been approved by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare after fulfilling certain requirements.

A range of reference data related to the annual CSR Report is available here.

Providing Opportunities and Workplaces That Foster the Growth of Self-motivated Employees: Human Resources System Underpinning Career Advancement

1. Basic Approach: Creating Personnel Systems Suited to Globalization and Developing Human Resources

The NSK Group believes that as the globalization of business advances, it is difficult for employees to show their abilities without a workplace environment in which they can recognize and solve common challenges, spanning national borders and cultural barriers. That is why the Group designs and uses personnel systems that support business, creates training programs that bring out employees' true ability, and creates fair personnel and evaluation systems.

Assigning human resources at each location who know the local region well and creating personnel systems where employees with the ability to support a global management structure can play an active role are urgent tasks for expanding our business sustainably throughout the world. The Group will also enhance training programs which support the growth of individuals, including not only knowledge required for work, but also problem-solving skills, communication abilities, and leadership. In this way the Group aims to create workplaces where employees and organizations grow together.

Table 1. Personnel Systems and Human Resources Development for Sustainable Business
  • Responding to business globalization
  • Transmission of manufacturing
Creating personnel systems
  • Assigning local human resources who know the region well
  • Appoint global human resources, regardless of nationality
  • Fair evaluation system
Developing human resources
  • Develop global human resources
  • evelop professional human resources

2. Various Human Resources systems

Performance Agreement System

The NSK Group adopted a performance agreement system as a means of aligning the trajectories of the company's and individuals' goals. Employees meet regularly with their supervisors to set goals at the outset, verify interim progress, and conduct a results follow-up at the end. Further, NSK uses a questionnaire for providing feedback to employees as a means of checking that two-way communication is being achieved. NSK regards this system as an important key in human resources development and has deployed it worldwide.

Self-Reporting System

The NSK Group gives employees an opportunity to submit a self report directly to the Human Resources Department once a year, informing it of circumstances in their current workplace environment, their wishes concerning future work content, personal information that the company should know, and other concerns. Employees may have an interview with the Human Resources Department if they so desire. NSK makes strategic personnel transfers based on the outcome of the self report and interview in order to enable individuals to demonstrate their full abilities.

Internal Recruiting System

The NSK Group adopted an internal recruiting system to support employees who take the initiative to develop their careers while also invigorating the company. The offered conditions and number of people sought is announced through the Human Resources Department, to which applicants can apply directly. The system enables employees to voluntarily and proactively challenge themselves to take on work they are interested in.

Providing Opportunities and Workplaces That Foster the Growth of Self-motivated Employees: Human Resources Development Programs Underpin Growth

1. Basic Approach: Creating Personnel Systems Suited to Globalization and Developing Human Resources

The NSK Group believes that as the globalization of business advances, it is difficult for employees to show their abilities without a workplace environment in which they can recognize and solve common challenges, spanning national borders and cultural barriers. That is why the Group designs and uses personnel systems that support business, creates training programs that bring out employees' true ability, and creates fair personnel and evaluation systems.

Assigning human resources at each location who know the local region well and creating personnel systems where employees with the ability to support a global management structure can play an active role are urgent tasks for expanding our business sustainably throughout the world. The Group will also enhance training programs which support the growth of individuals, including not only knowledge required for work, but also problem-solving skills, communication abilities, and leadership. In this way the Group aims to create workplaces where employees and organizations grow together.

Table 1. Personnel Systems and Human Resources Development for Sustainable Business
  • Responding to business globalization
  • Transmission of manufacturing
Creating personnel systems
  • Assigning local human resources who know the region well
  • Appoint global human resources, regardless of nationality
  • Fair evaluation system
Developing human resources
  • Develop global human resources
  • evelop professional human resources

2. Various Human Resources systems

New Employee Training

The essence of the NSK Group's approach to its human resources is to nurture independent employees who wish to develop themselves and show initiative in their thoughts and actions. Accordingly, NSK systematically conducts new employee training programs. During the first two years in the Company, each new employee is assigned a mentor and a manager trained in providing on-the-job training (OJT)*. The managers carefully guide the new employees as they acquire work knowledge and skills.

Just before the end of the second year, new employees go through a “gate check” -an opportunity for them to sound out their potential and discuss their next career step in consultation with their supervisors and the Human Resources Department.

* Instruction regarding necessary knowledge, technology, skills, manners, and other matters given by supervisors and senior employees to subordinates, while performing specific work.

Developing the Leaders of the Next Generation (NSK Management College)

The NSK Group established the NSK Management College in 2003 to provide a selective training program for nurturing the next generation of business leaders. This year-long program is designed to foster human resources who can play an active role in a global business environment. The program consists of a Manager Course for mid-career employees and a General Manager Course for senior managers. The more than 200 graduates of the program are active globally as key members of the Group.

Voluntary Participation Training

NSK adopted voluntary participation training system to correspond to employee's skill up needs.

Dispatch to Study at a University and Other Training Programs

The NSK Group makes available opportunities for study at universities and graduate schools in and outside Japan with the aim of fostering human resources who are competent in the global arena.

The NSK Group has also developed diverse training programs, including programs for learning the basics of diversity management and programs on cross-cultural communication.

Field-specific Training

The NSK Group offers a broad range of educational programs worldwide to improve the professionalism of employees and to respond to the Group's expanding business development. In the production field, NSK established the NSK Manufacturing Education and Training Center in 2005. The center is working to transfer technical skills and to foster production site leaders. In the technology field, NSK established the NSK Institute of Technology (NIT). Opened in fiscal 2008, NIT is a venue for comprehensive technical education. In the sales field, NSK offers training to improve communication skills and to increase product and quality knowledge, all of which help build relationships of trust with customers.

Creating Safe and Healthy Workplaces

1. Basic Approach: Creating Workplaces Where Everyone Feels Secure and Helps Build a Culture of Safety

In order to protect the safety and health of each and every employee, NSK undertakes initiatives with this basic philosophy: “Safety is the first and foremost priority. Workplaces should ensure employees can work safely, no matter the level of output demand.”

It is important to raise the awareness of each and every employee in order to ensure safety in the workplace. This is why NSK is fostering a culture of safety awareness where employees watch out for each other and never overlook an unsafe action or condition.

2. Management System: Occupational Safety and Health Management System

NSK and its main Group companies have established their own management system based on standard occupational safety and health management systems (OSHMS*1) and implement a variety of safety and health initiatives using the PDCA cycle.

Under this system, the NSK Central Occupational Health and Safety Council establishes policies and targets, based upon which each business site undertakes actions. The Central Safety and Health Council routinely checks the progress of these actions taken by each site. Based on the results of checks, important issues and an order of priority are clarified and management carried out according to each site's circumstances.

*1:A system intended to contribute to improvement of the level of safety and health in the workplace by reducing risk of accidents at work, promoting employee health, and encouraging the formation of comfortable working conditions.

Figure 1. Occupational Safety and Health Management System Overview

Figure 1. Occupational Safety and Health Management System Overview

3. Healthcare Initiatives

The NSK Group provides managers with annual training on mental health, focusing on the care of the workers for whom the manager is responsible. In addition there are regular health checkups that are helpful for self-care, encouraging employees to maintain their health. This training is intended to enable supervisors to consider the healthcare of employees by giving appropriate advice through daily communication.

Facilitating Work-Life Balance

1. Basic Policy: Developing a Workplace Environment where Employees Are Enthusiastic and Active

The NSK Group believes that ensuring that employees fully enjoy both their work and their private lives is the key to making its business even more successful. This is why the Group's basic policy is to develop an ideal working environment for all employees, regardless of gender or age. The Group strives to always be sensitive to employee needs and social changes.

In Japan, NSK recognizes that it is more important than ever to accelerate support for work-life balance in order to cope with the societal challenges presented by a rapidly aging society with a low birth rate. Such efforts include enhancing programs to support employees with childcare and nursing care obligations, and sound management of working hours.

2. Creating Supportive Workplaces (Japan)

1) Supporting Employee Work-Life Balance

NSK is working to create programs designed to adapt to Japan's aging, low-birthrate society and actively encouraging employees to utilize these programs. A variety of support systems have been established to ensure that employees with childcare and nursing care responsibilities can continue working.

By gathering opinions from employees with child-rearing experience, and enhancing the company's programs beyond the level that is legally required, NSK has designed child-rearing support systems with the goal of making them easy for employees to utilize.

Main Programs and Initiatives Above and Beyond Legal Requirements
Childcare leave:
NSK: Through to the end of April when child is 3 years old (the first five days paid)
Japan Law: Up to 18 months (non-paid)
Shorter working hours for employees with childcare obligations:
NSK: Through to the end of March in grade six of elementary school
Japan Law: Up to 3 years old
Flextime without daily set hours (trial program):
Child-rearing employees using this program can elect to start and finish work at different times each day. However, they must work a set number of hours between the first and last days of each month. The program can be used in conjunction with shorter working hours for childcare.
Telecommuting (trial program):
As of April 2017, this trial program is available to managers and above who have a child in grade 3 of elementary school or younger and are working shortened hours.
Elimination of half-day holiday restriction:
Employees may use half-day paid leave up to 12 times a year. However, these restrictions are lifted when providing nursing care or looking after a sick child.
Nursing care leave:
Employees looking after a family member in need of long-term care can take nursing care leave for up to 365 days. (Childcare or nursing care leave in Japan law: Up to 93 days)
National holiday childcare:
When an employee whose spouse also works and who does not have a childcare provider is required to work on a national holiday, the company provides in-house childcare. The child must be at least one year old and no older than grade 3 of elementary school.
Babysitter discount coupons:
Provided to NSK employees with a child in grade 3 of elementary school or younger (or a child in grade 6 or younger needing special care).
Re-employment registration system:
Employees that resign due to the temporary transfer of their spouse (employed in or outside the company) can register for eligibility to be re-hired by NSK at some point in the future.
Guidebook on Support for Work-Life Balance:
This guidebook outlines the company's systems and programs relating to childcare and nursing care, provides advice to fathers on childcare support, and stipulates considerations that must be taken by superiors in the workplace.
Program to help employees to stay connected during childcare leave:
Provides an opportunity for employees on childcare leave to be in communication with their workplaces and take courses online.
Email magazine for employees on maternity/childcare leave:
Regular email updates to keep employees on maternity and childcare leave informed of company news until they return to work.
Special changing room for pregnant employees:
Installation of a changing room designed to allow pregnant employees to change safely and comfortably as their bodies undergo changes.

2) Time Management Initiatives

NSK believes it is important to work efficiently during limited working hours in order to realize a balance between work and family life. For this reason, NSK is striving to manage work hours thoroughly and promote employee use of paid vacation.

Main Initiatives Include:
  • Flextime and discretionary working hour systems
  • Appropriate use of time recorders
  • Promoting time management through labor-management collaboration
  • Promoting the use of paid leave
  • No-overtime days

3) Programs to Support Mental and Physical Health and Employee Participation in Society

Enabling employees to maintain their physical and mental health leads to increased productivity and operational efficiency. In addition, NSK aims to foster the growth of employees through connections to society, and has programs to promote community participation by employees as well.

Main Programs Include:
  • Refreshment leave
    In order to provide opportunities for self-development and reinvigoration of the body and mind, employees with 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of continuous service at NSK can obtain refreshment leave for up to five consecutive days.
  • Volunteer leave
    In order to contribute to society by helping to address problems in the local community and social environment, NSK has a program that allows employees to take special leave for up to 12 days per year to engage in volunteer activities such as international exchange support or assisting people with disabilities through a nonprofit organization.

3. Creating a Supportive Workplace Culture

1) Workplace Culture Enhancement Initiatives

NSK recognizes that work style reform is essential in order to create workplaces where a diverse employees can work with peace of mind. This kind of reform also helps to increase productivity, which in turn contributes to sustainable growth for NSK.

In 2016, NSK joined a special project sponsored by the NGO Fathering Japan that promotes managers' awareness of subordinates' work-life balance. The company is promoting workplace culture reform by holding internal seminars for managers to raise their awareness of the need to support employees with child-rearing responsibilities.

NSK also offers opportunities for female employees with young children to network and for more experienced mothers to share their knowledge with younger colleagues.

2) Lifelong Learning Program

NSK provides opportunities for employees to think about purpose in life, health maintenance, family finances, and other aspects of life planning, in order to achieve a rich, full life after retirement. It holds training sessions and seminars attended by many employees to learn about pensions, unemployment insurance, and lifelong learning.

3) Public Recognition: Next Generation Certification Mark “Kurumin”

Based on Japan's Act for Measures to Support the Development of the Next Generation, the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare grants the Next Generation Certification Mark "Kurumin" to companies that formulate a general business operator's action plan and achieve certain criteria as a company supportive of child-rearing. In January 2017, NSK obtained Kurumin certification for the second time.

Public Recognition: Next Generation Certification Mark Kurumin
Certification of “Kurumin”

A range of reference data related to the annual CSR Report is available here.

Management-Labor Relations

1. Basic Approach: Labor-Management Relations Based on Dialogue

The NSK Group regards sound labor-management relations as critical to the sustainable growth of the company. One way in which the Group respects fundamental rights at work, as pledged in the NSK Code of Corporate Ethics, is by guaranteeing employees the right to communicate openly and directly with management without fear of retaliation, intimidation, or harassment.

Employees and managers are becoming better partners as they build trust by working to communicate more deeply, share views on the workplace environment and business conditions, discuss and implement improvement measures. The NSK Group is committed to creating workplaces where employees can work vigorously.

2. labor-management consultations

Employees of NSK are represented by a single organization, the NSK Labor Union. Regular labor management consultations are conducted at a Group-wide labor-management conference (Central Management Council) three times a year, and at a labor-management conference at individual business sites (Single Unit Management Councils) once a month. These labor-management conferences enable an exchange of opinions not only about the improvement of working conditions and the company's management policies, but also about the improvement of the work environment with a view toward solving issues through labor-management communication.