Safe and Healthy Workplaces and Work-Style Reforms: Building More Engaging Workplaces
Promoting Safe, Secure, and Comfortable Workplaces
It is our conviction at the NSK Group that having safe workplaces and employees who enjoy and are actively engaged in both their work and personal lives will have a beneficial impact on our business. An improvement in employee productivity will lead to an improvement in their ability to produce quality work, which will ultimately foster a more fulfilling life both at work and at home. For this reason, we strive to better manage employee working hours, to encourage employees to take their annual paid leave, and to provide a variety of work-style options to fit their diverse lifestyles. In order to boost job satisfaction, we are also promoting work-style reform to change employee attitudes.
Managing Employee Working Hours and Promoting Paid Leave (Japan)
At NSK, we believe that helping employees stay focused and efficient on the job will allow them to enjoy greater productivity and produce higher quality work, without wasting time. For this reason, in addition to making flextime available to employees, we are striving to better manage working hours using objective records and to encourage employees to take their annual paid leave. In particular, labor and management have been calling on employees to use all of their annual paid leave. As part of the effort to prevent COVID-19 infection, working from home was quickly introduced at the head office and the sales and technology divisions. Remote work has now become another work style option for employees, adding to other styles we offer to fit their changing lifestyle needs.
- Remote work system
- Flextime and discretionary labor system
- Objectively ascertaining hours worked using time clock and similar records, and proper work rules application
- Promoting time management based on labor-management collaboration
- Promoting full use of paid leave
- “No Overtime” days
Programs to Re-energize Employees and Their Social Activities
Re-energized employees provide higher work productivity and efficiency. We also offer programs to support employee social activities, aiming to facilitate their growth as members of society.
- Refresher leave
To provide opportunities for employee self-development and re-energizing, this program allows employees to take leave for up to five consecutive days every five years, beginning after they complete five years of service with the company.
- Volunteer leave
To help employees contribute to society by being involved in volunteer work relating to their local communities and social welfare, this program allows employees to take up to 12 days of special paid leave per year. They must work for a non-profit organization and carry out activities such as supporting people with disabilities and promoting international exchange.
Lifelong Design Learning Program
NSK provides opportunities for employees to think about and plan for retirement, including ways to maintain their motivation, health, and personal finances. The aim is for participants to enjoy rich and rewarding lifestyles after mandatory retirement. Many employees participate in the training and seminars to learn about pensions, employment insurance, and taxes.
Facilitating Work-Life Balance
Supporting Work-Life Balance in Every Life Stage (Japan)
The NSK Group is building workplaces that meet the wide-ranging needs of a diverse workforce and allow each and every employee to enjoy job satisfaction. NSK wants every employee to enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Our system for ensuring employees can balance their work and child/nursing care responsibilities exceeds legal requirements. As part of this approach, we not only provide comprehensive support for working parents and caregivers, but also strive to create a work environment where they can realize their full potential.
Moreover, to provide even better support for employees balancing work and childcare responsibilities, we obtain feedback from those with childcare experience. NSK is working to create and improve programs that not only exceed statutory requirements, but are also as very convenient for employees to utilize.
Main Balance Support System*1
Support for Working Parents (Japan)
In recognition of our efforts to support working parents of small children, the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare awarded NSK the Kurumin certification.*2
*2 Kurumin: Based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children, NSK formulated an action plan as a general business operator and received certification from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare as a corporation that supports child raising.
NSK has established an action plan based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children.
- Parental leave at time of/after birth
- Support to encourage paternal leave (seminars, briefing sessions, pamphlets, etc.)
- Shortened working hours for childcare reasons
- Flextime with no core hours (trial)
- Banked paid leave
- Sick/injured child care leave (unpaid)
- Holiday daycare
- Providing babysitting discount coupons
- Affiliated daycares
- Re-hiring registration system
- Work-life balance support program guidebook
- Return-to-work support seminar
- Interviews with expectant mothers before maternity leave/prior to return to work
- Maternity uniform
- Email newsletter for those on maternity and childcare leave
- Changing room exclusively for pregnant employees
- Providing opportunities for self-learning and development
Support for Family Caregivers (Japan)
As part of measures to support employees who are providing care to a family member, NSK is aiming to create an environment where employees can easily raise any concerns about work-life balance.
- Caregiver leave
- Work-life balance support program guidebook
- Seminar on support for family caregiver employees
- Training for managers to support family caregiver employees
- Training for HR staff giving counseling to family caregiver employees
- A collection of materials to support family caregiver employees
- Email newsletter for HR personnel regarding family caregiver employees
Support for balancing work and medical treatment (Japan)
In support measures for balancing work and medical treatment, we are promoting each measure so that you can balance work with medical treatment and hospital visits and continue to work in your own way.
- Internal Information Meeting on Balancing Work and Medical Treatment
- Guidebook for balancing work and medical treatment
In addition, we focus on awareness-raising activities and consultation on health issues specific to women.
- Awareness-raising activities: Awareness-raising on health issues specific to women, such as menstrual pain, pregnancy, and menopause, through training, information sessions, etc.
- Consultation: Online obstetrics and gynecology consultation for women's health issues with a physician at any time
- Others: Awareness-raising about postpartum blues in the support for balancing work and health promotion from a young age before pregnancy (preconception care) in the guidebook on balancing work and infertility treatment.
Health and Wellness
Promoting Health and Wellness (Japan)
At NSK, we see an investment in health as an investment in corporate value, and as such, we are committed to a full range of initiatives to promote the health and wellness of our employees and their families. With the NSK Basic Policy on Health and Wellness (Employee Wellness Declaration) and a company-wide health management promotion system, we are developing activities and implementing specific initiatives to address health management issues, as part of NSK's Three Main Health Focal Points.
NSK Basic Policy on Health and Wellness (Employee Wellness Declaration)
At the core of NSK’s Vision to set the future in motion is a desire to create a brighter tomorrow where we can all lead safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives. It is NSK’s firm belief that the health of our employees and their families is foundational to achieving this future. The health—both of body and mind—of each one of our employees and their families is an invaluable asset to the Group. As such, NSK has established a management structure that prioritizes health and is committed to a full range of activities to promote employee wellness, all with the aim of improving their physical and mental health.
In order to continue to be a company that is needed, trusted and relied upon by society, we position measures to maintain and improve health as an important investment that serves as the basis for maximizing human capital value, and we will continue to proactively pursue initiatives.
Akitoshi Ichii, President & CEO, NSK Ltd.
Corporate Health Management Structure (Japan)
NSK i s committed to helping employees maintain and improve their health and wellness. Our collaborative approach involves the executive head of HR, the Human Resource and General Affairs Division Headquarters, the Center for Wellness Promotion, labor unions, health insurance associations, onsite labor divisions, and occupational health staff—all working together under the supervision of the president & CEO of NSK Ltd.
In April 2019, we established the Corporate Health Management Office within the HR & GA Division Headquarters to enhance our capacity to achieve our health and wellness objectives. We also built an organization that is more conducive to coordination. The resident occupational physicians in each locality report to the Corporate Health Management Office, and nurses and health specialists also hold concurrent posts in the office. Going forward, we will further advance health management by appointing a manager of occupational safety and health at each site. In addition, by holding regular meetings of occupational health staff and the Wellness Committee—a function established to oversee the activities of the NSK Central Occupational Health and Safety Council—we will continue improving our ability to support the wellness of employees.
Corporate Health Management Structure
Three Main Focal Points of NSK Health and Wellness
1. Focus on prevention. Support employees to prevent aggravation of medical conditions.
2. Implement and promote mental wellness strategies to prevent the onset of mental health issues.
3. Reduce smoking rate and promote non-smoking on premises.
NSK Health Initiatives Indicators*3
|Percentage of employees participating in the Specific Health Guidance program
|22％ or lower
|Percentage of employees receiving stress checks
|Percentage of employees who smoke
|20％ or lower
*3 NSK Ltd. and major NSK Group companies in Japan
*4 The target percentage of employees participating in the Specific Health Guidance program is the industry average for insured employees.
Specific Initiatives for the Three Main Health Focal Points (Japan)
To enable all employees to work as energetically as possible, it is important to help prevent and detect illnesses at an early stage. For this reason, employees whose annual health checkups reveal points of concern are provided with health counseling and given guidance on improving their lifestyles and habits.
While 100% of employees undergo annual health checkups, only 30% to 40% of employees currently opt for detailed examinations. NSK is working to further improve this rate.
To help prevent infectious disease, we provide workplace vaccinations for seasonal influenza, and about 50% of employees participate.
The company’s health insurance associations provide specific health guidance, along with screening for cancers of the stomach, colon, and breast. We are working to maintain and improve the health of our employees and their families, by promoting early detection and helping to prevent disease progression. Recent health data analysis has revealed a certain number of metabolic syndrome cases among younger employees, and we intend to develop targeted support programs and other measures for this group.
In addition, we have started a project to prevent aggravation of diseases. Although 21 of our employees are eligible, the current participation rate is about 10%. We will accelerate efforts to improve it. In order to further improve employee health awareness, we started implementing health management e-learning in fiscal 2022, and employees working in plants and other sites have watched videos on health management with the same content. The e-learning participation rate was 96.2%, satisfaction was 96.2%, and understanding was 98.9%.
As a company, we provide mental health education and have consultation services available to help prevent mental illness. NSK also arranges relevant lectures for managers given by outside experts, along with practical training on how to notice and respond to mental health warning signs among subordinates. We strive to prevent mental health issues in the workforce through relevant training. This includes enhancing stress level awareness and teaching ways to deal with stress.
NSK believes it is important to build workplaces where employees feel free to ask for help. Therefore, we have set up consultation services at each business site and ensure that everyone knows about them. We have also established a telephone service for mental health consultation to make it even easier for employees and their family member to get help. We have adopted an employee assistance program (EAP) using outside experts to help prevent situations that could result in an employee taking mental health leave. The EAP also helps employees return to work after mental health leave and keep their health issue from recurring.
As measured by the stress checks conducted every year, the percentage of employees with high stress has hovered between 10% and 11%. We will redouble our efforts to keep it below 10%.
[Prevention of Secondhand Smoke Exposure]
To prevent secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace, we have relocated smoking areas outdoors at each business site.
To reduce employee smoking rates, NSK conducts activities such as "quit-smoking recommendation days" and offers free smoking cessation programs provided by the health insurance associations.
*5 Employee assistance program: A program that supports employee mental health
Formulation of NSK health management strategy map (Japan)
【Goals and issues to be resolved through health management】
By setting the final goal indicators for health management of “reduction of absenteeism,” “reduction of presenteeism” and “maximization of engagement,” we are seeking to improve medium- to long-term corporate value while helping to build a sustainable world . We are making company-wide efforts to meet the management challenge of becoming a company that is needed and trusted.
By summarizing these health management goals and initiatives in the form of the NSK Health Management Strategy Map, we are enabling all employees to work together to further promote health initiatives.
【Status of indicators related to the NSK Health Management Strategy Map】
Expected Benefits of Health Management (Japan)
Efforts for health management lead to improvement of employee presenteeism and absenteeism and maximization of engagement, creating a workplace environment where each and every employee can work with vitality. We believe that these efforts will improve employee performance and increase corporate value.