Epson develops and trains its employees in line with a Human Resources Development Policy established in 1996. The policy states that Epson will "...support employees who have aspirations for self-actualization, to connect all the companies in the Epson Group with people, and to nurture employees so that both corporate and individual objectives are met." We provide training so that our people understand their roles and what is expected of them as members of the Epson team. Training enables them to work and communicate effectively, solve problems and achieve goals, and experience personal and professional growth.
In fiscal 2012, Epson introduced a new personnel system for middle management. This new system establishes clear roles and requirements for both business and personal conduct. To ensure the system is implemented effectively, training is provided in the two management skills required of middle managers. One is correctly understanding strategic business objectives and responding rapidly and nimbly to internal and external changes in the business environment. The other skill is supporting the growth and development of the people who report to middle managers by putting organizations and individuals in a position to succeed.
In addition, we provide ongoing training for new employees, young staff (known as grade C employees) and senior staff. This takes the form of group training for each grade and various open-type training. The training is intended to develop people who will fulfill roles as future middle managers.
Practicing Off-the-Job Training on the Job
A feature of human resource development at Epson is that we provide level-based group training at every juncture along the career path, from entry level jobs through management, and give employees a chance to put into practice on the job the knowledge they acquire.
After completing group training, new hires undergo a one-year practicum. Other employees who complete other group trainings undergo a three-month practicum. During the practicum, employees prepare action plans based on what they learned and put these plans into action on the job under the supervision of their supervisors, thus enhancing their ability to use the knowledge and skills they learned during training, in their actual jobs.
Epson has used a management by objectives systems for more than 30 years. Managers and their subordinates work together to set objectives that they can both agree on. Progress toward the objectives is periodically reviewed, end results are evaluated, and new, higher objectives are set. The management by objectives system is itself an on-the-job human resource training system. It is a win-win development cycle in which individual growth leads to the growth of the organization and the company.
Global Leadership Training
Epson offers a course in management practices to its middle managers worldwide. The course is designed to teach these employees the roles and responsibilities that managers are expected to fulfill, and to enable them to learn the principles, skills, and practices they will need to follow to effectively serve in a management capacity. The course is structured so as to give participants an opportunity to practice in the workplace what they learned in the course. During the 2015 fiscal year, 143 employees took the course.
Global Incubation Seminar
The Global Incubation Seminar (GIS) is a training program for developing global leaders. Targeted at the next generation of leaders around the world, it shares the Epson Group's vision and values with participants and empowers them to implement these in their own organizations. More than 300 members have taken part in this training since 1999. We have continued to develop global leaders in all those years.
The FY2015 training lasted for five days beginning February 22, 2016. Global Incubation Seminar (GIS) 2015 took place at Head Office. A total of 25 individuals took part from 19 overseas affiliates, two domestic operations divisions, and one Group company. Participants said that hearing Epson's management vision directly from senior executives deepened their understanding, and that talking to people from various places around the world exposed them to new opinions and ways of thinking, which made the training very meaningful.
Our aim is to offer this training continuously in future so that a wide range of employees can enhance their talents and provide the impetus for Epson's next generation in each part of the world.
One Participant's Impressions of GIS 2015
"This gave me a deeper understanding of the company's management vision. I hope to communicate this vision and direction in my own workplace and allow everyone to work with confidence. As its leader, I want to guide my organization to make sure it is indispensable within the Group."
Senior General Manager, HR & GA Administrative Div., P.T. Epson Indonesia Industry
Impressions from a Past Participant
"The training is very meaningful in terms of making Epson a stronger company. It tries to achieve that by bringing managers from around the world together so they can strengthen their ties and work towards for the same aims."
"This training has a very valuable platform of getting members from different regions, companies, and occupational categories at Epson together. We learned about Epson's history, its values and visions, and its picture of the future. It was also a chance to learn how each of us should think and act as Epson Group leaders trying to achieve those ideals. Additionally, after I went back to my workplace, I organized an event called Epson Day to put what I learned into practice. All employees in my company took part in Epson Day. There, I shared what I learnt, what the company is aiming for and what is expected of them, including over an amazing race team building platform. Going forward, I would urge GIS participants to see the big picture so they don't just settle for the way things are."
Alvin Tan (GIS 2013 participant)
Division Head, Business & Marketing Support Division, Epson Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Training for New Employees in Japan
Epson considers the first year of employment to be a training period during which new employees learn about the Epson approach to work. For the first three weeks, new employees in Epson Group companies in Japan gather at the Head Office for group training, where they learn the following:
- Conduct expected of them as Epson employees
- The mindset and attitude necessary for practicing "monozukuri" or the art and science of manufacturing, which is the foundation of Epson's efficient, compact and precision technologies
- The importance of working cooperatively as a team
Training ranges from lectures on the Epson Code of Conduct to hands-on training in manufacturing. New employees learn the importance and enjoyment of working in teams, through group activities that take place throughout the training period.
After they complete group training, new employees are sent to the department where they have been assigned. There they learn their job through on-the-job training under a mentor. Mentors are usually selected from among young employees with two or three years of experience. They produce training plans tailored to the individuals they will be mentoring and, for a full year, provide them with the support they will need to stand on their own. Mentors themselves are expected to grow through this experience.
At the end of the first year, the new employees gather again for follow-up group training, where they can observe how they and others have grown and developed. To further solidify the foundation they have built as a business professional, they review the previous year and consider action plans for the next year and beyond to achieve further growth and expand their contributions to the company.
Creating Value That Exceeds Customer Expectations and the Monozukuri Juku
Epson's Monozukuri Juku, one of the departments in Seiko Epson's Head Office, is an in-house manufacturing school that aims to contribute to the enhancement of customer value. To this end, we teach our staff basic technology and skills and let them experience monozukuri by performing certain manufacturing tasks step by step. This helps employees tackle jobs from a number of different angles. Specifically, the Monozukuri Juku teaches the basics of component processing (molding and pressing) to provide requiring employees with the skills needed to produce a variety of the parts that go into Epson products. It also provides them with the skills and experience necessary to automate and otherwise increase the efficiency of manufacturing lines.
Mechatronics Training for Building, Maintaining, and Enhancing Automated Lines
Factory productivity improvement initiatives are nothing new at Epson. Earlier examples included the introduction of machines and jigs to production processes. More recently, however, we are facing great changes in the manufacturing environment. Particularly outside Japan, it is not always easy to secure the necessary labor because wages have risen rapidly and many workers prefer non-manufacturing jobs. Earlier improvements were based on the assumption there would be plenty of inexpensive labor and our business could face difficulties if we simply try to repeat those measures. Therefore we are making a strong push to build production lines that do not overly rely on human labor but are still capable of ensuring stable production.
Monozukuri Juku offers training in the basics of mechatronics, which includes basic technologies like compressed air and electrical control as well as assembling and adjusting simple devices. In December 2014, basic training was expanded to include an all-process training that covered essentials for stepping up the pace of automation: material feeding and removal, robots, image processing, mechanics, and more. This training is given to mechanical and maintenance engineers in Japan and manufacturing and machinery maintenance leaders in other countries.
Developing Young Technicians through Technical Skills Olympics
As a manufacturing company, Epson in Japan uses training for Technical Skills Olympics competitions to develop "groundbreaker," technicians who quickly acquired essential manufacturing knowledge and skills and have the ability to break from precedent to create innovative technologies and systems. As a rule, individuals are allowed to take part in Technical Skills Olympics trainings just once. The purpose of the short-term intensive trainings is to help participants learn technical skills at the all-Japan level. Every year Epson sends 10-15 individuals to the National Technical Skills Olympics to compete in seven selected categories that are applicable to our business: Instrument making, Press tool making, Mechatronics, Industrial electronics, Web design, IT network system administration, and Watch repair.
New employees sent to Monozukuri Juku as Technical Skills Olympics trainees experience monozukuri (the art and science of manufacturing) in such forms as rasping and cutting by blade. They also learn basic knowledge about machinery, electricity, and other general topics. Staffs assess trainees' strong points during this process and assign trainees to certain positions. Trainees then proceed to training specific to their positions. In conjunction with everyday occupation-specific training, there are training camps three times a year. Participants lodge together, run a 40 km road race, join group discussions, set targets, and the like. All of this helps to build a sense of solidarity as Team Epson.
To recreate the feel of the national competition, Epson also holds joint training events with other companies that take part in the Technical Skills Olympics. Additionally, our employees actively pursue national qualifications for machining technicians, electronic device assembly technicians, web design technicians, and watch repair technicians. After participants finish Technical Skills Olympics training, they get practical training to help them build the basic skills learned there into skills they can use to make products. Each participant then joins an operations division. The units they join often praise these employees for performing beyond expectations.
Because the above events are limited to those eligible to take part in Technical Skills Olympics, we hold further practical monozukuri trainings about 100 times a year that are open even to those who do not participate in Technical Skills Olympics training. These help to raise the overall level of the young employees who are Epson's future. Focuses include mechanical drawing; component measurement; operation of general-purpose machine tools such as lathes and milling machines as well as NC processing machines and grinding machines; mold manufacturing; and robot safety.