A Hollywood Star

Twenty-five members of the Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association came to visit our company on a training program. They came from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, Macedonia, Ghana, and Sudan. Their association used to be called the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship, but they just changed their name at the end of March.

There were a lot of people including staff from the local factories of Japanese companies, and some of those companies have over 5,000 employees such as Ajinomoto, Toray and Hitachi. What they all have in common is that they are in a position where they manage staff.

This was the fourth time we have hosted this tour. Why is that? It’s because we have received high evaluations the past three times.

This time it was more exciting than ever.

It started with a very lively talk by Mr. T from our management group.

I love his smile!

Hitomi gave an overview of our company.

Then we started on the Discover ISOWA Tour.

The first part was led by Mr. O of the construction section.

“The smile is a common expression throughout the world. It is the basis of communication.”

The second part was led by Mr. S of the processing department.

“I will do my best so I can handle the NC machine.”

The third part was led by Mr. K of the management division.

 “Although I didn’t know about the iPad at all, I figured it out together with my colleagues.”

When he explained about the project to introduce iPads for all the staff, our visitors were astonished and envious.

After Mr. K’s talk, I had this question, “Can I join ISOWA?”

I said instantly, “Do you really want to be a member of ISOWA, or you just want an iPad?” I think it was a nice joke.

The fourth part was led by Mr. S of the technology division.

 “I haven’t had a chance to work on development so far. I want to start from scratch.”

“Do you think you can make time for it?”

He answered right away: “The most important thing is for you to believe you can do it. It’s only my frame of mind to make me feel busy or not.”

That was a cool thing to say.

The last part of the tour was led by Mr. Y of the sales department, from Nagoya.

He started in a different way from others.

“Let me ask you a question. We’ve been talking about reforming our corporate culture. It is a typically Japanese theme. I was just wondering if you understand what we’re saying.”

“Yes, of course.” They all wanted to hear that kind of story. You did a good job.

All of the staff who spoke in today’s tour – their English was so nice.
I guess it is thanks to the office English school. I think the efforts of the E-You Project, the in-house English class, has started to bear fruit.

And also this time I tried out a new camera angle for photographing.

Both of the visitors and ISOWA staff are in the picture. It’s nice, isn’t it?

After going back to a conference room, Mr. O of the “sharaku” section, which was organized to promote corporate reform, introduced the history of our efforts to improve.

And then we held a Q&A time with the visitors.

They were all very eager. Lots of questions about my management style came at me. That was really fun.

A representative of the visitors gave us gracious words of appreciation at the end of the tour.

Other visitors said, “I want to be a president like you” and “You are the best president ever.”

There were even some people waiting in line to take a picture with me.

I’ve never experienced this. I felt like a Hollywood star.

Mrs. N, who accompanied us last time too as an interpreter, said right before she left the office: “I know I don’t have to come anymore. But I hope I will be here the next time too. I even wish I could work in ISOWA.”

I really love ISOWA. I love the people of ISOWA, too!


New Employees' Contribution

Just a while ago, we got the following e-mail message from Mr. K, our executive director.

“Level 1 evaluation items for the Growth Rating System, Section B: The good attitude toward life, in the category of “Duties of a Member of Society,” has the following items:

1.    When you are asked to do some work, accept it willingly.

2.    No matter how troublesome the work is, start it right away.

3.    Always work carefully.

4.    Work energetically on tasks that others don’t want to do.

Note 1) LADDERS is an abbreviation of the Personnel Evaluation System that our company uses, and the fundamentals are the basic abilities required for all types of jobs, whereas the specifics are those things that are particularly required for a certain type of job. Level 1 is an entry level for those who have just joined the company.

Well, cleaning is a work that nobody is willing to do. However, things won’t get clean unless someone cleans them, and we cannot keep up our good condition unless somebody does it.

New company employees may have trouble contributing to their company, so what can they do for ISOWA? We ask them to do the cleaning, out of consideration for this situation.

They are in a training program to learn about making both factory and office into a showroom. Cleaning work is the main activity of this program.

The picture at the top shows some results.

The no-slip pads on the stairs at the east side of the office are now white and clean. Don’t you think they have become whiter? Don’t you think the shoe box has become whiter too?

These are all the results of their devoted cleaning. And I’m sure they will do the cleaning with all their might in the rest of the training period, since this is work they can do right now. I’d like you to support them.

As soon as I got Mr. K’s e-mail, I went over to check the results. I was so happy to find things really clean.

In advance of getting this e-mail, Mr. T asked us, “Please thank them for their efforts, if you really think it’s become clean.” Of course I did. I went see each of them and said: “This is great!”

“That really shines.”

“Keep up the good work.”

“If you find someone dirtying it, you can just rebuke him.”

That isn’t all. I found the following comment in their induction reports.

“I always used to go up the stairs without thinking about it, but from now on I will wipe off the bottoms of my shoes before I climb the stairs. I have to think about these things from the cleaner’s viewpoint.”

In my opinion, this is a good way for new company employees to develop and grow. I don’t think I can coach them like this. The other members of ISOWA compensate for what I can’t do. Such teamwork is among the most important things for us.

While I was going around the factory thinking those things, I ran across another new employee who was cleaning another stairway.

I said, “Thank you. I’m looking forward to seeing it shine.” And the worker replied, “I feel like I can contribute to ISOWA a little.”

He is growing up just as I expected. The next day, I went to check those stairs and found they were transformed like this.

I don’t want you to misunderstand - in the middle of the stairs that’s not some dirt that remains. It’s just because the paint is coming off.

I suggested to Mr. E, who manages that section, that we should repaint those places. He said, “Yes, we were just planning to do so.”

Regrettably, that paint job is not finished yet, but in a few days you’ll find it snow-white.

We senior staff must try not to trample their devoted efforts. Let’s work harder than the new employees!