Human Resource Development

New Initiatives for Human Resource Development

Epson aims to be a company where people autonomously form careers and continue to develop over the long-term. We will achieve the business targets we have set forth in Epson 25 Renewed and support our company’s development by raising the ability of each of our employees to respond to changes. That will then lead to the building of sustainable and enriched communities.

Epson has re-examined our education and training system from this perspective. We have begun three new initiatives based on the opinions of our business entities and feedback from our employees.

(1) Support for the Self-formation of a Lifelong Career
Epson continuously implements initiatives aimed at being an organization that promotes personnel development. We provide support toward building motivating and challenging careers that encourage growth. To help our employees set their own medium- and long-term career goals, we have been offering Lifetime Career Support (LTCS) since FY2016. LTCS provides age- and grade-specific training which gives employees an opportunity to independently plan their own career path. We have expanded the system to include LTCS40, LTCS50 and also the Introduction to LTCS Course for employees who have just joined the company.

  • Number of Participants in FY2022
    LTCS50 Training (for all employees age 50): 338 participants (total up to FY2022: 2,565 participants)
    LTCS40 Training (for all employees age 40): 201 participants (total up to FY2022: 1,680 participants)
    Introduction to LTCS Course (given in new employee training): 250 participants

In FY2022, we newly launched LTCS A30 for employees in their 30s and LTCS50up with a view to hiring employees to their age 70. We support employees to overcome various challenges in their lifetime careers at each age milestone and to autonomously form their own careers.

(2) Support for Upskilling by Management
Management and communication by superiors in the workplace play an extremely important role for employees to work and grow dynamically. Questionnaires have made it clear that many managers, especially those with little experience, are concerned about this point. Accordingly, we have newly introduced 1-on-1 communication training. Moreover, in addition to existing new section manager training, we have launched follow-up training after employees are promoted to the level of section manager. That means we have set up opportunities for section managers to share information, think and learn from each other.

(3) Support for Reskilling
We have started working on reskilling. We want to support employees’ desire to autonomously form their careers and to continue growing. Together with this, we aim to ensure our employees improve their skills and enhance their ability to respond to changes. Our reskilling initiatives are focused on three main paths: (i) raise the overall level so that all employees become able to learn the minimum level of knowledge on the digital sphere and to utilize that in their own work, (ii) re-learn content specific to each product or business, and provide education in specialist areas such as digital transformation to promote assignment focused on areas where we are strengthening and new areas and to advance rotation, and (iii) set up an environment to provide learning opportunities and to hone skills to respond to employees’ desire to learn by themselves and to provide support to apply to the internal recruitment system.

Initiative to Expand Rotation

Epson places importance on rotation which expands the range of the abilities, experience and knowledge of individuals. One aim of rotation is for each employee to autonomously form their career and continue to grow and to improve their ability to respond to changes in the internal and external environment. The other aim is to contribute to the effective and efficient operation of the value chain. Nevertheless, rotation did not proceed as we expected in the past. Therefore, we have eliminated the need for confirmation by a superior when using the internal recruitment or job challenge systems, incorporated rotation into the requirements for promotion, replaced the human resources in the former workplaces of employees entering rotation, added a rotation item to the management by objectives of managers and reflected that in assessments. In addition to these efforts, we have been promoting the systemization of education when employees transfer to a different post.
The rotation rate was 6% in FY2019. However, as a result of these initiatives, the rotation rate reached 10% in FY2022. We will continue to further work on efforts to raise the rotation rate to 15% each year.

Rotation Rate

FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 FY2022 Target
Rotation Rate 6.0% 7.3% 9.0% 10.0% 15% or more each fiscal year

Revitalization of the Internal Recruitment System

We established our internal recruitment system in FY2007. The aim of the system is to ensure employees play an active role based on confidence and sense their jobs are rewarding and to revitalize human resource rotation internally. However, the number of transferees using internal recruitment was limited to about 20 to 30 per year. We eliminated the need for confirmation by a superior when an employee makes an application through the system in FY2021. In addition, we set a deadline from the decision to transfer. That led to the number of applications doubling. More than 200 employees have used the system to actually transfer for two consecutive years. We believe this will meet employees’ desire to take on challenges. At the same time, we think that will lead to employees gaining experience in various jobs and workplaces, broadening their horizons and improving their skills.

Number of Employees Using the Internal Recruitment System

  Before the Changes to the System After the Changes to the System
FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 FY2022
Number of applicants 142 148 378 293
Number of transferees using this system 27 12 217 201

Training Initiatives

Our human resource development is based on on-the-job training (OJT). In addition, we have established an education system to provide education by job level and various types of specialized education as off-the-job training. We have in place screened, rank-based education programs for the development of leadership human resources.

Echelon-based Training

Seiko Epson requires that employees complete a course in management practices before being appointed to a management position. This course prepares them to meet the requirements as a manager by ensuring that they understand their role in terms of both business and actions. On the business end, they learn the skills they need to understand strategic business objectives and respond rapidly and nimbly to internal and external changes in the business environment. On the action end, they learn the skills they need to support the growth and development of the people who report to them by putting organizations and individuals in a position to succeed.

In addition, we provide training for new employees, group training for each grade, and various open-type training to develop people who will fulfill roles as future middle managers step-by-step.

Leadership Training

In addition to a course in management practices for managers and employees who will be appointed to a management position, Epson provides training (F1, F2, and F3 course) to selected employees. In the F1 course, director candidates learn the skills needed to be a top executive. The F2 course is used to prepare middle managers to take the reins of a business or division. In the F3 course participants learn the basics of business through simulated exercises. Through these courses, Epson develops future leaders across the group.

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 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 Global 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.

Training to think about customer satisfaction

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 three to five 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.

Overseas dispatch of young employees

Epson is actively developing human resources who can work effectively globally.
Young employees are dispatched to Epson Group companies overseas in order to develop global-minded human resources. (Overseas Training Program) This program was suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, but was re-started in 2022.

Number of Employees Assigned to Overseas Training Programs

  2012FY 2013FY 2014FY 2015FY 2016FY 2017FY 2018FY 2019FY 2022FY
Number 8 20 34 38 29 28 22 13 1

Management by Objectives

Epson has used a management by objectives systems for more than 30 years. All employees of every grade are subject to the systems, and 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.

Creating Value That Exceeds Customer Expectations and the Monozukuri Juku

Epson's Monozukuri Juku, or Manufacturing School, aims to enhance the customer value we create. To this end, we teach our personnel basic technology and skills and have them experience monozukuri (the art and science of manufacturing) by performing specific manufacturing tasks step by step. This helps them tackle jobs from different angles. To give a specific example, employees learn the basics of component processing technology (molding and pressing). Once they learn these, employees have the skills to make the various parts that go into a product. Employees also learn by mastering essential skills for making production lines more efficient (e.g., automating lines or operating them with fewer staff).

In addition, we contribute to the community and society by giving practical training for new employees of local businesses, offering corporate experiences to junior and senior high school students, and providing instruction for technical skill trainings. We also send experts abroad to take part in official development assistance for building technical skill evaluation systems at the request of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Developing Human Resources to Support Company-wide Production Strategies

Recently, we have faced labor shortages in manufacturing due to rapidly rising wages and workers’ preference for non-manufacturing jobs. In addition, we had suffered from logistics being disrupted due to natural disasters and the spread of infectious diseases, causing delays in delivering products to customers. It has become difficult for Epson to manage these changes with conventional manufacturing, which assumes an abundant and low-cost labor force and centralized production. In our Epson 25 Renewed corporate vision we therefore proposed promoting smart factories using automation and digital technologies and strengthening distributed and local production.
Monozukuri Juku provides opportunities for employees to learn. We hold more than 200 training courses a year to develop the technical abilities of engineers supporting production lines. The training includes mechanical drafting and calibration necessary for manufacturing equipment, as well as machining skills. In addition, we offer basic mechatronics training to help cultivate engineers who will promote automation by teaching them basic technologies such as pneumatic and electrical control. the basics of equipment assembly and adjustment, FA robot training, image processing training, and practical mechatronics training to allow them acquire more practical technologies and skills.

Monozukuri Juku does not only train Japanese engineers but also engineers from our manufacturing affiliates worldwide, where we seek to educate the employees about manufacturing and machine maintenance in order to develop future local leaders.
Due to difficulties in overseas travel, we have established remote training system so we can provide our training program on schedule even in difficult times.
Through these efforts, we will promote optimal human resource development and improve the process control level of each of our worldwide affiliate companies so we can respond strategies such as distributed production.

Training engineers at an overseas affiliate (Philippines)
Remote training

Developing Young Technicians through National Skills Competition

As a manufacturing company, Epson uses training for WorldSkills competitions to develop "groundbreaker technicians"*1 who have acquired essential manufacturing knowledge and skills at an early age. As a rule, individuals are allowed to take part in WorldSkills 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 we send 10-15 individuals to the National Skills Competition associated with WorldSkills to compete in seven selected occupational categories that are applicable to our employees' work: Instrument making, Plastic die engineering, Mechatronics, Industrial electronics, Mobile robotics, Web design, and Watch repair.

New employees sent to Monozukuri Juku as WorldSkills trainees experience monozukuri (the art and science of manufacturing) in such forms as filing and sawing. They also learn basic knowledge about machinery, electricity, and other general topics in each occupational category. In conjunction with everyday occupation-specific training, there are training camps three times a year. Participants lodge together, run a long distance, set targets, and the like. All of this helps to build a sense of solidarity as a team.

To recreate the feel of the national competition, we also hold joint training events with other companies that take part in WorldSkills. Additionally, our employees actively pursue such national qualifications as machining technician, electronic device assembly technician, web design technician, and watch repair technician. After participants finish WorldSkills trainings, 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.

Everyday training
The 60th National Skills Competition of Japan 2022

*1 Technicians with the ability to break from precedent to create innovative technologies and systems.

FY2022 Workforce Composition and Training Data

Main Online Courses (Japan)

Course Trainees
Fundamentals of Export Control (2022) 18,979
Epson's Compliance (2022) 20,608
Basic Information Security (2022) 22,127
Basic Environmental Training II (2022) 20,343
Introduction to Procurement (Subcontract Act) (2022) 16,736
Basic Harassment Preventive Training (2022) 17,120
Occupational Safety Training (2022) 18,003
Health Improvement Course: Self Care (2022-) 19,613
Health Improvement Course: Locomotive Ability (2022-) 15,566
Principles of Corporate Behavior and Epson Global Code of Conduct (2022) 19,025
Learning from Failures to Increase the Number of Epson Fans 17,678
Purpose and Philosophy System 18,321
Business & Human Rights (2022-) 16,539

* The number of persons completing the course by March 31, 2023

Training by Employee Level

Training Who People Trained Percent Trained
New employee orientation New hires 250 100%
C-level employee training New C-level staff 325 98.0%
Senior staff training New senior staff 269 96.4%
Section manager training New section managers 118 95.2%
General manager training New general managers 47 87.0%

*Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 31, 2023
*Employees who have not received training are scheduled to do so in FY2023.

Training Hours

  Unit FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 FY2022
Training by regular employee Hrs. 11.0 11.1 7.4 20.9 21.5
Total training hours Hrs. - - - 228,696 235,910

Seiko Epson HR Department training for regular employees and time spent on online courses. Education and training courses of functional supervisory departments and operations divisions are also included after FY2021.