Fostering a Better Workplace
- Approach & Initiatives
- Improving the Organizational Climate Initiatives and Employee Engagement
- Diversification of Work Arrangements
Approach & Initiatives
To enhance creativity to realize innovation, we will secure a diverse workforce, including women, non-Japanese, mid-career hires, people with disabilities, and older workers, as well as create a comfortable work environment that leverages our advantages as a regional company, such as our commitment to organizational culture, the natural environment of Shinshu, and proximity to work and home, to increase employee engagement and maximize the overall strength of the organization by taking advantage of our diverse human resources.
Improving the Organizational Climate Initiatives and Employee Engagement
Epson is aiming to create an organizational climate where employees and our company continue to grow together by improving the quality of relationships with a free, open and easy-to-communicate environment.
Epson has conducted a survey on our organizational climate every year since 2005 to understand the current state of it. Improving the ability to work in a team is an especially important element to improve the quality of relationships. Nevertheless, this item had a low score overall in the survey. Therefore, we have been working on it on a company-wide basis since FY2020. As a result, we have greatly improved the quality of relationships in the workplace such as by improving the management style of middle managers and reviewing workstyles. At the same time, we have been able to confirm that we have made steady progress in creating comfortable workplaces.
We introduced and conducted an engagement survey which allows us to compare our company with external organizations in FY2022. The aim of the survey is to engage in effective activities based on even more specialized and multifaceted detailed analysis. The results clearly show there is a relationship of mutual trust at the foundations of our entire company and that Epson is an organization in which employees act when given instructions by their superiors. However, the results have also revealed there are many challenges to realizing an independent (autonomous) self-propelled organization in which individuals take the initiative to improve the weaknesses of the organization on their own. In FY2022, we continued to strive, as we have done so over the past few years, to improve the ability to work in a team as it is an important element in the quality of relationships. Based on these results, we also began initiatives to: (1) instill our philosophy and for employees to make it their own, (2) increase awareness for change and to improve our outward-looking perspective, and (3) further increase growth and a sense of contribution through work. These initiatives are aimed at maximizing our organizational strengths by increasing the number of independent (autonomous) human resources and building strong relationships of trust.
Each workplace will share and consider with its members their detailed survey results. Those workplaces will then establish improvement measures and set improvement targets focused on those three items. The improvement targets will be linked to management by objectives for middle managers. We will look to achieve these targets by FY2025.
Moreover, we will provide support to middle managers to fulfill their management roles and improve their management skills, provide opportunities for them to gain awareness, and horizontally deploy specific case studies in conjunction with the 360-degree survey results to support this initiative. We will do this through various efforts including 1-on-1 skill acquisition support, follow-up training for section managers with emphasis on new section managers, introduction of a learn-as-much-as-you-like program for middle managers, continuation of company-wide and cross-organizational section manager dialogue sessions, and the establishment of middle manager assistance services and mentors.
We have also set company-wide targets for our overall ratings while placing emphasis on the above initiatives. We will continue to promote initiatives to achieve our desired organizational climate.
Employee Engagement Survey Results and Targets
|Target (End of FY2025)
|Number of D-rated workplaces
|Activities for change
Diversification of Work Arrangements
Epson aims to create an environment where employees have motivation and can work with vitality and in a physically and mentally healthy and safe manner while adapting to various changes in the environment. In particular, we are promoting flexible working hours and workplaces, with a focus on telework, which has advanced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creation of an environment that enables a work-life balance in life-stage events such as childcare, medical treatment, nursing care, and infertility treatment, as well as measures to prevent harassment in the workplace.
Epson, whose main sites are concentrated in the Shinshu area in particular, believes that it is even more important to develop flexible working styles that allow employees to work at any time and any place, and working styles that enable diverse employees to develop their individual careers, in order to attract managerial human resources and specialists and to promote diversity in the future.
Seiko Epson has been driving additional work reforms since 2017. In Phase I (FY2017-2019), we prioritized the management of overtime and the prevention of long working hours. In Phase II (FY2020-2022), we established a work-from-home system for all employees, abolished core hours in flex time, expanded the applicable age range for shortened working hours for childcare reasons (up to the sixth grade of elementary school) and otherwise expanded our systems for the diversification of workstyles and increase in choices.
We are striving to reform workstyles in Phase III (FY2023-FY2025) from FY2023. The birthrate will decrease and the population will age, the working population will decline and there will be other changes in the environment in the future. To continue contributing to society even in face of such issues, we believe it is important to foster a better workplace where employees from various backgrounds can balance their work and family lives with peace of mind.
The diversification of work arrangements is bringing a wide range of issues to the forefront in areas including human resources management and organizational operations. Everything from health to how we communicate and how we develop/evaluate/appraise personnel are affected. As a part of our efforts to create a healthy and vibrant work environment, we will also review our human resources systems and provide management with support.
Progress on Measures to Diversify Workstyles
|Ensure flexibility in place and time of work
|Evolve the work-from-home system
|Expanded work-from-home location options so that employees can also work from the home of their parents or their spouse’s parents or at the home of their spouse who lives separately in addition to their own home or the location they have listed in their contact information
|Introduce a work-from-home allowance
|Started paying a work-from-home allowance, and commuting expenses based on attendance record
|Introduce annual paid leave which can be taken on an hourly basis
|Introduced a system for annual paid leave which can be taken on an hourly basis
|Apply flextime without core hours
|Abolished core hour
|Ensure employees can balance work with childcare, nursing care and medical treatment
|Respond to the changes in law concerning male childcare leave
|Introduced new father leave and the ability to take childcare leave on a split basis
|Take-up rate in FY2022: 97.2%
|Ensure employees can balance work with childcare and nursing care
|Extended the applicable period for shortened working hours for childcare and nursing care up to the sixth grade of elementary school
|Support employees balancing work with medical treatment
|Expanded the short-term leave and long-term leave systems for infertility treatment (scheduled for September 2023)
Offering Flexible Work Location Options and Work Hours
Remote work system
Seiko Epson introduced a system in FY2018 that gives time-constrained employees the opportunity to work from home so that they can provide care to dependents, including children and other sick or ill family members. In September 2020, the remote work option was expanded to encompass all employees. This allows employees to work from home even if they are not constrained by childcare or nursing/caregiving responsibilities.
Employees can also work remotely from approved locations outside the home, providing even greater flexibility. Or, when their child gets sick, they can work a certain minimum number of hours while their children are sleeping. Whereas parents previously may have had to take paid leave for these situations, they now can work more flexibly around them. Effective from July 2022, Seiko Epson expanded the work location options so that employees can also work from the home of their parents or their spouse's parents or at the home of their spouse who lives separately.
In addition, the company will build an environment better aligned to the situation such as by beginning to pay a work-from-home allowance from October 2022.
Time Off by the Hour
From October 2022, employees will be allowed to request time off by the hour at any time during the workday. This is meant to strike a better balance between work and the care of a child or family member or with one’s own medical care. Enabling employees to take up to five days’ worth of annual paid leave by the hour has made it possible to lead to the realization of a work-life balance.
Flex Time without Core Hours
Epson amended its flex-time system to eliminate the requirement to be present during core hours. This change took effect in March 2023 to provide greater flexibility in the use of the system that is available to many employees. The elimination of core hours has given employees a wider range of options about when to start and end the workday.
Enhanced Support for Balancing Work with Treatment
Epson is creating an environment that facilitates a better work-life balance so that employees can continue to work with peace of mind while adapting to changes in their situation. Since FY2022, we have been encouraging all fathers to take paternity leave.
In addition, we established a new system to support employees undergoing infertility treatment from September 2023.
Childbirth and Childcare Support
We are also focusing our efforts on childcare support. For instance, we enable both men and women to work without disparity at the time of childbirth and childcare. Our aim is to create an environment where both male and female employees can play an active role to realize their desired career. Specifically, we have set up systems which allow employees to balance work while valuing childbirth such as with short-term leave, long-term leave and shortened working hours. The rate of female employees taking childcare leave in recent years has reached 100% due to these environmental improvements.
<Childcare Leave Trends>
|Ratio of women granted leave
|Ratio of men granted leave
*Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 20, 2023.
Calculation for FY2022:
*1: Ratio of the number of employees who took childcare leave in the fiscal year prior to publication with respect to the number of employees who gave birth or whose spouse gave birth in the fiscal year prior to publication
Calculation for the fiscal years up to FY2021:
*2: Number of people including those who took wellbeing leave which is a system unique to Epson
*3: Number of people who took childcare leave / Number of people eligible for the system (people eligible for the system: those who gave birth to a child and who became eligible to take childcare leave)
Support for Employees Undergoing Infertility Treatment
There is a need for companies to establish workplace environments where it is possible for employees to continue working while undergoing infertility treatment in response to the social issue of the declining birthrate. We have expanded our short-term leave and long-term leave systems from September 2023. This will enable employees undergoing infertility treatment to do so while working with peace of mind.
<Support Systems for Infertility Treatment>
|Short-term life support leave
|Gives employees five days of special leave (paid leave) which can be taken within a fiscal year.
|Long-term life support leave
|Allows a total of 365 days of leave to be taken over three fiscal years (can be divided). If continuing treatment even after three years, allows a total of 365 days of leave over the next three years.
Responding to employee caregiver needs
With advancing population aging, the number of people requiring care is on the rise. Consequently, the number of employees acting as caregivers for their families is also on the rise. Aiming to eliminate turnover due to caregiver needs, Epson provides the following types of support to caregivers.
- Launched a website related to caregiving to provide information related to in-house programs and nursing care insurance systems.
- Conducting nursing care preparation seminars to equip employees with the knowledge that will enable them to respond calmly to sudden nursing care needs.
- We contracted with an outside advisory service that employees can privately consult about caregiving issues.
- Enable the use of the following programs to support balance between work and caregiving.
|May take up to 1 year and 6 months per applicable family member
|Caregiver reduced hours
|Can be taken up to March 20th after three full years from start of use
An extension will be granted if ongoing care is necessary.
|Caregiver overtime exemption
|Exempt employees from overtime exceeding nominal hours
|Caregiver overtime restriction
|Restricts employee overtime to less than 24 hours per month or 150 hours per year
|Caregiver night shift restriction
|Restricts night shift assignments for employee
|Caregiver telecommuting program
|Enables telecommuting up to limited time specific for each work shift
|Allows employee to take 5 days/year for 1 applicable family member or 10 days/year for 2 applicable family members as caregiver leave (unpaid)
<Caregiver Leave Trends>
caregiver reduced hours
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 20, 2023.
Epson's Wellbeing Leave Program
Seiko Epson introduced a special paid leave program in March 1998 that allows employees who do not use all their annual paid vacation days during the year to stockpile the remainder, up to 60 days, in a separate account. They have the option of using special paid leave days in the event of personal injury or illness, or to care for children or family members, or to participate in school events for their children in elementary and middle school.
Managing Working Hours
Seiko Epson has been acting to more closely manage working hours and prevent long working hours as part of work reforms we began in 2017 and as a priority field in our Health Action 2025 medium-term health management measures we enacted in April 2022. In addition to ensuring legal compliance by familiarizing employees with an operations manual for managing working hours, we monitor in-out times and hours spent at work with automated tracking systems. We also remind personnel of the importance of maintaining reasonable working hours.
Achievements and Targets for Managing Working Hours and Preventing Long Working Hours Through the Above Activities
Target in FY2023 for actual total annual working hours: 1,845 hours
Target in FY2023 for number of days of paid leave taken: 20 days (including leave taken other than annual paid leave)
Epson's wage standards are compliant with the local labor regulations in the countries where we operate. Our standards provide for things such as suitable wages, allowances, and extraordinary pay.
The Epson Group Human Rights Policy states "Epson promotes equality of opportunity and treatment in respect to employment, occupation, and remuneration, with a view to eliminating any discrimination." In Japan, Epson pays its people based on the principle of equal pay for equal work, regardless of type of employment, as required by law. The wage system does not discriminate by age or gender. Seiko Epson eliminated the gender pay gap in 1983.
In Japan, for regular employees who are not in management positions, we have introduced a qualified grade-based system wherein compensation is determined by the employee's job and competencies. For leaders, we have a system wherein the compensation is determined by their job, which is given based on their competencies, and the level of roles they are fulfilling. We have a role-based grade system for managers wherein compensation is determined by the size of the person's role. The suitability of non-management employee and leader wages and the wage system are reviewed once a year by a committee made up of members of management and the labor union.
In every country and region outside Japan, we establish rules that are compliant with all local wage-related regulations governing things such as minimum wages, legal benefits, and overtime. Wages, deductions, and so forth are calculated based on these rules, and employees receive an electronic or printed pay stub showing the details of each pay period. Payment is made on directly to employees on the appointed date.
As a union shop, Seiko Epson requires all regular employees, except those in management or in certain other management-related positions, to join the labor union.*1
A labor-management council forms the basis of the labor-management relationship. Held regularly and as needed, this council is where management explains important management matters to labor union representatives and where the two sides discuss proposed changes to employment conditions. In addition to the labor-management council, Seiko Epson has formed labor-management committees, the safety and health committee, as well as some other committees, to discuss and solve issues related to things such as working styles, family support, and benefits and wages.
Informal discussions are also held on the division and department level to provide a venue for bidirectional communication between employees and managers. Management communicates its thoughts and wishes to employees as well as get direct feedback from them.
*1 Rate of joining the labor union among all regular employees: 86.2%
Main Employee Welfare and Benefits Systems (Japan)
|Description of System
|Health insurance, welfare pension, long-term care insurance, employment insurance, workman's accident compensation insurance
|Corporate pension fund, defined contribution pension plan
|Commuting expense subsidy, employee cafeterias & shops, uniforms
|Subsidies for get-togethers between employees, clubs for employees with shared interests
|Distance learning and license/qualification acquisition subsidies
|Employee savings scheme, employee stock ownership plan
|Company housing and apartments for singles
|Medical & health
|Company infirmaries and therapy (massage)
|Time off, leaves of absence, reduced hours, and home care services for employees who are caring for children or other family members
|Congratulatory and condolence payments, long-term service awards, group insurance, etc.