Special Feature 2: Workstyle Reform at Aichi Steel

Making serious changes to the way we think


Along with construction of the new administration building, Aichi Steel began to focus on workstyle reform. We aim to raise awareness of every employee to enable them to complete their tasks and achieve results within time limits and deadlines. We will also respect work-life balance as we support balance in the ways they work and rest.

Background/Environment

Awareness and culture reform

Work finish time boards

Post planned finish times to raise awareness of the need to complete tasks within the allotted time

Time management duty person

Person on duty reminds people about time management to improve time awareness across the entire workplace

Consecutive days of paid vacation encouraged

Balance rest time to do all the non-work-related things you want to do and need to do

  • “Refresh” Vacation System
    Up to five days consecutive vacation for employees
    whose age is a multiple of 5
    93.9 of eligible employees took this vacation in fiscal 2017
  • “Memorial” Vacation System
    Up to three days consecutive vacation for employees on their birthday, day prior and day after

Developing environments (HR and support systems, etc.)

Working from Home System adoption

As part of our efforts to support work-life balance, we have developed a system and environment that offers the choice of working from home to employees who work shorter hours because they are raising children, or who have family members in need of constant care.
To support the combination of work and child-raising/care-giving, we are promoting workstyles without time restrictions to increase opportunities for employee participation.

VOICE Working from Home

Working while raising children, and improving management awareness

Because I am able to work at home in the free time I have between caring for sick children and other tasks, I am able to keep up with my work schedule.
It is important that I am personally aware of time management, so I set and work toward deadlines for completing various work and child-raising tasks.

Chihiro Ota
Corporate Branding Group Corporate Communications Div.

“Ji-kotei-Kanketsu” training

As part of our efforts to maximize ability and performance, we are conducting “Ji-kotei-Kanketsu” (built-in quality with ownership) training for team leaders.
Teaching the appropriate approach and concrete steps, the training aims to increase motivation among team members and maximize performance through efficient work practices without having to redo tasks.

What is “Ji-kotei-Kanketsu”?
This work approach emphasizes high-quality work with an efficient arrangement of steps to prevent errors and avoid redos.

Management reform for supervisors

Workstyle reform for managers

As part of our efforts to promote workstyle reform, our employees in management positions, who are leading workplace management, are changing awareness and actions.

Team leader training

In 2016, we introduced a team system at Aichi Steel. We introduced a new training program to improve the management skills of team leaders and improve the quality of work conducted by each team.

  • Teams are the smallest management units, of up to seven members, situated within departments.
  • Approximately half the team leaders are younger members of staff
    (assistant manager level employees aged up to and including in their 30s).

Details:

  • Clarification and understanding of team leader roles and ideals
  • Raising awareness through direct instructions from the president (lectures)
  • Creation and distribution of a file depicting concrete examples of team leader actions
  • Understanding one’s own management characteristics
  • Practical training through role-play
  • “Ji-kotei-Kanketsu” training, etc.

“ACTION! For the team” folder

Examples of concrete actions for team leaders always available for review

VOICE Team leader training

Approaches and techniques learned through training can be passed on to workers

The training was great because we learned the main causes, and their solutions, when having to redo experiments. We learned to look for problems in actions we normally take without thinking, and then learned the techniques for resolving those issues. I will pass on this knowledge to my subordinates.

Akihiro Matsuyama
Batteries Research Dept.
Frontier Research and Development Div.

“Yarikiri 3W” communication notepad

When supervisors provide work instructions to their workers, they can use this notepad to clarify objectives, deadlines, and quality, to ensure work carried out and avoids redos. Exchanging these notes is a way of improving communication between supervisors and workers.