Japanese employees don’t want to study or go abroad and don’t like their current employer very much either. But at the same time, very few are considering changing jobs. These were some of the conclusions from a recent Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry report (Vision for Human Resources of the Future).
Further depressing conclusions were:
- Japan is not attracting highly skilled labour from abroad
- The level of employee engagement is one of the lowest in the world
- Japanese general managers are earning less than their Thai peers
- Japan is bottom of the league with regard to investing in human resources
- Japan’s workforce is losing its competitiveness
- The number of Japanese people studying abroad is decreasing
- The proportion of graduate recruits who do not want to work overseas is increasing
- Most senior managers worked their way up the company and tend to be very similar to each other
- The number of women in executive and management positions is still very low
Consultant Dr Kawai Kaoru criticises this report in the Nikkei Online, asking what the point of it is, and who it is addressed to. The conclusions are well known, and have appeared in previous reports over the years. If the message is how important it is to invest in your people, surely if this is news to any company, that company is on the road to bankruptcy anyway, she argues.
Kawai thinks the money spent on the 109 page report would have been better used elsewhere. For a start, she thinks the civil service ought to get its own house in order. 50% of the staff at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare are on temporary contracts, and 50% of unemployment counsellors are also on temporary contracts. The civil service is also suffering from low employee engagement. This, and many of the other issues raised above may sound wearily familiar to readers in the UK.
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