Promoting Employee Health Management by Establishing the "Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Philosophy"
Establishing a framework for promoting health and productivity management
The Brother Group aims to create superior value through manufacturing and deliver products and services to customers around the world. With this purpose in mind, all group employees are working every day on a global stage.
As stipulated in the Brother Group Global Charter, the basis of such activities, the Brother Group values taking care of the health of every employee so that they can strive to achieve their goals, and ultimately, contribute to the group's success.
In September 2016, Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) established the Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Philosophy. Under this philosophy and the leadership of the Chief Health Officer (CHO), the Brother Group has been strategically undertaking various activities.
Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Philosophy
The Brother Group considers the physical and mental health of every employee as an important "asset," and thinks demonstrating various capabilities "positively, pleasantly and powerfully" leads to the Group's growth.
Every employee's health is the basis of the Brother Group's continued development and responds to the needs of society, such as extension of healthy life expectancy. To realize health and productivity management, the Company, labor union, and health insurance association collaborate and strategically strive to maintain and promote employees' health.
Representative Director & President
Chief Health Officer
Brother Industries, Ltd.
Health & Productivity Management Promotion Structure
BIL has established the Health Management Center, which manages the health of the Brother Group employees, develops mental health measures, and promotes good health. It has been offering effective and efficient approaches to maintaining and promoting the health of employees while implementing the PDCA cycle and cooperating with the Brother Health Insurance Society and the Brother Industries Labor Union. Meanwhile, the Brother Group facilities in respective countries and regions have been employing industrial doctors or working with medical institutions to maintain and improve the physical and mental health of employees.
Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Promotion Structure
Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Promotion Council
The Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Promotion Council, composed of the safety and health managers at BIL and the group companies in Japan, holds an annual meeting to identify issues about employee health and decide on action policies and targets for the next fiscal year and beyond. At the meeting, activities by the Brother Health Insurance Society and excellent activities by the group companies are reported. In this way, the meeting serves as an opportunity to share information on effective and efficient activities.
In FY2018, the council launched an awards program to perform a comprehensive evaluation of efforts in health and productivity management and honor group companies that have achieved excellence in such efforts as "healthy companies" with the CHO awards. Since then, the council has recognized outstanding group companies through this program.
Health Support Meeting
The Health Support Meeting is jointly organized by BIL's Health Management Center, the Health Promotion Center of the Brother Health Insurance Society, and Brother Memorial Hospital. It decides specific activities to achieve numerical targets, discusses implementation methods, and evaluates the results based on the policies set by the Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Promotion Council, and also organizes collaborative events with the Brother Industries Labor Union.
"Healthy Brother 2025" -a set of long-term targets for employee health
The Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Promotion Council formulated the "Healthy Brother 2025," a set of long-term targets to be achieved by FY2025, based on the Health & Productivity Management Philosophy and with the aim of allowing employees to actively demonstrate their abilities in a wide variety of areas.
To achieve the "Healthy Brother 2025," the Brother Group is promoting activities focused on enabling employees to live every day positively, pleasantly and powerfully, to engage in self-directed health promotion, and to balance work and health in compliance with safety and health laws and regulations.
Targets in the "Healthy Brother 2025" and results (at Brother Industries, Ltd.)
|Rate of employees with poor control of blood-sugar levels*1||0%||0.5%||0.4%|
|Rate of non-metabolic syndrome employees*1||80% or above||73.8%||73.0%|
|Smoking rate*1||Less than 10%||14.9%||13.7%|
|Cancer screening rate*2||95% or above||96.6%||96.1%|
|Secondary cancer screening rate||90% or above||80.7%||83.5%|
|Rate of employees absent from work for one month or more*1||Not more than 0.5%||1.1%||1.4%|
|Participation rate in line care training*1||100%||91.9%||81.0%|
|Rate of employees maintaining five or more healthy life-style habits*1||70% or above||66.6%||66.6%|
|Rate of employees with high stress levels*1(based on a stress check test)||Less than 5%||10.1%||10.0%|
|Rate of employees with adequate sleep*1||70% or above||62.0%||61.1%|
|Rate of employees maintaining exercise habits*1(once or more and 30 minutes or more a week)||60% or above||40.6%||40.8%|
- The rate among BIL employees
- The rate among BIL employees aged 35 and older
Employee health management and status (at Brother Industries, Ltd.)
|Employee health management|
|Regular health checkup||Participation rate*1||100%||100%|
|Participation rate in comprehensive health screening for individuals aged 35 and older*2||96.4%||96.1%|
|Participation rate in secondary screening||75.8%||76.6%|
|Specific health checkup*3||Participation rate*4||96.1%||99.4%|
|Metabolic syndrome rate||12.3%||14.2%|
|Stress check test||Participation rate*1||88.0%||89.0%|
|Brother Healthy Life Months||Participation rate*1||39.9%||35.1%|
|Employee health status|
|Actual annual working hours per employee||1,956 hours||1,952 hours|
|Annual non-scheduled working hours per employee||196.0 hours||197.8 hours|
|Average years of employment||17.1 years||17.2 years|
|Voluntary turnover rates/Number of employees leaving*5||1.4%/54 individuals||1.3%/50 individuals|
|Rate of paid leave usage/Number of used leave days||82.8%/16.6 days||82.2%/17.2 days|
|Number of employees with long working hours||Number of employees whose non- statutory working hours exceeded more than 75 hours within a month||2 employees||2 employees|
|High blood pressure*1||9.2%||9.8%|
|Rate of employees maintaining exercise habits*1||Employees exercising once or more and around 30 minutes a week||40.6%||40.8%|
|Stress check test||Employees with high stress levels||10.1%||10.0%|
|Average medical expenses per employee||115,246 yen||129,453 yen|
|Employee satisfaction level||The score of the question "Do you feel a strong sense of pride as a member of the Brother Group?" in the employee awareness survey (five-point scale evaluation)||3.79||3.79|
- The rate among BIL employees
- The rate among BIL employees aged 35 and older
- A checkup specified by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
- The rate among employees who are eligible for a specific health checkup
- Employees who resigned for personal reasons
Approaches for Maintaining and Improving Mental and Physical Health
Aiming to maintain and improve the health of employees in the entire Brother Group
The industrial physicians and health nurses of BIL's Health Management Center visit some group facilities every year. In FY2019, they visited two manufacturing facilities; BROTHER TECHNOLOGY (SHENZHEN) LTD., BROTHER INDUSTRIES (PHILIPPINES), INC.
During their visit, the industrial physicians and health nurses conducted health interviews with and provided mental health seminars for employees seconded from BIL and their families, and exchanged information with local medical staff. In addition, they confirmed conditions by carrying out a survey and hearings about the living environment, as well as visiting medical institutions located near the facilities. They also exchanged information with entities providing medical support services to seconded workers, such as hospital appointment/interpretation services and support for severe diseases.
Mental health: preventing disorders, detecting them at an early stage, and supporting employees to return to work
BIL has been continuously providing mental health education to its employees since 2007 with the aim of helping them become aware of their own stress and take appropriate measures against it (primary prevention) and helping superiors identify and support their subordinates suffering from incipient mental disorders (secondary prevention). The company also helps employees who have developed mental disorders continue to work in their own ways, assisting such employees to return to work (tertiary prevention) in collaboration with their workplaces.
All employees are required to take self-care training, which is designed for primary prevention, every five years. The training gives participants an opportunity to learn from actual case examples and think about how to control their health and cope with their stress.
In accordance with the amendment of the Industrial Safety and Health Act, BIL instituted a stress check test in FY2014. Since FY2017, the results of the conducted stress test have been analyzed on a per-department basis to assess the health risks of each department. The risk results are reported from industrial physicians and health nurses to managers in all departments so that each department can recognize its own stress-related issues. Subsequently, each department, mainly with its general manager, considers and implements measures for improving its working conditions.
In FY2019, BIL implemented positive mental health measures in cooperation with the Human Resources Dept. and the Health Management Center, with the goal of ensuring employees work energetically. The theme of these measures was to "improve employee engagement*." Workshops and meetings were held for executive officers and general managers. Employees from all departments participated in the workshop while participation in meetings was voluntary. Employees from around half of all departments took part.
In addition, all employees, including full-time, temporary, loaned, and dispatched, participate in an employee awareness survey which is conducted once a year. The survey grasps and analyzes a diverse range of employee awareness, including work-related stress, human relations or treatment in the workplace, and the level of pride an employee has in the company. To this end, we are working to create a healthy work environment and improve the job satisfaction of all employees.
- The organization and its employees work together to contribute to their mutual growth. This is said to benefit the improvement of both the organization's performance and employee well-being (creating a physically, mentally, and socially good state).
Physical health: conducting health promotion activities, curbing passive smoking, and providing quit-smoking support
BIL's Health Management Center designates every October and November as the "Brother Healthy Life Months" and is engaged in various efforts in cooperation with the Workplace Safety and Disaster Prevention Group of BIL's Human Resources Department, the Brother Health Insurance Society, and the Brother Industries Labor Union.
In FY2019, measures based on the theme of "sleep," the same as in the previous year, were conducted with the goal of ensuring better sleep quality. Health nurses went to each workplace and provided health education on achieving "better sleep quality and autonomic nerves." Although taking health education seminars was voluntary, a total of 66 seminars were held and 1,627 employees participated. Participants saw an improvement in subjective symptoms of insomnia and the time it took for them to fall asleep after taking the seminar.
As for measures to prevent passive smoking, smoking in any of BIL buildings has been prohibited since FY2016, and smoking during working hours has been thoroughly prohibited since FY2018. In addition, a new measure prohibits employees from using elevators for 45 minutes after smoking. We also implemented passive smoking e-Learning for all employees in conjunction with the revision to the Health Promotion Act.
As a measure aimed at reducing the smoking rate, we are continuing to strengthen support to quit smoking. In FY2019, we provided information on electrically-heated tobacco. We also implemented a two-week stop smoking challenge, with the goal of preventing the spread of and severe worsening of COVID-19. A large number of employees participated in the challenge.
Measures against infections -prevention education and infection control measures
The Brother Group is a global enterprise with facilities in more than 40 countries and regions and with many employees traveling for work or engaged in temporary assignments across national and regional borders. Since country-specific or region-specific high-risk infections exist, the group has been striving to prevent the transmission and spread of such and other infections.
At BIL, for employees who are going to travel from Japan to other countries, the industrial physicians of the Health Management Center implement health education that helps such employees prevent and raise their awareness of HIV, malaria, and other infections by providing their transmission routes, incubation periods, and symptoms. For employees on temporary assignments, the company provides the "leaflet on health management abroad," which covers information and cautions necessary for living outside Japan, and posts information about infection epidemics on the intranet. At the Brother Group facilities outside Japan, the industrial physicians and health nurses of the Health Management Center check the status of local infection epidemics and so forth during their annual visits.
When the risk of infection epidemics increases, BIL sets up an infection control committee composed of management personnel, members of the Human Resources Dept., industrial physicians, and so forth as a subcommittee of the Risk Management Committee to collect the latest information and discuss measures based on the information.
The Brother Group will remain committed to maintaining and enhancing the physical and mental health of employees.
External Evaluation of Brother's Health and Productivity Management
BIL wins the best award at MHLW's first awards program to recognize the good use of healthcare services
In March 2020, BIL won the best award at the first awards program by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to recognize the good use of medical care. The best award is given to an organization whose initiatives are recognized as the best among entries. MHLW for the first time held this awards program, aiming to encourage and promote superior initiatives that help people properly seek medical attention. In this way, this program strives to reduce out-of-hours medical care during the night or on weekends to allow healthcare professionals to prioritize emergency patients in need of immediate treatment and to avoid overwork.
BIL has been promoting various initiatives to enable employees to work securely based on the Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Philosophy. This award highly recognized some of the initiatives, such as equipping each workplace with an emergency response list for occupational injuries and sudden illnesses, creating an environment which allows employees to get medical attention during working time, and supporting the balance between treatment and work based on two internal guidelines, "the balance between disease treatment and work" and "the balance between fertility treatment and work."
The Brother Group will remain committed to advancing its efforts to maintain and promote employees' health.
The 2021 Health & Productivity Stock Selection Program and the 2021 Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program
In March 2021, BIL and Brother Group company Nissei Corporation were included in the 2021 Health & Productivity Stock Selection, a program jointly conducted by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In addition, BIL and nine Brother Group companies were recognized under the 2021 Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program, designed by METI and operated by the Nippon Kenko Kaigi. Under this program, BIL, Nissei Corporation, Brother Sales, Ltd., and Brother Living Service Co., Ltd. were certified as "White 500" enterprises, a certification that is given only to the top 500 companies in the Large Enterprise Category , while Brother Enterprise, Ltd. was certified as a "Bright 500" enterprise, a certification that is given only to the top 500 companies in the SME*1 Category.
- The term "health and productivity management" is a registered trademark of the Workshop for the Management of Health on Company and Employee, a non-profit organization.
- Small and Medium-sized Enterprise
The Brother Group's health and productivity management initiatives were introduced in a television program shown in Japan.
- This video is available only in Japanese.