Promotion of Health and Productivity Management



Establishment of Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Philosophy and the Promotion Structure

Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Philosophy

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 Society collaborate and strategically strive to maintain and promote employees' health.

Ichiro Sasaki
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 Structure

Brother Group Health & Productivity Management Promotion Council

Health and safety managers at BIL and the Group companies in Japan meet once a year* to identify issues about employee health and decide on action policies and targets for the next fiscal year and beyond. In addition, the Brother Health Insurance Society and Group companies that have developed excellent activities present case examples of their activities and share information on effective and efficient initiatives.

Since FY2018, the Council has performed a comprehensive evaluation of efforts in health and productivity management and honor companies that have achieved excellence in such efforts as "healthy companies" with the CHO awards.

  • In FY2020 and FY2021, except for certain participants, the meetings were held online to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In FY2022, the meeting was conducted in person.

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. The meeting was attended by a total of six people, including the Director of the Health Management Center, an industrial physician, a public nurse, the Managing Director of the Brother Health Insurance Society, and the Director of the Health Promotion Center.

Data Related to Health

"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.

To achieve the "Healthy Brother 2025," the Brother Group is promoting activities in compliance with safety and health laws and regulations, 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.

Employee health management data

Main Efforts

Creation of the health & productivity management strategy map

BIL has created a strategy map to visualize continuous flow including issues to be solved through health & productivity management and efforts to solve them.

Approaches for maintaining and improving health

Mental health measures

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.

From FY2022, the course has been renewed, and we have introduced how to increase resilience*1 as a self-care method to prevent illness. In addition, as part of workplace improvement activities after stress checks, we held workshops for all department managers. In this workshop, we gave lectures and case examples on positive mental health*2 and action plans were formulated by each department manager to understand the strengths of their own departments and make use of them in management. One of the department managers who participated said, "I was able to gain new insights through the exchange of opinions between department managers."

Self-Care Workshop Self-Care Workshop Department Manager Workshop Department Manager Workshop

  1. A psychological term meaning mental "fortitude" "elasticity," and "flexibility." It refers to the ability to overcome and recover from mentally exhausting experiences, depression, and other challenges.
  2. A concept that aims to improve the mental and physical health of working people and lead to improved productivity. Whereas conventional "mental health" focuses on how to prevent illness and how to handle people who are sick, "positive mental health" emphasizes personal growth and happiness.

Age management* measures

The "Brother Active Aging Model" was created with the aim of enabling employees to work lively for a long time and to become even more healthier through working at BIL. We carry out age management measures by conducting activities in line with this model.
In FY2022, we held an "Online Experience Course" tailored to the challenges of each age group. This hands-on course consisted of three courses: "Fascial Release," "Yoga," and "Tips for Back Pain Prevention," with a total of about 700 participants.

Program Contents by Age Group Program Contents by Age Group

  • Efforts to create a system of occupational health activities for each age group that enable workers to work more productively in a healthy and energetic state throughout their lives, without being conscious of their age.

Sleep Hygiene Education

BIL has been conducting sleep hygiene education since FY2018 with the aim of improving mental health measures, preventing accidents, occupational injuries, and lifestyle diseases, and improving labor productivity. In FY2022, a "Two-Month Sleep Improvement" program was held. Three courses including "Get Enough! Sleep Improve Course with Friends," "Just Right! Good Sleep Sesamin Course," and "Easy! Sleep Type Diagnosis Course" were established, and a total of 320 employees took part in sleep improvement according to their desired level.

Sleep Programs Sleep Programs PR Poster for the Sleep Programs PR Poster for the Sleep Programs

Health Management for Women

BIL is strategically working on women's health management with the desire to be a company where women can continue to work energetically and actively in their own way, even while facing various health issues. For example, we hold a "Women's Seminar" every year with the goal of improving knowledge about diseases specific to women.

In FY2022, we held a "Cervical Cancer Seminar" and "PMS and Menopause Seminar" with a total of 686 participants, including male employees. We also have a health consultation service exclusively for women.

PR Poster for Cervical Cancer Seminar PR Poster for Cervical Cancer Seminar PMS and Menopause Seminar PMS and Menopause Seminar

Support for Balancing Medical Treatment and Work

Since 2006, when the Health Management Center was first established, BIL has been supporting the balance between medical treatment and work, and by working with the employees, their families, workplaces, the personnel department, doctors, etc., we are creating a working environment that can balance the two. In 2017, we created the "Guidelines for Support for Balancing Medical Treatment and Work" and shared it on the intranet.

In FY2022, as part of our activities to support balancing medical treatment with work, we started "in-house peer support activities*." These activities provide Brother Group employees who need to balance medical treatment and work with opportunities such as roundtable discussions and consultation sessions so that they can connect with others in similar positions, be at ease, and work with peace of mind. Through these activities, we aim to create a place within the company where people in the same situation can support each other, make people aware of others in the company who are balancing medical treatment and work, enable people to continue working even if they become ill, and create a supportive work environment where people can gain understanding and help from their superiors and colleagues regarding balancing medical treatment and work.
As of March 2023, approximately 30 employees within the Brother Group who are undergoing or have undergone medical treatment are participating. In addition, 12 employees who have undergone training and have been certified as supporters are engaged in support activities such as sharing their own experiences.

Support for Balancing Medical Treatment and Work Guideline Support for Balancing Medical Treatment and Work Guideline Peer Support Explanatory Material Peer Support Explanatory Material

  • People who share the same goals support and help each other by sharing their own experiences, actions, and thoughts, and by talking to each other.

Quit-smoking Support

From April 2023, BIL completely banned smoking on its premises. Therefore, in FY2022, to support smokers to quit smoking, we provided seminars on quitting smoking using psychology, quit-smoking support using apps, and sharing stories of employees quitting smoking. The Quit-smoking Seminar was held four times, both online and in person, with 120 participants.

Quit-smoking Seminar Quit-smoking Seminar Quit-smoking Support Using Apps Quit-smoking Support Using Apps

Other health related efforts

To support the wellbeing of our employees, we are also implementing a variety of other efforts.

FY2022 Efforts Details
Cancer measures "Cancer Prevention Stamp Rally" held to improve knowledge about cancer
Preventive measures against diabetes becoming severe Individual guidance using a continuous glucose monitor for 24 hours (for employees with HbA1c*17.5 or higher)
Measures to prevent lifestyle diseases Three-month group weight-loss program (for employees with a BMI of 30 or higher)
Improving of health literacy Spread information and introduced applications with the aim of practicing "Breslow's seven health habits*2"
Various studies Implemented employee satisfaction surveys and WFun*3 surveys in addition to stress checks
  1. An index that indicates the average blood sugar level over the past 1-2 months. If it is 6.5 or higher, diabetes is suspected.
  2. Based on the research results by Professor Lester Breslow, the following seven healthy habits: "1. do not smoke, 2. do not drink excessively, 3. regular intense exercise, 4. maintain a proper weight, 5. get a proper amount of sleep, 6. eat breakfast every day, and 7. avoid unnecessary snacking." Whether or not they are practiced will affect subsequent lifespan.
  3. Short for Work Functioning Impairment Scale. A questionnaire developed at University of Occupational and Environmental Health to measure the degree of work function impairment caused by health problems.

Global development of health and productivity management activities

The Brother Group operates globally with offices in more than 40 countries and regions. Industrial physicians and public health nurses from the BIL's Health Management Center visit Brother Group sites overseas to assess local medical conditions and the work and living conditions of employees. Although the Group suspended visits to the sites since FY2020 due to COVID-19, it used online tools to manage the status of health checkups and conduct web-based consultations, providing health support in the same way as for employees working in Japan. When movement restrictions were eased in FY2023, we visited Vietnam in March and the Philippines in April.

At BIL, for employees who are going to travel from Japan to other countries, the industrial physicians implement health education based on health and infectious disease information of each region of the world that helps such employees prevent and raise their awareness of HIV, tuberculosis, 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 to inform our employees.

When the risk of a global epidemic of infectious diseases increases, a countermeasures committee is established as a subordinate organization of the Risk Management Committee, which is comprised of Management, the Human Resources Dept., industrial physicians, etc. to gather the latest information, study countermeasures based on that information, and respond.

Contribution to the community and society

BIL cooperates in local practical training programs for medical and nursing students at universities, with the aim of nurturing people who will be responsible for the field of occupational health in the future. In addition to providing training on Brother's health and productivity management and the duties and roles of industrial physicians and public health nurses, the training also includes time to visit manufacturing sites and learn the basics of health and safety management.

Tour of manufacturing site Tour of manufacturing site

Furthermore, BIL also contributes to the community and society through the promotional activities of health and productivity management by having industrial physicians and public health nurses give lectures at seminars on health and productivity management at the request of external organizations, and by holding meetings to exchange opinions with local companies on the regional promotion of health and productivity management.

Evaluation by External Entities

The Brother Group's proactive initiatives for health and productivity management are also highly recognized by external entities, receiving various certifications and awards.

For more details, please refer to the link: "Management with an Emphasis on Sustainability-Evaluation by External Entities- Evaluation Related to Health and Productivity Management".

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