Talent Development



Basic Talent Development Policy

Respecting the diversity and individuality of employees and developing globally-minded human resources capable of delivering superior value

The basic talent development policy of the Brother Group is to develop self-directed employees. In line with this policy, the group aims to help each and every employee understand and sympathize with Brother's vision, translate it into action voluntarily, and achieve results.

Regarding the company's relationship with its employees, as stated in the "Our Associates" section of the Brother Group Global Charter, the Brother Group gives priority to:

  1. respecting diversity;
  2. enabling associates to utilize their talents and abilities to the fullest; and
  3. giving them great opportunity through challenging work assignments.

The Brother Group believes that talent development tailored to individual countries, regions, and business segments and the upgrade of relevant systems lead to helping employees fully use their talents and skills over a long period of time. Based on this idea, the group is committed to creating a better talent development environment and building various systems. With globalization, expansion of telecommuting, diversification in lifestyles and other drastic changes in the environment surrounding employees in recent years, Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) thinks it is important for the company to grow together with employees toward improving employee engagement*1. BIL also promotes DE&I*2 so that employees continue to enhance their productivity and creativity. In addition, employees will also be encouraged to take on challenges by efforts such as supporting the true autonomy of employees, strengthening the development and reskilling*3 of talents in the industrial area and those undertaking DX, and developing a culture where every employee can play an active role.

  1. Relationships in which employees and management are equal to each other and provide value to each other
  2. Abbreviation of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, a concept of respecting people's diversity and right to equality and encouraging organizations and society to promote more diverse values by including them
  3. Redevelopment and retraining of vocational skills

Approach to Talent Development

The basis of talent development at BIL is independent self-learning mainly through various job experiences and rotations. In other words, employees go through the stages of learning through their work, reflecting on their specific experiences, and applying the lessons gained from the experiences. Through this process, employees can better learn from their experiences and incorporate them into their practices.

In addition, feedback from supervisors and colleagues is indispensable for reflection on experiences. To gain such feedback, we emphasize the conduct of career consultations and formulation of career development plans on a periodic basis.

Goal Management System

BIL has introduced a "Mokuhyo-Challenge program (Tackling the Goal program)" as part of its personnel evaluation system. In the program, an interview is first conducted between an employee and his or her supervisor at the start of the fiscal year. Here, the policies of the department and the supervisor are confirmed before setting down goals for the employee to tackle. In the course of this process, the employee develops his or her own career development plan, and the supervisor confirms how he or she is to be involved in the plan. At the end of the fiscal year, an interview is conducted again to examine results to determine the degree of achievement of the goal. When evaluation is finalized, feedback interview is conducted to clarify to the employee the reasons for the evaluation, such as through explanations from his or her supervisor, and to give ideas for setting goals for the next fiscal year. The evaluation results are also reflected in bonus payments. Under this open program, the group believes that both the employee and the supervisor are able to gain greater understanding of each other and at the same time improve their respective job performances, and ultimately make their contributions to growth of the company.

Details of Education System and Training

As a part of the talent development efforts at BIL, we are providing a career design program for employees at milestone ages to review their experiences and changes in their environments and visualize their future visions, extension training that accepts employees who wish to participate to learn necessary skills, an overseas dispatch training program designed for young employees to gain experience overseas early on in their careers, and e-learning as an opportunity for self-development. We have prepared more than 20 programs for new managers, including harassment and human rights training, which cover various case studies that are based on actual incidents while delving into the meaning of "Trust and Respect" and "Ethics and Morality" stated in the Codes of Practice of The Brother Group Global Charter. Every year 50 or more employees participate in these programs. Besides these programs, in FY2017, we started one-on-one meetings between supervisors and subordinates in Japan. It was introduced to encourage the growth of employees and is being conducted for 80% of the employees.

In FY2021, we strengthened our anti-harassment measures. First, we conducted anti-harassment e-learning for all employees to systematically learn about environments that involve harassment and fundamental knowledge. Next, we conducted training on the prevention of harassment for both executives and managers to reaffirm their responsibilities and roles in the prevention of harassment under the slogan, "Brother never tolerates harassment." For the executives, a one-hour study session including discussion was held on the subject of "Enhancing the perspective of quality of relationship and considering management and organizational creation through mutual listening." For managers, a 1.5-hour training session on the subject of "From inappropriate speech to appropriate speech" was held, in which participants reflected on their daily management and communication with their subordinates, based on the idea that improving managerial skills leads to harassment prevention. Participants also deepened their understanding of harassment prevention by learning about the efforts made by managers of other departments.
In addition, workshop-style harassment prevention training has been conducted since FY2020 for employees in managerial and supervisory positions and above. In FY2021, the training titled "Toward an Open Workplace with Dialogue" was held in six sessions of 1.5 hours each, with 183 participants taking the program. Participants reflected on their workplace behavior through case study discussions.
We will continue efforts to achieve harassment-free workplaces.

Details of Employee Development Training and Education

Details of employee development training and education*1 (BIL)
FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Total hours 99,667 hours 104,758 hours 104,450 hours
Average amount of money per employee 80,043 yen 49,226 yen 52,220 yen
Average number of days per employee 1.09 days 1.15 days 1.13 days
Average amount of time per employee 26.23 hours 27.55 hours 27.01 hours
Training types position-based education, new manager training, extension training, etc. position-based education, new manager training, extension training, etc.*2 position-based education, new manager training, extension training, etc.*2
  1. The data cover only the training programs conducted by the Human Resources Dept. and the Production Strategy Planning Dept. Recount by adding nursing related seminars.
  2. Organized chiefly in the form of online seminars; trainee program and overseas training for new employees were canceled.

Brother Develops Talent Who Can Tackle Global Business Challenges

Employees develop a broad perspective and high expertise through various experiences

Since FY2008, the Brother Group has conducted the "trainee program," a training program that sends trainees from BIL to the group companies outside Japan and vice versa, aiming to foster talent who have a broad vision, high expertise, and the ability to respond to global business challenges.

This training is designed for young employees selected based on Brother's talent development plan to receive on-the-job training ranging from three months to two years in line with the training plans formulated beforehand by both their dispatchers and receivers. The initial focus of this program was to provide trainees with training associated with their area of expertise. However, in FY2015, it started offering training to help trainees gain new knowledge through experience outside their specialty. Such training, for example, includes giving an opportunity for developers to visit customers with salespersons to directly listen to the needs and usage conditions of the customers. In FY2018, the program also started short-term training for engineers in their twenties to learn at manufacturing or repair sites outside Japan for one month.

In this way, the Brother Group gives developers and engineers opportunities to learn other work than their own, and thus strives to develop human resources who can promote the "Brother Value Chain Management" (BVCM), Brother's unique management system to deliver superior value to customers.

Although canceled in FY2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, BIL dispatched 37 trainees to group companies in Germany, Indonesia, etc., while 14 from group companies in the Philippines and China were sent to BIL in FY2019. One manufacturing engineer, who was in their twelfth year at BIL, was dispatched to Brother Machinery Xian Co., Ltd.(BMX), a group manufacturing facility that operates a machinery business in Xi'an, China. By working together with local employees and carefully confirming each step of operations, this manufacturing engineer was able to experience the actual site of events that could not be replicated in Japan, including reviewing and reducing measurement values and the time it takes to carry out processes overall.

Process verification at BMX Process verification at BMX

The Brother Group will remain committed to fostering globally-minded human resources who can deliver superior value.

Production Department, Machinery Business Division, Brother Industries, Ltd. Hajime Okita

Comment from an employee who participated in the trainee program:
Becoming global talent that can contribute to business overall

Production Department, Machinery Business Division,
Brother Industries, Ltd.
Hajime Okita

I spent three months working as a team member with the local employees at the manufacturing facility in BMX carrying out improvement activities. My goal was to reduce the number of processes at the manufacturing facility in Xi'an. Naturally, I was proactive in offering up my own comments but I also made it a point to use data and easy-to-understand words to communicate smoothly with local employees and ensure we were on the same page. It was due to the nature of the local facility that I was able to cooperate with local employees to confirm the differences between manufacturing facilities in Japan and China, achieve visualization of manufacturing processes and manage tasks, and realize a training program by preparing a training manual.

Going forward, I aim to undertake improvement activities and talent development for local staff to deliver products that are safe, secure, and satisfying for customers while remaining conscious of the need to strengthen collaborations between departments and facilities.

AI-savvy Employee Development

AI utilization project to foster AI-led human resources development

BIL launched operational efficiency projects in 2018 under the direct management of the company president. They are aimed at groupwide promotion of automation and greater efficiency in routine tasks by utilizing RPA*1 and artificial intelligence (AI). One such example is the AI utilization project led by a software development department under the slogan "AI Everywhere." to enable AI application voluntarily by each employee. Under the project, Brother is undertaking a wide range of efforts, such as organizing internal AI training with a curriculum developed independently by BIL, sharing the latest AI technologies and AI best practices within the company through a dedicated intra-site system and AI utilization support to resolve issues at work sites.

Top page of the dedicated intra-site Top page of the dedicated intra-site

The internal AI training program aims to assign at least one AI-savvy employee to each business division and offers programming courses for beginners to encourage employee participation regardless of affiliation or level of basic knowledge. The program has been received very favorably among the participants, who said that "it was a great opportunity to learn how to make use of AI, which I knew nothing about" and "actually experiencing programming in the workshop helped create an image of what I will be doing." In fact, AI application by employees who have completed the course is growing steadily in various work sites.

Examples of AI application in manufacturing are automation and improved inspection accuracy for the shape of inkjet printer head nozzles and automation of pre-shipment inspection of industrial sewing machines. With project members working together with inspection personnel in each business division on identification of issues, massive data collection and data learning to utilize the AI system and trial system operation, inspection personnel were able to gain deeper knowledge about AI, leading to AI application in manufacturing.

In FY2021, information on the "AI Lean Canvas" was shared at a meeting attended by executive officers to promote the use of AI to the executives. The "AI Lean Canvas" is a practical framework that enables a quick, objective evaluation of whether or not a potential solution to a current problem is suitable for the use of AI, on a single sheet of A4-size paper and within an hour, so that even a non-expert in the AI field can easily complete the form. With the use of "AI Lean Canvas," it is now possible to quickly determine whether a project is suitable for AI, regardless of the expertise of the person in charge of the project in terms of AI, and to quickly move on to verification testing and implementation.

Amid accelerating global advances in DX*2, the Brother Group will continue to work actively on IT education to train more AI specialists within the organization to enhance its competitiveness in the market and at the same time contribute to employee development through improving their competencies.

  1. Acronym for Robotic Process Automation, referring to automation of business operations with the robots (replacement of people with robots for multiple routine application operations).
  2. Acronym for digital transformation, referring to advancement in quality of business and life through artificial intelligence (AI) and other information technologies, high-speed Internet and cloud services.

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