There appears to be a generational shift in the workforce of Japan recently. New additions to companies labelled as “monster recruits” in the media, along with a reported 30% of new employees quitting in three years, are leading organizations to look into new ways to protect their human resource investments. Many of the following training methods have been carried out for decades but have been steadily growing in popularity among Japanese companies.
■ Boot Camp
Japan’s Self Defense Force plays host to around 100 organizations annually submitting a total of 2,000 members to all the fun and enjoyment that enlisting in the military can bring. You can bet there are plenty of push-ups, sit-ups, and 3-km runs over their two-night course.
However, in addition to the grueling physical pain inflicted on new office workers they can learn valuable skills such as CPR and applying a tourniquet. It’s exactly these kinds of skills that businesses like Hokuetsu Bank, The Bank of Saga, and many, many more are looking to hone in their freshest faces.
■ Dance Camp
Some other companies take a different track with training new recruits by making them sing and dance rather than cauterize wounds or hike 13 km. While sometimes this lively show is intended to simply promote team harmony some employers have deeper intentions.
This style of training does bring something interesting to the table: "yuru-kyara."
"Yuru-kyara" are the fascinating costumed mascots of districts all over Japan. For the few lucky employees of Tokushima City government, an annual dance class is held to learn the traditional Awa Odori (dance) alongside their own mascot Tokushii. The aim is for the city employees to become more familiar with the dance which is deeply connected to the prefecture they represent.
■ Pilgrimage Training
You might think joining baby goods maker Combi as a salesperson would be a cushy gig. At least you would until they confiscate your mobile phone and drop you deep in the mountains for three days with only a map.
Called pilgrimage training, it is meant to focus a new recruit’s mind on a single goal (getting out of the mountain) and achieve clarity of thinking. It’s also said that walking up steep mountain paths sharpens your “human power.”
Combi’s not alone in pilgrimage training either, with reportedly over 100 companies in Japan adopting the method. Some say it’s part of a larger trend in businesses who are looking more for real-life experience than theoretical knowledge. Good to know all that money spent on university was worth it.
■ Training by App
Some companies are attempting to “speak the language” of younger recruits by providing them with a helpful app that coaches them through the proper business etiquette. The details of the app probably varies from company to company, but next time a new employee isn’t sure whether to pick their nose and wipe it on a co-workers face, they can consult their handy app.
It’s a win-win situation as companies don’t have to waste time and money on training the basics of business behavior, and the employees don’t have to endure the shame of being lectured on it. It also incorporates challenges and staff rankings for motivation.
So far, employee response to the app has been positive with one commenting, “It’s great! I don’t feel like I have to do it.”
■ Tea Time
If you’re the type who thinks long walks in the mountains and dancing with people in animal costumes is beneath you, you may want to look into a position at the Sayama City Municipal Government. This city offers its workers training in their regional specialty Sayama Tea.
During the course, workers are taught proper pouring techniques to maximize flavor. For example, did you know when pouring two cups of tea, the water should be at a higher temperature than if you were only pouring one? That’s just one of the fascinating tea facts you can learn as a city employee here.
Those are just some of the tangential training techniques used by Japanese employers to deal with a changing generation of employees.
Source: Naver Matome
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