lifestyle

Study suggests Japanese workers are deeply distrustful of their employers

13 Comments
By Evie Lund, RocketNews24

A study has found that workers in Japan distrust their employers significantly more than workers in the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia do.

In the past, Japanese work culture revolved around one core belief: “lifetime employment”. Workers would join a company after graduation from university and remain with that company until their retirement. Often, a strong bond would form between the worker and his (rarely her) company, with customs such as company-wide trips, and “bring your family” events. Accordingly, workers in Japan used to have an awful lot of job security, and job-hopping simply wasn’t a thing.

Japan’s workers have less job security, but are still under pressure to put in the overtime and workplace after-hours socialising that has always been expected of them.

Now, however, the only people who are generally granted job security for life are civil servants, who work at city hall for their entire career and get shuffled around every couple of years in a process called "jinji-ido" (personnel transfers) which is designed to keep things fresh. Those who work for regular companies, however, have much less obligation to stick with their employer than they used to, and, in turn, that has led to companies showing significantly less care for their employees. One has only to consider the high incidence of contract workers and part-time workers, and the emergence of so-called “black companies” which flout labor laws and in some cases treat their employees so badly, it can even drive them to suicide.

A new survey conducted by Edelman PR polled Japanese workers to discover just how loyal they feel towards their employers in this economic climate. The results are unsurprising — only 40% of those polled agreed with the statement: “I trust the company I work for.”

The results come as part of a larger poll in which the same question was posed to workers in 28 other countries; of that number, Japan ranked bottom in employer company trust. Mexico ranked highest with 89% agreeing to the statement. Other results included: United States (64%), United Kingdom (57%), Australia (54%), Canada (64%), Germany (62%), and France (48%). Click here for the full breakdown.

Another statement, “I foresee improvement in the next five years for myself and my ability to provide for my family,” was met with only a 19% agreement rate among white-collar workers, dropping to 15% among blue-collar workers. The global average was 55 and 47% respectively for white- and blue-collar workers, indicating that Japanese workers are generally highly pessimistic about their futures in their current companies.

Source: Slideshare.net via NicoNicoNews

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13 Comments
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Both Siemens and EDS offered the same benefits ditto for IBM worked with them in 2 Countries. All outside the USA.j

Guess it depends on the local laws and budgets too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It still bewilders me that western companies don't move here and offer the same benefits as their home offices abroad. I saw how much happier my Japanese coworkers were that worked on the US military bases when I worked for the US department of defense, and there was a since of loyalty in the air.

Now I work for a global firm in Tokyo, and rather than adopt the practices of our western origins, the Japanese branch just offers a guaranteed overtime allowance for 50 hours a month.

In 6 months I can't honestly say that this company cares one bit about my longevity with them. They all just look out for themselves, so why should I, or anyone else be faithful to them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Workers can get laid off at any moment overseas, so that doesn't explain why Japan ranks worst.

It might be true for contract workers in Japan, but it's not the case for full-time workers who are infamously hard to fire due to the rigid labour laws.

But we do hear, seemingly as a result of these restrictions, that some companies use various nasty tactics to try to induce such staff to "voluntarily" quit instead, to work around the law. That sort of treatment isn't likely to make these workers feel good about their employers.

Overseas you'd just be fired, and get on with life elsewhere. (The company would probably be more profitable too without being forced to carry staff that were no longer wanted or required.)

So the rigid laws may have the best of intentions, but I suspect that they aren't serving a useful purpose for the workforce, nor the economy overall.

The Koizumi government did some partial reforms, but ended up creating an unfair system. Rather than take a go-slow incremental approach, they should have enacted full reforms all at once, IMO.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Who wouldn't be distrustful when you can get laid off at any moment?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Think you'll find that pretty universal...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Rigid labor laws' in the same sense that the anti-obscenity laws mosaicing genitals are 'rigid' yet allow thriving pornography and prostitution industries. In Japan, the letter of the law and enforcement are often two vastly different things.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan ranked bottom in employer company trust.

It's an interesting result, considering that Japan's rigid labour laws are supposed to be employee friendly, compared with places overseas where it is way easier to fire.

This is the direct result of former PM Koizumi's attempt to "Americanize" the Japanese economy.

So why does America (and everywhere else surveyed) score better than Japan then?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another statement, “I foresee improvement in the next five years for myself and my ability to provide for my family,” was met with only a 19% agreement rate among white-collar workers, dropping to 15% among blue-collar workers.

This part has little to do with employers, who will presumably be taking advantage of their employees in the next five years much like they are today, and more to do with Abe and the BOJ's commitment to inflating away the value of workers' savings, and raising taxes.

Just look back to 2011, five years ago, before the LDP got back into power. Consumer prices have soared, the consumption tax has gone up, measures have been put into place (My Number) to prevent people from earning extra money in part-time jobs; energy bills are way up despite a global slump in oil prices. The yen has been intentionally crashed and the one blessing we've got today -- cheap oil -- is certain not to last.

You would think that gains in personal skills and qualifications over five years would make someone much richer and more capable of supporting a family. But instead, the BOJ is ensuring that the top 1-5% will take even more of the pie -- a shrinking pie -- than ever before. How could anyone not among the connected elite possibly feel confident?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

gokai_wo_manekuFEB. 16, 2016 - 11:00AM JST This is the direct result of former PM Koizumi's attempt to "Americanize" the Japanese economy. He started the loosening of employment law, which Abe continues to do today.

That's only half the story. As the article shows, Americans tend to trust their employers far more than Japanese employees do, so "Americanization" of employment laws alone can't explain it.

What the problem is, is that laws have been loosened to allow temporary workers in a way far more extensively than American companies tend to use them. American companies do use temps, but clients value skilled employees such that they'd rather directly hire a skilled temp than maintain a year-by-year revolving door.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It makes sense. In the end company executives see employees as an expense, even the companies who realize talent, will and people are needed, they too in the end will lay off people before other actions are taken to improve efficiency. Firing is fast and easy. So anyone who is an employee must realize their time with any company is temporary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is the direct result of former PM Koizumi's attempt to "Americanize" the Japanese economy. He started the loosening of employment law, which Abe continues to do today. And Abe wonders whey we don't go out and Spend! Spend! Spend! Well, billionaire politicians like him will never understand. Why is he still there?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A study has found that workers in Japan distrust their employers significantly more than workers in the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia do.

And if Japanese companies/executives have no qualms about ripping off and otherwise exploiting employees who are Japanese nationals, non-Japanese employees working for Japanese firms don't stand a chance.

No wonder so many Japanese people I know opt for careers with gaishikei (foreign multinational companies in Japan).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And with good reason. Companies outright theft of employees salaries through unpaid overtime, compulsory work related entertainment and purchases of a corporation's goods and suspicious bankruptcies and restructuring that leave them with unpaid salaries are numerous. And there is little avenue for legal recourse or government enforcement of labor laws. A true corporate kleptocracy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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