Recruitment & HR Development

3 Things that Globalizing Businesses Should Be Careful Of

(Natee Meepian/Shutterstock.com)
(Natee Meepian/Shutterstock.com)
Many Japanese businesses are advancing into the rapidly-developing Asian market. In the globalization of a business, the localization of local corporations is very important. But this is where Japanese companies are falling behind when compared with their overseas rivals. The same is true in the field of HR, so this article will be introducing 3 issues that Japanese businesses need to be careful of.

Japanese companies who have major issues in the appointment/training/retention of local staff

Japan is an island nation, add to that the national isolation policy of the Edo shogunate and the fact that traditionally there have been few opportunities to accept diversity, and you will understand how Japan came to be poor in diversity. In addition, Japan is shown to be behind in terms of progress towards equality for  women overseas, even in the modern era.

Even when businesses globalize, there exist many companies that do not nurture their local staff. As a remedial measure, a business should first train local staff to shoulder management. This is especially so when it comes to the management training local staff. There are many enterprises where there is resistance to entrusting management to local staff, and currently there are actually comparatively few local staff in management.

There is also the problem of staff who end up quitting, even if they were painstakingly nurtured. According to "Analyzing 'Work' in Asia", published by Recruit Works Institute in 2013, local Asian staff strongly regard "high wages/comprehensive welfare programs" as important, therefore Japanese organizations, with their traditionally low wages, struggle to retain staff, unlike Western organizations.

As a result, in Asia, where job switches and head-hunting is common, it is easy for excellent talent to flow out.

Understanding the difference in work ethic in Asian countries

According to the Recruit Works Institute's report, Japanese workers tend to prefer jobs which they can perform alone. Whereas in Asian countries, especially in India, there is the tendency for a global orientation, a desire to do work involving many people.

Also, in contrast to the drive to work for oneself or one's family in Japan, in Vietnam or India, there is a strong sense of wanting to work for the development of the nation. Due to this difference, it is difficult to get other Asian countries to understand Japan's values, and Japan's common sense does not apply.

In Asian countries, the areas which are regarded as most important by workers are "high wages/comprehensive welfare programs", with "employment stability", "clear career paths", and "provision of training opportunities" being cited next. Because of this, businesses must prioritize surveying and understanding the work culture of the country in which they wish to develop in, in order to apply management that is suitable for that culture.

Requirements to acquiring high-calibre personnel

Other than management, there are "personal connections" and "local rules" which businesses would want to be careful of. In Asian countries, more so than in Japan, people's connections exert a big influence on businesses. The reason for that is if there aren't many companies hiring at the time of finding/changing jobs, one uses either introductions from friends/acquaintances (referrals) or the media for the purpose of finding jobs.

If the degree of satisfaction of the already appointed local staff towards the company is high, it will lead to them introducting other good candidates, but conversely, if they are discontented, bad rumors will end up spreading to family or friends/acquaintances, giving the company a bad reputation.

If a business wants to secure fresh graduates from the best colleges or technical schools in India or China, connections with school officials are important, and having a strong presence in the school through multiple visits is necessary.

Companies must also pay attention to the enterprise system or labor system of the country in which they wish to develop in. Of course, the rules differ for each country, and sometimes those rules may change due to changes in political systems. It is therefore important to look in the direction of not just the economy, but also changes in political trends or social trends of that country, and plan responses which accommodate these changes.

Global business to bear localization in mind

The motivation or work ethic of local personnel will differ with each country, based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. Without diversity management, a business will not be able to secure and retain talented staff. It is important not to get trapped by the common sense of Japan's personnel system. When going forward with localization, a business must sincerely embrace the differences in local rules, environments and ethics. 
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