Japanese companies are diversifying their employee training programs to cater to the changing business climate and globalization of human resources. With the economic outlook growing hazy, they are constantly on the lookout for how best they can enhance the capabilities of their workers.
Stating from this fiscal year, Sumitomo Corporation introduced Zen meditation in its employee training program. The aim is to provide opportunities for foreign workers to better understand Japanese culture so they can answer questions on Japan when they deal with clients overseas. In a training session held in July, 26 foreigner managers from 17 countries participated.
In April, Marubeni invited a Noh performer to its training session for about 160 freshmen employees. They were taught how to chant one chapter in “Funabenkei,” a classic Noh play. “Developing an eye for culture in range of fields can help them work better overseas,” said a person in charge of training.
Every September, Nissin Foods Holdings conducts a three-day “program for survival” for those who have been newly promoted to managerial positions. The program takes place on an uninhabited island located in the Inland Sea of Seto, and the participants are not allowed to bring their mobile phones. They are provided with water, “Chicken Ramen” instant noodles, fire-making tools and the bare minimum of food and supplies for survival. If necessary, they have to catch fish on their own.
“There is no manual for success amid tough international competition,” said a person from Recruit Career. “Training programs will become more diverse.” (Abridged)