July 09, 2018

Mission Statements in Action: The Creation of New Stories

50,000 employees’ endeavor to create social needs

Author : OMRON / Publisher: OMRON

Every year on May 10th, OMRON employees unite to celebrate the foundation of their company. It is also a day where selected employees move the hearts of audiences by presenting the most outstanding examples of the implementation of corporate principles. Their stories encourage employees to reflect on the original philosophy of the company and its goals.

OMRON Group, with 36,000 employees and 150 branches, has spread its business operation across 117 countries. Its projects are highly diverse and widespread, with the overseas market accounting for 60% of OMRON's total sales. To develop the business at a global scale, the company has placed an emphasis on overseas activities such as localization of business operations and transfer of authorities, thereby amplifying its "outward force."

A disproportionately strong "outward force," however, can make a company fall apart. To use this force at its full potential, one needs a robust "unifying inward force." OMRON's corporate principles act as this core. By employing a "principles-based management", OMRON seeks to maximize growth. The OMRON Global Awards (TOGA) is the most symbolic of the projects for this purpose.

Participants from across the global branches reached a total of over 200,000 over six years

167-01.jpgTOGA Presenters selected from around the world

TOGA was initiated in 2012 as part of the endeavor to put OMRON's corporate principles into practice.
Yamada, President and CEO of OMRON, shared his enthusiasm for the project, saying "Excellent companies have legends and tales that demonstrate how their corporate principles have been practiced. We at OMRON have our own tales that have been handed down from previous generations. But producing these tales is not a privilege limited to our predecessors. We will create our own stories that we can pass down to the next generations."

The TOGA project has the following three features:

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There were 20,000 employees participated in the first TOGA in 2012. The number of participants has rapidly increased since then, and reached 51,000 in 2017, involving employees of all ages and regions. The number of entries has increased by 2.5 times, from 2012 with 2,481 themes to 2017 with 6,216 themes. The quality of themes improves year by year as well.

167-02e.jpgTOGA's participants and submitted themes
*Participants may submit more than one entry.
The number of participants shows a total number.

One employee's endeavor inspires another

167-03.jpgRepresentatives from the Americas region make a presentation at the global conference

The "Reducing turnover rate at a factory in Mexico" was one of the most impressing presentations made at the TOGA global conference held on May 10th, 2018. In the United Mexican States, the average monthly turnover rate is as high as 9.65%. OMRON's automotive electronics factory in Mexico suffers from a similarly high rate, with an average of 6.25%. The team, however, succeeded in reducing the turnover rate by more than 20%, by following the corporate principle "respect for all" as a basis. In liaison with the government, they started to regard the organization as a family and treat the employees well. The project also led to the improvement of the working environment for its employees, which numbers 1,400.

"When faced with challenges, we are often forced to make very difficult decisions. However, by returning to the corporate principles, we can find a way to overcome these hardships," says Krizia (left) and Adriana (right) from OMRON Automotive Electronics of Mexico. The audience felt the exuberance, exhilaration, and relief mixing across their faces after the twists and turns they experienced during the process.

Through their project, the two from the human resources department proved that both companies and individual workers can grow by making continuous efforts to implement the corporate principles. Their story of implementing corporate principles resonated with employees across the globe, giving them an occasion for connection and engagement.

167-04.jpgThe regional conference in Europe

The themes presented at the global conference are chosen earlier in the six regional conferences in Japan, the Americas, Europe, Greater China, Asia-Pacific, and Korea. Each region is entrusted with the administration of its own conference according to their local culture, but they follow the same selection criteria: how much effort put into the theme, regardless of the outcome, and how it contributes to solving social issues.

As both the management and the employees participate, the regional conference acts as a place not only for praise but also for feedback and learning. While there are many who cannot attend in person, employees use social media to share the stories with those who are absent or are working in different regions. This allows them to connect and support each other by posting comments and "likes." The infinitely expanding connections create a momentum that goes beyond the bounds of time and space, leading to an even wider participation.

167-05.jpgKasai presents his project at the global conference

Implementation of corporate principles and communication of values can attract new members as well. Takamitsu Kasai, who led the team for "addressing the lack of expert engineers with the use of AI controllers," is one such example. He joined OMRON mid-career three years ago, and it was the corporate principles that attracted him. It is not difficult to imagine that for such an individual, the TOGA event would be an especially memorable experience.

Kasai says that "as the project involved developing from scratch, there were numerous obstacles, but the members of the team were very passionate about contributing to society, taking the corporate principles as our beacon. Their passion changed our challenge into a story. Also, the potential I expected in OMRON for social contribution was confirmed to be true. I'm grateful that I could experience these two changes in such a short period of time."

Countless stories at OMRON fuel the power to solve social issues

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Half a century has passed since Kazuma Tateishi, founder of OMRON, established the corporate principles. Nowadays, the corporate principles pass down the legacy of the founder, but more importantly act as a shared core that allows employees to cooperate regardless of differences such as nationality, business field, industry, position and career. There is but one mission, but there are as many ways of implementation as there are social issues.

These countless OMRON stories are turning into a force that resolves the many problems facing society.

The TOGA project, which involves the 36,000 employees around the globe, will continue to be a driving force of creating innovation and value for clients. OMRON is determined to continue pursuing solutions to social issues through the implementation of its corporate principles.