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Companies that are like family? 2012/9/18 01:46
I am an American in my early 20's who is new to the business work force. I just joined a large company. Many of the employees have never seen the "higher ups" because they are always on the go around the country. The employees are not seen as individuals, more like numbers who if made a mistake can easily be replace. A friend of mine works for a small company and I asked him if it is the same type of situation there and he said yes.

I spoke to my parents and grandparents who say that companies "are not like they used to be." They said that when they worked many companies, large and small, were close to the employees and treated them like family.

A couple of friends in Japan told me that the work place is so important to them. They try to be as dedicated as possible to their jobs because they want a company who is trustworthy and will not treat them as "just a number" like many companies here do.

With that being said, I am wondering if "good" companies (look out for employees, employees not just a number) are just as hard to come by in Japan as they are in the USA?
by Businessman (guest)  

Re: Companies that are like family? 2012/9/18 12:49
I was lucky enough to have worked for 3 private large companies in US that are friendly and one is family like. All US based international. If you look around you will find one in US without going to Japan or other countries.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Companies that are like family? 2012/9/18 22:16

I hope you are aware that this tendency has more to do with the economy and industry than the country and era.

Right now the economy is not that good and employment is not that stable. And regardless of that, some industries are harsher than others. And regardless of that, popular positions are harsher than others because even if you quit there are others who'd take your job.

But as mentioned, you can look around and discuss with specialists or experienced people to find jobs tha suit you better. My personal advise to you is that it's better to find a new job first before you quit your older one rather than the other way around.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Companies that are like family? 2012/9/19 04:00
Sorry for the confusion, I do not intend on quitting my job. This question was just out of pure curiosity because many of my American friends always complain about how the good companies no longer exist while my friends overseas seem to be more upbeat about it.
by Businessman (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Companies that are like family? 2012/9/19 08:50
Maybe you've heard of "life-time employment" by Japanese companies? That's what used to be the norm back... maybe 30 years ago? In Japan, upon graduating from university, you find a good company, and you were expected to work for that one company until retirement age: the company was expected to train and develop you, for which they expected loyalty from you. They raised salary along with your service years, in a way providing for the livelihood of the employees rather than paying for their performance. They had a lot of company events, to which families were invited too, so that the level of involvement in working life was very high. Some lived in a company dorm when young, got married to someone who your boss introduced you to, so your whole life could be kinda contained within that company.

I'd say that changed over the years, due to combination of different factors: economic downturn (companies came to consider employees more as cost factors rather than assets), insufficient number of job openings available, companies preferring temporary or contract workers over full-time workers (and laws to allow that), changes in people's preferences (people want "independent careers" and if needed would hop from one company to another, more like with the US), and prevalence of "American" style remuneration based on performance, etc. More people start up their own business. Companies, seeing that people quit after a few years, would not be motivated to give full training; instead, they wanted to hire people already with skills, and let them quit if they don't perform. They cut salary raise at a certain age to save cost, etc. etc.

So the change was from an environment that nurtures and promoted long-term employment to one that is skill-based, money-driven, more business-like, in a way.

Of course there are some companies that say that their employees' happiness is at the core of their operations, but they do stand out. Large corporations really aren't like that. Some do say their best assets are their human resources, but they would apply that ruthlessly only to their best-performing employees. So... if you were wondering if young workers would experience something completely different in Japan, the answer is no. But still the tradition may carry on that a company where you work is somewhere you "belong to," rather than somewhere you earn money at.
by AK rate this post as useful

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