Successful application of Japanese teacher dispatch service
HR Generalist/CHIHARU SATO
List of contents
- 1.Creating a workplace culture of growth in a global firm offering advanced localization services
- 2.The concerned voices of HR and General Affairs staff who wanted to know more about Japan and the Japanese language as the direct reason for using the Japanese instructor dispatch services
- 3.Business classes and general conversation classes 5 times a week: the visible difference in recruitment and retention rates
- 4.Implementation of Japanese language education into the employee growth plan as part of the voluntary employee benefits
- 5.When implementing the program, it’s important to interview your employees in advance; providing what they want will make them realize the progress they’ve made
1. Creating a workplace culture of growth in a global firm offering advanced localization services
Please tell us about Keywords International, what services you provide and the primary responsibilities of the departments participating in the program.
Keywords International was founded in 1998 by an Italian couple in Dublin, Ireland. In 2013, we were enlisted on the London Stock Exchange and currently operate 7 service lines (Art Services, Game Development, Audio Services, Functionality QA, Localization, Localization QA, Player Support).
50% of our Tokyo Office is comprised of multinational staff from all over the world, including France, Germany, Finland, The Netherlands, and Vietnam. We put every effort to create an environment where each of our employees at HR and General Affairs departments would have opportunities for growth.
2. The concerned voices of HR and General Affairs staff who wanted to know more about Japan and the Japanese language as the direct reason for using the Japanese instructor dispatch services
Considering that Keywords International is a global company, could you explain the decisive components behind using the Japanese teacher dispatch service?
To be honest, previously, there was not much need for Japanese previously because English was the in-house language. However, we do have Japanese clients, and some of the staff members raised their concern with writing business e-mails in Japanese. Additionally, there are times when office meetings are conducted in Japanese, so they were worried about speaking up and making mistakes. Others expressed their interest in getting to know more about Japan and Japanese culture. We wanted to support our employees desire to learn not just for the work purposes but for personal benefit as well.
3. Business classes and general conversation classes 5 times a week: the visible difference in recruitment and retention rates
We asked Succeed to talk with our personnel and divide it into two groups: business Japanese class and general class for those who want to learn Japanese for private purposes. We had 3 instructors in charge of 2 classes on Tuesday and 1 class every Wednesday～Saturday, 5 days a week in total.
The business class main objective was the practice of Japanese business e-mails and business conversation. On the other hand, in general class, to truly understand Japanese culture, the members would participate in various events, such as the local festival at the shrine nearby.
Must have been an exciting experience for them. I heard you took a survey after the program ended. What were some of the students’ responses?
‘’The teacher was a lively and happy person’’, ‘’I feel that knowing what O-bon is will be a helpful addition to my life in Japan’’, ‘’I can finally join in on the conversation about the hot topics in Japan’’, ‘’Thank you for looking out for my pronunciation’’
We had 30 participants in the beginning, but that number doubled to 70 in about half a year. Whenever I talk with any of our foreign staff members, I can really hear the difference in their Japanese.
Twice in half a year definitely reflects their level of interest! What kind of merits did you notice for the organization as a whole?
Well, one of the merits is that Japanese classes decreased the turnover rates boosting internal communication. Now the participants have a chance to share dinner together, which wouldn’t happen in other conditions. I don’t know the exact correlation, but at least it gives out an impression that the staff members participating in the program seem less likely to quit than those who do not.
Moreover, we think of it as a good opportunity to attract more foreign talents. For non-native speakers of Japanese who are afraid of working in all–Japanese environment, it surely brings a welcoming element.
4. Implementation of Japanese language education into the employee growth plan as part of the voluntary employee benefits
In the future, we’re planning to implement Japanese language education as part of the employee growth plan. We want to support our staff in the learning process and it’s always easier to learn if you have some kind of goal, like passing JLPT. However, we don’t want to force anyone to learn either, it has to be out of the free will.
Sounds like rather than training, you put it in the category of welfare and benefits. You support your employees’ attempts to improve and want to evaluate them based on their effort, not just results.
5. When implementing the program, it’s important to interview your employees in advance; providing what they want will make them realize the progress they’ve made
If it’s part of the office training, I understand it’s relatively easy to decide on the curriculum because you have a specific learning objective. However, even if you conduct the lessons for the employees’ personal benefit, it should be easy for the participants to see their own improvement over time by setting clear-cut goals.
What we focused on is providing the kind of classes that would answer the wants and needs of our staff. Therefore, before we started with the program, we asked prospective participants to take a survey. Except for checking their current level of Japanese, we confirmed what their expectations and purpose are, and what time frame would suit them the best.
The survey helped us grasp a general idea of what should be the course content. Then, we looked for a company that engaged in the dispatch of Japanese language instructors and came across Succeed willing to layout an order-made-program that corresponded with the survey results. However, there’s one more thing we kept in mind throughout the whole process. We didn’t want our staff to retain a passive attitude, so we made sure each of them was aware that these classes are meant to be a self-investment.
We have found that the Japanese instructor dispatch service benefits not only the employees themselves but also leads to the changes in the recruitment process and retention rates for the company. In addition, it became clear that conducting a detailed hearing involving employees who wish to participate in the program contributes to its success.
Motivation management of maintaining learning continuity necessary for improving language skills is a very difficult task for working adults. Finding ‘’a lively and happy person’’ who can spark enthusiasm and lead the class in a fun and interesting way with the same attitude as described by the participants this time can be seen as another aspect linking success with the Japanese teacher dispatch service.
Thank you for your time!
- Company Name
- Keywords Studios