Cultivating Human Resources

Group Policy

In the Citizen Group, individual operational companies are responsible for developing human resources capable of adapting to the business environment in accordance with their respective policies. We have a comprehensive environment for human resource development with two training options. One is tiered training organized by Citizen Holdings and the other is training organized by separate Group companies.

Training Manufacturing Engineers

Pursuing its goal of “Building the World’s Foremost Watch Factory,” Citizen Watch Manufacturing has established a watch school to enhance manufacturing skills and develop its human resources. At this school, veteran employees instruct younger employees, who hone their skills and technical expertise as they work toward national certifications under a system operated by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, as well as the company’s own certification system.
The Citizen Watch Group takes part in the National Skills Competition, which seeks to develop and pass along skills and manufacturing expertise. Held annually to uphold Japan’s traditional prowess in manufacturing, skilled workers aged 23 or younger from around the country take part in this competition. The fiscal 2014 event included six competitors from Citizen Watch Manufacturing in the watch repair category and two in mechatronics. In the former category, employees earned gold, silver, bronze, and “Fighting Spirit” awards. The competition helps to motivate employees and reinforces the process of working dedicatedly toward goals, an important characteristic for a manufacturing professional.
Through efforts including the watch school and the National Skills Competition, we aim to continue passing on technology and other skills to young engineers and enhancing their knowledge.

Human resource development at the watch school

Human resource development at the watch school

Winning a gold prize in the watch repair category at the National Skills Competition

Winning a gold prize in the watch repair category at the National Skills Competition

Human Resource Development Program

Cultivating Global Human Resources and the Future

Saori Sakurai

Saori Sakurai
Previously,Citizen Watches(H.K.)Ltd.

Gaining Important Experience in Environments Different from Japan's

I had hoped to work outside Japan, so it was opportune that I got to know and then joined Citizen Watch, which offered overseas work possibilities. But I hadn't realized I would be given a chance to work overseas so soon. Being sent to work overseas as a young employees was truly a valuable experience for me.
As the company that oversees operations throughout Asia, CITIZEN WATCHES (H.K.) has the role of connecting countries in Asia and the Middle East with headquarters, so I had the chance to get involved in many different types of work. Working with staff in Hong Kong who were not shy about voicing their opinions meant that I needed to have a firm grasp on the meaning of and necessity for the work I was doing; it wasn't simply a manner of giving orders from above. I learned how to think of tasks myself and understand things before taking action.
In Hong Kong, there is very little difference in the way men and women work. Even when they marry or give birth, it is normal for women to continue working. I think the fact that this is typical and that everyone understands it to be so, has contributed to Hong Kong's economic growth.

Observing the Citizen Group, Viewed from the Outside World

I believe that Citizen Watch has some quite advanced technologies and is involved in some very interesting things. But the company's excellent technologies and initiatives are not being adequately communicated. In Hong Kong, brand competition in watches is fierce, and the Citizen brand has to compete on a daily basis to survive. I realized that we need to do more than we are at present to communicate the positives about the Citizen brand. To increase the brand's presence at all points of the globe, I think we need to quickly deploy young people who have developed overseas experience early on to generate new types of promotional strategies that we haven't tried in the past.
Citizen Watch is the sort of company that provides a chance to young employees like myself. I believe it is my mission to pay the company back for this opportunity. I also look forward to becoming a mentor for future employees who enter the company and have this same sort of opportunity.
I look forward to all of us—men and women, regardless of nationality, including all employees and people at distributors and retail shops—pulling together to make this an excellent place to work.

Becoming a Company Loved by Citizens the World Over

The Citizen Group continues to reinforce its Thai manufacturing base, which is positioned as a key overseas factory and an important site in terms of further overseas development.

Shigenori Morikawa Managing Director Royal Time Citi Co., Ltd.

Shigenori Morikawa
Managing Director
Royal Time Citi Co., Ltd.

Developing Key Site for Overseas

Since its move into Thailand 25 years ago, Royal Time Citi Co., Ltd. (RTC) has mainly been involved in the manufacture of watches and the processing of watch components. Numerous overseas manufacturers in automotive and other industries have plants in Thailand. This situation is largely due to the Thai government's proactive efforts to introduce preferential policies that encourage companies from overseas. The country suffered major damage due to flooding in 2011, but since that time the wave of foreign companies moving into Thailand has continued unabated.
The Citizen Group moved into Thailand early on, building several manufacturing bases in the country. Eventually, we plan to make Thailand our second-largest production hub, following China. For this reason, we recognize the importance of developing our operations in Thailand, enhancing productivity, and shifting to high-value-added products.

Training Human Resources to Achieve Higher Levels of Sophistication

RTC is shifting its operations toward more-sophisticated products. The base it has built up over more than 20 years allows the company to create the foundations for handling highly sophisticated products. Going forward, cultivating human resources will be a topmost priority for the company's further development. Based on the mantra that "making things starts with building up people," the company is moving aggressively ahead with its human resource development. Initially, Japanese staff will be needed to provide guidance, but once technologies have been transferred all such tasks can be performed by local Thai staff. Stepping up the pace by providing instruction through interpreters, the company is accelerating the virtuous circle of training it has created in a bid to achieve even higher quality levels.

Local staff providing guidance to new employees

Local staff providing guidance to new employees

Creating Learning Environment for Employees

I interviewed all employees over a period of approximately two years, and I was frequently told "I want to study more." This emotion brought home to me clearly our need for training. This has led to our current efforts, which aim to provide a learning environment that is fair for all employees.
Specifically, we use a mentor system for training new employees; offer training sessions on CAD, lathes, and other technologies in cooperation with an external institution, the Ayutthaya Labor Bureau; and conduct internal training through highly skilled personnel within the company. In the past, most of our training was conducted on the job, but recently I have seen an increase in the number of people taking a more proactive approach toward their work and pursuing training even on their own time after regular working hours.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training

Training through classroom lecture

Training through classroom lecture

Supporting the Female Employees Who Underpin Watch Production

Around 80% of RTC's 800 employees are women. Many are expectant mothers, and we meet their needs by offering work breaks five minutes ahead of other staff, providing dedicated resting areas, and setting up locations where mothers who have just returned from maternity leave can express milk.
Two of our six locally hired department managers are women, and women make up a large portion of section chiefs. Having in place systems that cater to working women as well as female managers makes it clear to female employees that this is a place where they can work with peace of mind. We know that we have many improvements still to make, but we plan to continue addressing these from an employee's point of view in our efforts to make this a company that employees appreciate.

RTC is a workplace dominated by women

RTC is a workplace dominated by women

Providing a Healthy Working Environment for Employees

We promote a variety of initiatives aimed at employee health management. The incidence of weight gain is increasing as the Thai diet becomes more westernized and people gravitate toward larger volumes of highly spiced foods. In 2013, through a tie-up with a local general hospital we listed up and began providing offering guidance to employees with metabolic syndrome. The program began by promoting an understanding of the negative health benefits associated with weight gain, and we brought in health nurses to explain the meaning of the various figures provided during medical exams.
Our efforts to improve the workplace environment are far from over, but I believe that diligent ongoing efforts will certainly lead us in a positive direction. I think that paying attention to results and being motivated is important for managers, too.

Employees on break

Employees on break

Measures by Group Companie

Yamanashi Craftsman Awards Received for Two Consecutive Years

In fiscal 2013, for the second year in a row Yamanashi Prefecture recognized a Citizen Finedevice employee as a distinguished technologist (a “Yamanashi Craftsman”). This prize is awarded not only for technical skill but also for the ability to pass on knowledge to future generations. (The recipient must be at least 40 years of age and have 15 or more years of work experience.) This distinguished award was presented at a ceremony on November 28, 2013. This fiscal year, the competition was particularly tough for the nine awards that were to be presented. The only person from a company to be awarded was an employee form Citizen Finedevice.
This prize was earned in the job category of “equipment maintenance” and awarded for “scraping,” which is of major importance but can only be learned through experience. Scraping is difficult to do mechanically, but is used in finishing the slides and surface plats of ultraprecise machine tools and measuring instruments, and must be performed by highly skilled craftsmen. The prizewinner is highly skilled, being able to scrape down to a precision of 2 μm.

Fiscal 2013 prizewinner Citizen Finedevice Technology Center Yasumasa Yajima

Fiscal 2013 prizewinner
Yasumasa Yajima
Technology Center
Citizen Finedevice

Fiscal 2012 prizewinner Citizen Finedevice Automotive Equipment Business Department Hisayoshi Hayashi

Fiscal 2012 prizewinner
Hisayoshi Hayashi
Automotive Equipment Business Department
Citizen Finedevice