The Cohesion of JINS Labor Management Department: All Works Closely with JINS Members by Standing on Their Own Feet

CULTURE2021.02.17

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In JINS, there were lots of voices that praise prompt actions took by the Labor Management Department amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and attained high points from the mutual evaluations among JINS members. This time, we interviewed Aoki, a leader of the Labor Management Department. Further, we asked why so many JINS members return to work after childcare leave and the reason of its high return rate.

Working Together to Promptly Deal with
Complex Work Erupted by COVID-19

Aoki
Labor Management Group,
General Affairs & Labor Management Department,
JINS JP (Japan Division)

In the 33rd term, due to COVID-19, countless irregular operations needed to be done in the Labor Management Department. In an early phase, JINS determined wage compensation to staff whose stores are temporarily closed and special leave for parents and/or guardians during temporary school closure. Although I personally supported that policy indeed, to establish a new framework for a way to calculate and pay salaries for the tremendous number of staff was a truly daunting challenge to me.
Moreover, in the beginning, reports from the government changed again and again, therefore, our Labor Management Department confirmed the government website every single day, and also made a phone call to obtain precise information spontaneously, not just received given information.

Notably, we needed to deal with the subsidy application due to COVID-19 as soon as possible since its return amount was huge. However, the application process was so complicated and full of unknown things. Thereby, I proactively tackled with unknown things rather than postponing these things, such as reading documents thoroughly many times and consulting an external licensed social insurance attorney. It was a grave task to compile the details of the application, but I felt a great sense of accomplishment when that subsidy was granted. Working together to promptly perform our duties, I was so glad to be able to contribute JINS.

Team Cohesion of Labor Management Department
Increased by All Working Positively

The chance to meet everyone in-person decreased due to teleworking which became mainstream by COVID-19, however, we held a meeting every day, checked individual responses and workloads and tried to divide up difficult tasks.
The thing which I spent my time the most was to confirm the state of members. On top of that, I focused on making daily communication in accordance with their family state of married or unmarried. Married people have a partner to talk to, yet a single and living alone person tends to be isolated. So, I paid maximum attention to living alone members by making a contact many times a day to confirm their situation including their mental state. Additionally, I thought they might not be able to relax to talk to a boss because it’s difficult to read a facial expression through a screen, hence, I tried to create a friendly way to talk and also had a small talk, not just a talk only related to our operations.

Swamped with inexperienced, complicated, and complex operations due to COVID-19 in addition to our daily work, I feel the cohesion of the Labor Management Department surprisingly increased while working together to cope with each issue seriously. Each one of the team members has become to work positively and speedily to take action to solve issues spontaneously, even without my instruction.
Plus, they have also spontaneously taken action to solve the worries and concerns of employees in each division while determining the direction of the Labor Management Department piling up to the various discussions, to make all JINS employees feel at ease to work. Feeling the growth of our members is also rewarding for me. On top of everything else, I personally feel so happy by being highly evaluated for our team cohesion from employees during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Making JINS a Working Mom-Friendly Company
to Support Returning to Work as Natural

The return rate of JINS employees after childcare leave is a whopping 100%. I think this is a miraculous number.
Nine years ago, at the time I joined JINS in 2012, there were only a few women returned to work after they gave birth. I’m a mid-career worker though, there was a norm in my previous workplace that women who gave birth should quit their job to take care of their kids. I was very uncomfortable with such a norm and had a strong feeling to change by any means. I still remember when I spoke at the morning assembly on the first day I joined JINS that I’d like to make this company where working moms can work comfortably while taking care of their kids.

Once we received a report from an employee got pregnant, we JINS Labor Management Department basically proceed with our work with the assumption that she will return to work. Currently, one of our members, Domon has that role, but I also pay attention to support pregnant employees in my own words to ease their concerns about giving birth or returning to work.
From now on, we JINS Labor Management Department are going to establish a support system aiming for instilling a corporate culture of “It’s natural to return to work after giving birth” and making a working mom-friendly company that working moms can feel comfortable to work while balancing childcare and work.

※The contents of this article are the information on services and initiatives provided in Japan.

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