Re-acknowledged in China: Unalterable Human Appeal in JINS Around the World

CULTURE2021.08.18

  • #global
  • #Headquarters Creators
  • #Inspiring
  • #Interview
  • #Progressive

Ikemoto works at JINS CHINA and JINS HK and supervises overall education there. We interviewed him on how he has struggled and changed in his way of working and motivation, and also on what he has recognized the unalterable human appeal in JINS all over the world during his nine years of working overseas.

Suddenly became to work in Shanghai even having no oversea experiences
Worked on preparing manuals as a first step

Ikemoto
Sales Division Education Depart
JINS CHINA

I joined JINS 2006 and got involved with new employee trainings and the establishment of the education system at our HQ after working at JINS stores. Then, I transferred to the department of inspecting import lenses. Next, JINS has built the own lens processing center in Noda city, Chiba, where all import lens inspections take place, and I moved to work there. At the time when the timing of lens inspecting operations became smoothen, Ube, the current general manager of JINS CHINA, directly offered me to work in Shanghai via his email.

JINS CHINA at that time had already opened four stores in China and just opened two in Shanghai and one in Nanjing. Looking ahead to the future to increase the number of stores in China, education was crucial, so he wanted me to help with building a platform of staff education. Actually, I was not interested in overseas and had never been to foreign countries then, which means I didn’t even have my passport. Thinking that I might as well go there first, and I moved to work in Shanghai in June 2012, and now it’s been ten years.

There were barely no manuals when I first came to China, and of course, there were no inspection/test and training systems too. Furthermore, there were only few people who were capable of giving instructions for measurement procedures, so I started to work on preparing documents as manuals, checklists, aiming for a store director to attain sufficient knowledge to teach staff about the techniques and a proper way to provide customer service. First of all, I started to translate training documents used in Japan, yet there were so much difference between Japan and China, particularly cultures and customs, which made me to revise or add some explanations in many points.

In China, for example, people don’t understand much without explaining in detail not only “good examples” but also “bad examples” and “prohibited manners” along with the reasons, evidently.
Behavior called “manners” in Japan, here in China, those had to be broken down and verbalized. In Japan, needless to say that staff don’t use their own smartphones during working even if there were no customers in front of them, in China, however, such action was quite natural. Simply, this was a cultural gap, so I conveyed Chinese staff to understand why that behavior was rude based on the verbalized reason – do not bring your smartphone because of our customers – without a vague expression of “bringing your smartphone is a breach of manners.”

Beyond the differences of cultures and customs,
the same thing is that people who love JINS have gathered

In addition to that, the checklists used in Japan also needed. In case applying a criterion of “embodying XX” as it is listed on a checklist, even if a store director pointed out that you failed to embody it, that staff would oppose and talk back, “I embodied it, why would you think like that, tell me the reason.” Therefore, upon showing its content concretely, I crafted to explain the criterion numerically in evaluation like, “If you got words of caution twice a week from a store director, you fail.” By that, a decision-making process by the store director becomes clear, and staff can also understand the criterion easily.

What I focused on when I communicated with Chinese staff was to explain everything with benefits: if you learned the rules in JINS, it would bring you benefits.
“You would be regarded as a very polite staff wherever you go if you learned this work attitude. Though there are some strict rules, these will become your abilities connected to your own growth, so why don’t we try together for your own sake?”, that’s what I conveyed. Though I did this way of communication in Japan also, since I came to China, the frequency has become much bigger.

Because in Japan, people have a high motivation to contribute to others, therefore, once I communicate with them as, “Let’s do our best for someone,” they agree with me soon. On the other hand, in China, people have a high motivation toward their own growth, so communicating with them using the term “for your own sake” is more efficient to convince them. In that sense, I think my way of communication has broadened.

In here, I also realized that the good aspects of JINS, never changed by the geographical difference between China and Japan. JINS staff have their high intellectual desire toward their work. So, if I communicate with them with my honest attitude, staff will respond to live up to my expectations and proactively pursue their own growth. Anyone who understands and empathizes with the JINS’s ways and vision actually does their job with amazing enthusiasm. Besides, a point that people who love the company called JINS have gathered to work is the same as JINS JAPAN too.

Never forget to enjoy working progressively
regardless of the countries and the scope of work

I’ve got a feeling that my view has broadened drastically ever since I came to China. On top of anything else, my view toward my work broadened. Because I had to start everything from a scratch by myself and handle with multiple department workloads, so I gradually became to see something which I couldn’t even notice when I was in Japan, and now I have achieved my skills to collaborate and respond across departments. Moreover, knowing the cultural differences between China and Japan and sharing information among other areas of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the U.S. helped me to widely open my global view. Whenever I asked something to JINS staff working overseas, their responses were always quick, and that’s the evidence of our well-collaborated work. In that respect, it would be wonderful if our HQ in Japan took a more in-depth approach to overseas.

Work in China is free of limitations, for better or worse. You can do anything you want, but nothing will be started unless you start spontaneously, and once you fail, it’s all on you. That’s what I feel quite excited and rewarding as well.
In fact, what I cherish the most to enjoy my work regardless of the countries and the scope of work is to keep in mind those things: “everything I do now is not the newest thing” and “everything I do now is not perfect.” It's nice and easy to keep on doing the same thing, yet I would rather think, “Let’s take a new challenge or better things” for firing up my excitement toward my work.

Never forget to enjoy working while leveling up the education quality of human resources in China, I would love to make my best efforts to JINS acquire the reputation of the best brand providing the highest service in China.

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