Policies and Philosophy on Dialogue with Employees
For a company to continue offering new value in the face of rapid changes in the social and business climate, it is essential for its employees to embrace the company’s corporate vision and mission and consciously work toward realizing them. Nissan is developing its internal and external communication activities with the aim of improving and maintaining its value as a company and brand and achieving its short- and long-term business goals. In terms of internal communication, we are delivering information globally so that employees will form an attachment to the company and be more engaged in tackling the challenges before them, proactively working on value-enhancing activities as “ambassadors” for Nissan.
Guidelines for Dialogue with Employees
We established two communication guiding principles that aim to encourage higher employee engagement: “build trust between the company and employees” and “increase employee motivation.” We utilize various communication tools to deepen employees’ understanding of our business, products and brand, as well as to explain the direction in which we are heading in order to generate employee confidence in their day-to-day activities and in the future of the company. By organizing events and offering opportunities for employees to increase their motivation and realize that they are an integral part of the company, we nurture a sense of pride in our employees, which in turn will encourage them to contribute to our sustainable growth.
Management to Promote Dialogue with Employees
For Nissan, which has more than 100,000 employees working at global production sites and offices, internal communication must be enhanced to instill the corporate mission and management strategies, to make employees feel a part of Nissan and to strengthen corporate governance. To this end, we have set two guidelines for employee engagement: “build trust between the company and employees” and “increase employee motivation.” The Global Internal Communications Department is playing a key role in deploying messages in a thoughtful manner, such as through the corporate intranet system that delivers information to all employees globally, materials shared with senior managers or information shared in each region. Employee-executive exchange is also held on a regular basis with the aim of building trust. Furthermore, we offer opportunities for employees to voice their views and shares them with company executives in an effort for constant improvement. Through communication with employees and shared awareness of sustainable growth, we are moving as one in driving the business forward.
Global Tools for Dialogue with Employees
We use various tools for communicating with employees, including the Workforce Integration @ Nissan (WIN) corporate intranet system for all employees in both Japan and global operational areas, Engagement Kits distributed to senior management with the aim of promoting workplace communication and visually engaging cable TV programs that introduce Nissan’s activities. In Japan, a printed in-house newsletter called Nissan News is published monthly for employees at Nissan production sites. We also hold communication events, such as opportunities for executives to exchange opinions with senior managers or employees. Other events give employees the chance to experience their own products and participate in company activities. The Global Internal Communications Department creates an annual action plan for better internal communication activities with the aim of improving communication both quantitatively and qualitatively. Surveys are conducted on these communication initiatives on an annual basis, as well as on individual communication activities. Survey results are reflected in future communication activities and action plans.
Achievements in Dialogue with Employees
For both Nissan and its employees to continue to grow in the face of globally expanding corporate activities, employees need to understand the direction in which the company is heading and implement their own actions toward the achievement of the company’s objectives. Overcoming challenges to achieve those goals can lead to personal growth for the employee and contribute to the realization of the company’s vision. Nissan is strengthening its communication with employees in order to enhance their engagement.
Strengthening Communication to Build Trust and Increase Motivation
We are currently working to achieve the objectives of Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm plan,* calling on all employees to embrace our corporate vision and understand the significance of the midterm plan. Employees’ confidence in the company’s activities and performance is essential for the plan’s success. At the same time, we also need to motivate employees, encouraging them to take self-initiated action. Internal communication activities thus focus on building trust among employees and increasing their motivation.
Click here for more information on Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022.
Enhancing Communication Channels
To build trust with employees, companies must disclose information in a fair and open manner, so we punctually provide our employees with information on business results including financial announcements. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance teams are organized in such areas as purchasing, engineering, manufacturing and supply chain to accelerate synergies. Information on these activities is shared with employees, enabling them to understand the value that the Alliance can provide. A deeper understanding of Nissan Intelligent Mobility initiatives and the company’s products, services and technologies is gained through timely communications that engage employee interest and boost their motivation. We proactively update our employees on our leadership in achieving a zero-emission society, development of autonomous driving technologies, new services using connected technology and other long-term projects, as well as providing test-drive opportunities and other chances for employees to participate in company activities. In order to raise awareness of our sponsorship activities, we also selected employees from each region and invited them to the UEFA Champions League final in 2018. We are planning and holding various events so that not only selected employees but all employees can enjoy the excitement that we provide to society through sponsorship. We are enhancing coordination among our various departments and with executives and actively sharing information that contributes to relationships of mutual trust and higher employee motivation. Every new fiscal year starts with the CEO delivering the presidential address, reflecting on the past year’s performance and highlighting the direction for the new year. Topics based on employee interest are also broadcast through live web conferences called Management Information Exchanges (MIE), which encourage engagement between Executive Committee (EC) members and senior managers. Employee motivation is also raised through new model announcements and test-drive events, where employees gain a deeper understanding of Nissan’s products and learn to convey product features and attractiveness to their friends and families more effectively. These have been well received, with participants stating that their enhanced knowledge of Nissan products has boosted their pride in the company and their work motivation, and they have been highly effective in developing “ambassadors” for Nissan. Since we introduced a corporate intranet system called WIN (Workforce Integration @ Nissan), we have been actively used to promote communication, information sharing and collaboration among employees. WIN has expanded beyond the Nissan Group, and its users now include Nissan’s major affiliates as well. In fiscal 2014 Nissan began issuing Engagement Kits summarizing its global operations, business performance and major achievements. These kits are distributed to senior managers every month and are used as communication tools for information sharing. The senior managers receiving this information are responsible for sharing it in their respective departments. This is intended to promote workplace communication, deepen employee understanding and raise motivation. A printed in-house newsletter called Nissan News is published monthly for employees at Nissan production sites in Japan, providing them with the necessary information in a timely manner.
Strengthening Communication Between Executives and Employees
We have proactively held communication events where executives and employees can directly communicate with each other. In fiscal 2018 we held town-hall meetings at our Global Headquarters (GHQ) for face-to-face dialogue between employees, the CEO and then Chief Competitive Officer (CCO) Yasuhiro Yamauchi on the final vehicle inspection issue and matters related to the misconduct of the company’s former Chairman and other individuals. Events called MTP follow-up sessions were also held. At these sessions, executives explained important topics that are part of the Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm plan and responded to questions. In fiscal 2018, topics such as the Japanese market and Nissan Sustainability 2022 were discussed during three MTP follow-up sessions. Live web conferences called MIE, in which EC members and senior managers engage in discussions, were held eight times in conjunction with financial announcements, and information was provided in a timely fashion. Employees who participated in such communication events made comments such as “I was able to obtain necessary information,” “top management made an effort to communicate the facts” and “I could feel the sincere enthusiasm of top management.”
In order to build trust, it is important for Nissan to stay aware of its employees’ thoughts and opinions and ensure that they are shared with top management. We have made efforts to communicate information that will lead to greater employee trust toward the achievement of Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm business objectives. These efforts are monitored on an ongoing basis through key performance indicators (KPIs) and reflected in internal communication activities. For these activities, we conduct regular surveys, and the results are conveyed to company executives. The survey results are also used to run a PDCA (plan, do, check, act) cycle, leading to future planning that clarifies the scope of the audience and content of communications.