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The movement to promote global human resources is steadily increasing in Japanese companies regardless of industry or scale. However, there is no end to the voices of worries from the managers and top personnel in the midst of that. "The development of global leaders is not progressing." "We have established evaluation systems in Japan and overseas, but they are not in line with reality and have become a mere ghost." This book is a reliable guidebook for global human resources for managers, human resources, and managers who face these challenges.

The author is a professional who has supported more than 200 companies to realize global human resources at SAP Japan for about 15 years. According to the author, there is no need to change the principles of Japanese companies. By combining the strengths of Japanese companies with the strengths of overseas companies, we will open the way for global human resources to create a truly strong organization. These messages are very encouraging.

Then, what kind of strategy should be concretely formulated and put into practice? In this book, it is regrettable to miss every page such as the essence of global human resources, the correct measurement of "human value", the strategy to succeed in human resource allocation, the development of successors and evaluation system, the steps of organizational development, etc. Only important points are introduced. Interviews with pioneers such as Panasonic's Human Resources Strategy Manager and SAP Japan's president are also extremely practical.

If you read it, the reason why Mr. Akiei Iriyama, an associate professor at Waseda University Business School, praised this book as "a high-quality guidebook that comprehensively explains the knowledge and ideas for human resources to make decisions". You can see it well. We hope that you will make full use of this book as a compass for creating human resources and organizations that can compete in the world.

The main points of this book

  • Point 1 In advancing global human resources, it is necessary to understand how the company wants to expand its business globally and select a human resources method that suits its direction and business strategy.
  • Point 2 Global human resources needs to overcome the three issues of "understanding the supply and demand of human resources globally," "cultivating human resources systematically," and "organizational development and revitalization."
  • Key points In order to correctly measure the value of three people, it is desirable to evaluate by multiplying "skill", "experience", and "motivation".

wrap up

[Must read point!] What is global human resources?

Purpose of Global Human Resources

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In recent years, the number of Japanese companies promoting the globalization of human resources has been increasing. This is because as the speed of business accelerates, the sense of speed at which products and services are spread globally becomes more important in order to win the global competition.

The purpose of global human resources is to adapt the human resources method to the "changes in human resources" that accompany the globalization of business. Specifically, changes in human resources refer to the diversification of human resources, the globalization of the supply and demand of human resources, and the mobilization of human resources. In the future, there will be more opportunities to hire local human resources, and personnel management will extend to non-Japanese people. In order for them to play an active role for a long time, flexible measures and acceptance systems are indispensable so that they can handle human resources with different genders, nationalities, languages, and backgrounds.

In addition, as bases are established in various countries, the number of global personnel allocations, such as transferring employees hired in other countries across countries, will increase. In that case, the evaluation and treatment system must be adapted globally.

Furthermore, with the diversification of human resources, the values ​​for employment also vary. It is also required to hire employees in consideration of the fluid human resources market overseas and to prepare for retirement risk.

In any case, it is not appropriate to blindly introduce the measures of overseas companies or to imitate the cases of other companies as they are. First of all, you need to understand how your company wants to expand its business globally, and then select a personnel method that suits its direction and business strategy.

Three-stage model of global human resources

Companies operating overseas have three stages of global human resources, depending on the organizational structure and the direction of global expansion. The first is "central personnel", which dispatches head office personnel to major posts of overseas subsidiaries. Samsung has taken this approach, which is a model of human resources that Japanese companies have been doing for a long time. However, it is necessary to develop a large number of excellent leaders who can supervise overseas branch offices. Therefore, it can be said that it is difficult to realize unless it is a large company with considerable physical strength.

The second is "multi-national personnel", which fosters top local corporations with local human resources. Komatsu, Nestle, etc. have adopted this model, and it is also the model of global human resources that many Japanese companies are aiming for now. The feature is that most of the management is left to the locals and they try to provide the best products and services for the local market. However, if the power of the field becomes too strong, the governance of the head office will not be effective. Challenges include building a governance model and designing career paths for local leaders.

The third is "international personnel," which implements global personnel measures across countries and regions. For speedy global expansion, we aim to place the optimal business in the optimal location regardless of country or region. This model is realized only by some global companies such as GE, P & G, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. However, in order to realize this model, efforts to improve the cohesiveness and organizational strength of the organization are indispensable.

In reality, there are many cases in which multiple models are used for each business according to the stage and characteristics of business development.

To advance global human resources, the goal of the organization must be set. This is because the things to be done and the personnel system to be developed differ depending on the goal to be aimed at. What is important in global human resources is consistency with business strategy. Therefore, it is indispensable to thoroughly analyze the situation of the company and the business itself.

Three points that Japanese personnel should change

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When Japanese companies take on the challenge of global human resources, the following three points must be changed. The first is "result personnel → planned personnel". The former is a system in which the leaders wait for the leader to grow up as a result when they reach a certain age. This makes it difficult to select and train young leaders who are necessary to execute the strategy according to the business strategy. Therefore, it is necessary to intentionally gain various experiences from a young age, regardless of age and years of experience, based on the personnel allocation plan to be aimed at.

Next is "subjective personnel → objective personnel". At present, it is easy to make a difference in evaluation depending on the compatibility with the boss and the viewpoint of the boss. Therefore, a change is required to the evaluation based on a clear and objective common index.

Finally, "closed room personnel → transparent personnel". Many Japanese companies decide on personnel changes in a closed room and issue resignations without explanation. On the other hand, in global human resources, it is essential to ensure high transparency. The evaluation results and the reasons for them will have to be disclosed to the employees themselves and the decision process will have to be disclosed.

What are the challenges to starting global HR?

The first step in starting global human resources is to "understand the supply and demand of human resources globally." Personnel must have a medium- to long-term perspective similar to that of management, and make a personnel plan in a form closely linked to the business plan. For that purpose, it is necessary to grasp the experience and strengths of the company's employees in detail, including overseas.

The next thing we need to do is "systematically develop human resources" for the future so that we can supply human resources according to human resources needs. It is expected that the business strategy will fluctuate to some extent, so we would like to be prepared to flexibly respond to such changes with human resources strategy. In particular, overseas companies often prepare succession planning (successor development plan) early as a risk hedge in anticipation of the possibility that excellent human resources will suddenly retire.

On top of that, it is important to strengthen governance and make it function as an organization through "organizational development and organizational revitalization." In this regard, Japanese companies, which have strong ties between employees and companies and are strong in teamwork, have great strengths compared to overseas companies. An ideal organization is a highly engaged organization in which each member demonstrates their leadership after understanding their values ​​and philosophies. Authority and information are distributed and shared, making quick decisions. The author calls an organization with such an organizational culture a "parthenon-type organization" after the management theory of "parthenon strategy". Instead of relying on one strong leader, it means that multiple leaders are independent and support each other. In a rapidly changing environment, these organizations are the ones who are more likely to survive.

Correctly measure "human value"

Evaluate by skill x experience x motivation


It can be said that the present age is an era in which "people" are the strongest management resources in corporate management. As a method of correctly measuring the value of human resources, the author proposes a method of evaluating the value of human resources by multiplying "skill", "experience", and "motivation". Specific measurement indicators include "skill" for knowledge and skill level, "experience" for judgment and prediction, and "motivation" for work independence and contribution to the team.

When the score of human resources value is obtained by multiplication, a matrix is ​​created based on whether the value is high and whether the results are achieved, and the human resources are mapped. For example, suppose that there is a person who has high human resources value but does not achieve good results. "Skill" and "experience" are high, but "motivation" is not raised. In such a case, it is desirable to search for the source of the person's motivation for growth, give a project or role close to it, and see the situation, instead of doing job rotation unnecessarily. By evaluating the value of a person in detail in this way, it becomes easier to think of the optimal treatment and training plan.

Why foreign companies focus on experience and motivation

Until now, many Japanese companies have not visualized and evaluated "experience" and "motivation." However, looking at overseas companies, "job-type employment" that limits the job content and work location is common. Hire based on a job description that specifies the job description, scope of responsibility, required skills, and experience accordingly. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the "experience" of how the human resources can use their "skills" to perform their duties and produce results.

In addition, "motivation" is also an important evaluation target in order to deal with the risk of turnover. Therefore, when globalizing human resources in the future, it is necessary to pay attention to "experience" and "motivation" and evaluate them in detail.

Three powers needed for global human resources

What is the power required of a global human resources person to enhance the “skills”, “experience” and “motivation” of human resources and promote their growth? They are the ability to objectively determine the value of a person, the ability to draw out the true intentions, and the ability to identify issues in an organization.

On-site managers tend to judge people based on their biased subjectivity and compatibility with themselves. That is why human resources must identify the value and potential of human resources from an objective perspective and a medium- to long-term perspective. It can be said that personnel who can make cross-organizational comparisons play a role in identifying issues and their causes in the organization and leading to early resolution.

Strategies for successful "staffing"

Is there a purposeless personnel change?

In advancing global human resources, the first thing to consider is the placement strategy. At Japanese companies, human resources were managed annually, so people were selected from among the availability and order of positions. However, this has led to frequent personnel changes without a clear purpose, such as billiard personnel.

Transfers carry risks. The transferred personnel have to learn work from scratch in the new department and build relationships, and the previous department loses its strength. In addition, the new department incurs the cost of training unfamiliar employees. Such transfer risk is regarded as a major risk by overseas companies with high mobility of human resources. What kind of experience do you want to gain and what kind of human resources do you want to develop? These must be clarified and personnel transfers with a purpose must be carried out.

Three ways to increase the effectiveness of personnel changes

Originally, personnel changes can be the greatest opportunity to increase the value of human resources. There are three ways to increase employee independence and motivation for growth. The first is a self-assessment system. The effect of preventing mismatches can be expected by considering the desire of employees to change personnel.

The second is CDP (Career Development Plan). CDP is like a process chart for future carriers. By sharing and implementing this among employees, their superiors, and the Human Resources Department, employees can obtain specific action goals and medium- to long-term career visions. This enhances the independence of employees for the future.

The third is an in-house recruitment system. The advantage of this system is that employees can win positions on their own. In addition to further increasing employee motivation, it will be easier for the boss to be transferred to deepen their understanding of employees and prepare a training plan through prior interviews. This will also have the effect of reducing the turnover rate of employees who are thinking of retiring and reducing the cost of hiring from outside.

Recommendation of reading

In addition to the ones mentioned in the summary, there are many important themes for global human resources personnel, such as how to connect diversity management to business growth and whether global grading is really necessary. Topics such as how to develop global leaders by devising successor development plans and personnel evaluation systems, and what is the creation of the strongest organization that grows and changes on its own can be said to be a must-read content for global personnel.

I want you to demonstrate the goodness of Japanese companies in the global market and succeed. This book, which contains the wishes of such an author, can be said to be a book that embodies the "Japanese-style global human resources textbook." I hope that this book will be read by managers, human resources, and managers.