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Mazda's personal development program helps people achieve their personal goals

There's always a chance to make your dream come true,and there are people who can help you take that chance. In this kind of climate, you can fulfill your personal goals.This process can be called  "the joy of work."

photo : Yuji Takenouchi, General Manager, Global HR Planning Department
Yuji Takenouchi,
General Manager, Global HR
Planning Department

A fish is swimming in the sea when, suddenly, it discovers it can fly. That's how we would all like to live.

The Tobiuo (Flying Fish) Personnel Management System is a project that was launched on the basis of this concept. Project members are employees who have volunteered to join.

"I want to make Mazda a better company." "I want to achieve my personal goals." This personnel management system was devised after a year of discussions between such Tobiuo employees. An assessment system was produced that was acceptable to everybody, because they had thought it up together. The various leave systems and on-site daycare centers that contribute to a healthy work-life balance were also made more accessible. The Tobiuo system is now in its seventh year. Today, all employees use it to make progress in achieving their own personal goals. If individuals can fully enjoy both work and home life, they can maximize their own personal strengths.

Today, Mazda's goal is to grow as a company by making the most of everyone's individual strengths. Converting these different strengths into corporate power requires something that aligns everyone along a single vector. According to Yuji Takenouchi, that is the Mazda Way.

The Mazda Way was also born out of lively debate among people who love the Company. To achieve Mazda's medium- to long-term vision, general managers of divisions in each area came together and engaged in in-depth discussions lasting over six months. They boiled these discussions down to seven words that express what is important about working and the values central to work. These express the culture built up by Mazda during its history.

Can the Mazda Way really be accepted worldwide? Takenouchi asked overseas Group companies to discuss and study the idea. He was worried that the seven words of the Mazda Way, derived from the Japanese conception of design and manufacturing, might not be understood in overseas companies. However, he found that the Mazda Way received active support, being told that "in fact, this kind of thinking exists in our workplace, too." Says Takenouchi, "even in different countries, we're all Mazda people." His concern was transformed into confidence.

By improving personnel management systems such as Tobiuo, Mazda has become a company where all employees find it is comfortable to work. However, there is still room for further improvement. In addition, even if such systems are working well at the head office, there are still Group companies at which they have yet to be implemented.

Based on the Tobiuo system and the Mazda Way, Mazda will continue to improve the working environment and workplace atmosphere, becoming a company where people can fulfill their individual dreams. Mazda's goal is to become a company where people feel fully alive when they are at work. Takenouchi's personal goal is to create an environment where personnel management policies allow Mazda employees to work happily, and to bring joy to local communities by making Mazda an even happier place to be.

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