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Updated on August 21, 2015

Nurturing and Leveraging Engineering Talent

  • A lecture at a Key Technology training course
For Sony to continue moving forward with originality, it must constantly generate innovations and apply them to attract new customers. To achieve that, Sony's engineers must envision products that appeal to today's sensibilities, and continue creating Sony technologies that enable customers to directly experience new value. Approximately 200 Sony engineers with frontline expertise in key technological fields develop curricula and textbooks for use in Key Technology training courses, aiming to enhance the expertise of engineers. The courses also offer opportunities to learn a leading-edge technology from a specialist outside the company. More than 5,000 employees take part in these training courses every year.
Sony enhances the skills of its new recruits by offering them general technological training designed by leading Group engineering experts, as well as specialized training developed by each of Sony's business units designed to familiarize the trainees with technologies specific to each business. Furthermore, under the guidance of their supervisors and tutors, the recruits participate in theme-based training, which addresses issues that arise in real everyday work. This gives them a better understanding of the importance of communication and how business is conducted, thereby preparing them for future challenges early in their careers.

Meanwhile, in an effort to raise the level of its in-house technologies, Sony has put systems in place for recognizing engineering excellence.

In fiscal 2003, Sony established the Sony Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award to recognize Sony Group employees who have developed innovations that create new value for customers, and have worked hard to solve advanced technical problems by applying specialized expertise and knowledge. Intended to increase the motivation of engineers, the award has encouraged employees to be proactive in addressing challenges and has also promoted a corporate culture that emphasizes value creation. Between fiscal 2003 and fiscal 2014, a total of 254 employees were honored with the MVP Award.

Sony has designated its outstanding engineers with the title "Distinguished Engineer" since fiscal 2006. With the adoption of a new human resources system in fiscal 2015, however, Sony terminated this system and launched a new Distinguished Engineer system in July 2015. The new Distinguished Engineer system recognizes employees who have played a significant role in enabling the Sony Group to realize its key management strategies by applying world-class cutting-edge technological expertise to overcome important and extremely challenging technological problems. With the new system, Sony intends to designate technical fields that are essential for creating new value in its electronics business, as well as to identify the best Sony engineers in these fields so that its young engineers have clear role models, and to better align human resources development for engineers with their career paths.

Since fiscal 2014, Sony has been setting up human resources development committees to oversee the specialized fields it has designated. Given the dramatic changes in the business environment today, Sony needs human resources that can capitalize on those changes to ensure its growth going forward. Therefore, recognizing the importance of human resources development for refining the specialized skills of each employee and for broadening those capabilities, Sony is not only developing human resources at the workplace level, but also considering medium- and long-term human resources initiatives and systems corresponding to fields of expertise. To facilitate this shift, Sony is establishing a human resources committee for each of the specialized fields it has designated, which cover a broad range of areas rather than corresponding to its businesses and divisions, and is promoting dialogue among Sony experts in each of those fields. In this way, Sony is developing a framework extending over and beyond its organizational structure to create opportunities for employees to gain diverse experiences that could not otherwise be obtained in their specific workplaces.
Unique Systems for Engineers in the Sony Group in Each Country and Region
Equipment Engineer System Established as part of an effort to fortify production technologies, this system recognizes equipment engineers at Sony Semiconductor Corporation. The aim is to encourage equipment engineers to refine their skills through continued participation in training programs and to acquire practical capabilities and specialized expertise on a par with equipment manufacturers.
Engineering Specialist System By clarifying career paths for engineers, this system plays an important role in fostering and increasing the motivation of engineers, as well as facilitates the sharing of key talent among Sony EMCS Corporation sites in China, thus helping to maximize human resources. To put in place standardized, specialized positions, official designations and selection/dismissal procedures, Sony EMCS sites in China began gradually introducing the system in April 2013.
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