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Updated on September 7, 2016

Facilitating Dynamic Communication

Communication between Top Management and Employees

Sony sees communication between top management, including the CEO, and employees as vitally important. Through the corporate intranet, information is provided on progress made in the Group's businesses, and communications are exchanged via e-mail and other media. Sony also works to create many other opportunities for direct dialogue between top management and employees. For example, Sony management holds regular informal gatherings and town hall meetings with employees, which cover a wide variety of themes, from technology to management. By sharing opinions from both perspectives, not only do employees gain a closer affinity with management, but the views of employees can also be used to enhance the quality of management. In particular, CEO Kazuo Hirai places a very strong focus on these opportunities and frequently visits Sony Group operations worldwide to communicate directly with employees.
Principal Venues for Communication between Top Management and Employees
Town hall meetings are held on a quarterly basis, and these are broadcast via the Web so that employees gain a better understanding of management policies. Management and general employees each have a blog through which opinions can be shared, facilitating reciprocal communication.
Financial Services
The president, vice president and directors responsible for specific functions hold luncheon meetings, and when employees formally join the company the president holds separate interviews with each new employee. These programs reflect the importance of communication between management and general employees.
Movie Business
  • Morning coffee sessions are held with the CEO and about 30 employees to give them a chance to speak directly with the CEO.
  • Sony has initiated a program to encourage discussions between its executives and members of the so-called millennial generation*, pairing them up so that the executives can learn about how young people consume media and use social media and technology, Unlike traditional mentor programs, this program gives the mentee role to the senior person, and is orientated toward mutually beneficial learning.

Millennials is a term mainly used in the United States to refer to the generation of people in their late teens or twenties who were born between the 1980s and early 2000s.

Communication between Supervisors and Subordinates

Communication between supervisors and subordinates is also active. Each employee has the opportunity to discuss goals and review performance with his or her supervisor several times a year through regular interviews. Daily communication throughout the year increases employees' awareness and spurs growth. In addition, in the autumn each year, Sony runs a Career Month during which supervisors listen to employees' own aspirations for their future career direction and then provide advice based on this dialogue.

Communication among Employees

Sony has created a "secret idea base," in which employees are able to exchange ideas freely, as well as the SAP Creative Lounge (SAP stands for Seed Acceleration Program), where Sony employees and outside users can freely exchange ideas. These spaces enable employees to organize discussions and group study sessions, test out ideas hands-on, and freely exchange opinions beyond their own organizational units and particular specialized fields. The contacts thus made generate diverse communication, including informal discussions with colleagues that result in mutual inspiration and broaden personal networks and knowledge. There are also internal programs to harness employee ideas for the generation of new businesses.
Sony also promotes communication among group companies through a variety of programs. Since 2007, the annual Sony Futsal Cup provides the opportunity to deepen relationships across group companies through the medium of futsal—a popular five-a-side version of soccer played on an indoor or outdoor court. The tournament aims to create business chances beyond the confines of group organizational units, and in an average year some 1,500 employees gather to take part in this large event. Several of the teams hold many practice sessions prior to the competition, and this also contributes to employee health.

Communication between Employees' Families and Workplaces

Held since 2007, Sony Family Day provides an opportunity for employees to invite their family members to their office. The special day allows the family members to better understand Sony's business and the work done by the employees by seeing the actual workplace and talking with staff. It also gives the children who visit a look at a real business in action, inspiring them for the future. Starting in 2013, live concerts featuring artists from Sony Music were also held.
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