As of March 31, 2016, Sony had approximately 1,500 employees working in countries other than their own. Of these, approximately 170 employees were transferred between Sony Group companies outside Japan. The purpose of this arrangement is to leverage personnel on a global scale, accomplish the transfer of technology and knowledge, and initiate new businesses. To enhance the ease and efficiency of moving human resources around the world, Sony convened experts on global personnel policies and standards and formulated common Sony Group policies appropriate to a wide variety of overseas assignments. Sony continues to improve this system.
With the rapid increase in opportunities for human resource mobility on a global basis, Sony Corporation has developed internal websites, HR & accounting-related systems and other bilingual applications to enable non-native speakers of Japanese to work effectively within the company using English. It is also taking other steps continuously via a specialized unit within the Human Resources Division set up to provide career support and other assistance. To help non-Japanese employees develop interpersonal networks, for example, Sony initiated the Buddy Program in 2013, in which employees from outside and inside Japan are grouped to teach each other their respective languages. This program is meaningful to both Japanese and non-Japanese employees because, in the course of the language exchange, they acquire a deeper understanding of one another's cultures.