As of March 31, 2017, Sony had approximately 1,400 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 has established and renewed a global mobility policy appropriate to a wide variety of overseas assignments.
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. For example, Sony implements cross-cultural training for employees from outside Japan and their managers, to facilitate effective communication. To help these employees to develop interpersonal networks, Sony initiated the Buddy Program in 2013, in which employees from outside and inside Japan are grouped to teach their languages to each other. This program is meaningful to all participants since, in the course of the language exchange, they acquire a deeper understanding of one another's cultures.