Sony has always encouraged its employees to take on new challenges, aiming to develop in tandem with the career advancement of employees. Back in 1966, Sony became first in the Japanese industry to launch an internal recruitment program that has now been in place for 50 years. Encouraging the spirit of challenge among employees, the program enables the Group to assign the right people to the most appropriate roles while simultaneously bolstering key parts of its business. To date, more than 7,000 employees have qualified for this program and received internal transfers. The program has become firmly established as an indispensable human resources system.
In fiscal 2015, Sony launched two exciting new human resource systems. One of these is a "free agent" system, under which outstanding employees are allowed to declare themselves "in-house free agents." This gives them the right to take the initiative to seek transfer to new departments and work in new fields of their choosing. Under the other system, called Career Plus, an employee remains at his or her current position but can respond to in-house recruitment calls to take a concurrent position or take part in a project outside their current department. This affords employees opportunities with the chance to make broader use of their expertise and knowledge while expanding their in-house networking.
Sony will expand such initiatives to encourage employees to rise to new challenges, and keep offering employees opportunities to boost their careers by enhancing their experience within the Sony Group.
Moreover, seeking to support employees' growth through work experience, Sony Corporation operates a self-review system under which employees assess their own performance in relation to goals set at the start of each year. The system includes an interview between each employee and his or her supervisor. In fiscal 2016, Sony identified key behaviors as a step toward behavior modification. Communication takes place throughout the year to increase employees' awareness and spur growth. This approach is now being adopted by the electronics companies, and Sony Corporation in particular is leading the way.
Since 2007, Sony Corporation has also designated a Career Month every autumn, a period during which it works to create opportunities for employee growth. Over the course of this month, employees can meet directly with their supervisors to discuss development plans regarding their careers and future growth. The results are fed back to management and applied to efforts to reinforce Sony's programs for fostering human resources, thereby facilitating carefully tailored support for career building. As a program to promote such activities, Sony operates an internal portal site called "Search," through which employees can refer to a broad range of information helpful in thinking about their own career development. This includes information that will be helpful in discussions on career development and growth, information on training programs for personal growth, and internal career case studies. In addition, Sony assigns career advisors and internal mentors who possess specialist knowledge, as part of its efforts to make it easier for employees to discuss career development. Such career support efforts also play a key role in revitalizing work environments.