Honda seeks to create a healthy working environment so that each and every member of its diverse workforce can make the most of his or her abilities based on the basic principle of Respect for the Individual, part of the Honda Philosophy.
Optimizing work hours
Honda has always been an industry leader in introducing shorter workweeks. The company instituted a five-day workweek in alternating weeks in 1970, followed by a true five-day workweek in 1972. Other initiatives enjoyed by associates for more than 30 years include the banning of overtime on Wednesdays and some Fridays and the introduction of a policy encouraging all associates—both labor and management—to use their allotted vacation time in full*.
As a result, total working hours averaged 1,837 per associate in 2011, and associates averaged 19.9 paid vacation days, putting Honda at the top level of the automobile industry in terms of reducing actual working hours.
To encourage its associates to take regular annual paid vacations and use their vacation time effectively to refresh themselves and increase motivation, Honda has introduced a system whereby associates are accorded blocks of three to five consecutive paid holidays, depending on their years of continuous service.
*An initiative to prevent vacation days from being lost when the number of annual paid vacation days that can be carried over to the next year is exceeded.
Helping associates balance the demands of work, parenting, and nursing care
Honda works actively to provide programs that help associates balance the demands of work and personal life.
Honda distributes the Guidebook on Balancing Work and Family Life Care Responsibilities, which summarizes the programs available for balancing work, parenting, and nursing care, not only to associates with such responsibilities, but also to management-level associates so that those associates will have a good understanding of available programs and be able to utilize them to maximum effect. This information was placed on the corporate intranet in 2010, making it available to all associates.
Additionally, in 2008 we began offering temporary childcare for preschoolers whose parents had to work on holidays. In 2011, when summertime power-saving measures undertaken in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake led to schedule changes that brought associates to work on Sundays, we helped employees balance the demands of work and parenting by offering temporary childcare at all worksites.
Honda supports associates by operating a variety of counseling hotlines as a way to build a healthier work environment.
Counseling hotlines dedicated to balancing work, parenting, and family life responsibilities
Honda created a counseling hotline at each worksite's general affairs department in January 2010 in order to accommodate counseling requests from associates striving to balance work and family responsibilities and to promote awareness and utilization of the company's support programs. Each hotline is staffed by a pair of male and female counselors who field counseling requests from both targeted associate groups and supervisors.
Sexual harassment counseling hotline
Honda has operated a sexual harassment counseling hotline for all associates since 1999 in order to prevent sexual harassment and to facilitate the rapid and appropriate resolution of incidents.
Life planning seminar hotline
Honda created a life planning seminar hotline to help address associates concerns about health, fulfillment, and financial security after mandatory retirement at age 60. When they turn 50, regular employees receive a pamphlet about financial security. When they turn 55, they can participate in a life planning seminar together with their spouses as part of a company effort to provide information about post-retirement life. The hotline also provides individual counseling for associates.