Self-declaration system for employee movement and development

Brief: 

GLOBIS uses a self-declaration system to encourage employee initiative and to satisfy business needs. The system provides opportunities for employees to achieve self-fulfilment based on confidence in their own potential, demonstration of an entrepreneurial spirit and the promotion of mutual encouragement.

The problem addressed by the campaign: 

When studying at Harvard Business School, Yoshito Hori noticed significant differences in the curriculum and corporate structure in the United States compared to his native Japan:

  • Harvard used the “case method” style of teaching that appeared to be more effective than the traditional lecture style of teaching.
  • The corporate hierarchy in Japan was very rigid and structured around seniority. Junior employees did not have the freedom to express themselves, and there was little flexibility in terms of career development.
Solution: 
  • Entrepreneur Yoshito Hori created GLOBIS Management School and recruited high-quality instructors with MBAs and real-world business experience to teach using the case study method. Mr Hori maintained equally high standards for his employees when he established GLOBIS Organizational Learning and GLOBIS Capital Partners.
  • All GLOBIS lines of business employ people who are highly educated and driven by the GLOBIS Way. This GLOBIS constitution emerged from ongoing discussions among staff, and encompasses the Group’s Management Principles, Business Guidelines and Action Guidelines.
  • To accelerate employees to achieve their own goals, Hori has implemented a “self-declaration system” for employee movement and development.
    • All employees across GLOBIS Group use the self-declaration system. Every year, each employee submits a self-declaration of their responsibility and goals with a proposed salary and title for the coming year.
    • The HR committee reviews each self-declaration and makes a decision regarding that employee’s assignment for next fiscal year at GLOBIS.
    • The self-declaration system applies also to job openings within the company. When there is an opening to move within the organization or across a line of business, this is advertised openly through the company.
    • If an employee request for a move or promotion is not granted, this decision is passed down from the HR com­mittee to management. The manager then has a discussion with their subordinates about professional developments and future actions needed to reach their career goals.
    • Employees may be advised that they need an advanced degree in order to move up in the organization. They then have the opportunity to earn a degree through GLOBIS University at a subsidized rate.
Impact: 
  • The self-declaration system forces an honest dialogue between management and junior employees around career development. The transparency surrounding development and movement of talent at GLOBIS has inspired employees to shape their own career paths and take risks in moving across lines of business. This reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of the organization.
  • Inter-divisional communication has increased.
  • Knowledge transfer has improved.
  • Employees are invested in regions and lines of business outside their own.
Why has it worked?: 
  • Founder Hori is at the centre of the GLOBIS Way corporate philosophy. He acts as a role model and entrepreneurial leader.
  • The self-declaration system is a two-way process; both employees and HR have an impact on the outcome. HR aligns with business heads to shift willing and eager employees into new roles that business needs. As business evaluations across divisions become more aligned, employees will be able to move more easily.
  • A 360-degree system is used to evaluate employees. Employees are evaluated not only by their supervisor but also by other co-workers. This gives credibility to the HR committee decisions. It also supports employees’ self-evaluation, based on which employees understand how to improve their performance and behaviour.
  • GLOBIS is an entrepreneurial organization and this culture is embedded in the company. GLOBIS is also a tight-knit organization that invests a significant amount in employee development.
    • Each year all 250 employees get together for a retreat away from the office to workshop and bond with one another. People from every rank and line of business are able to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
    • Employees in their first and third years are guided by corporate trainings held by HR.
    • GLOBIS develops employees through executive trainings and seminars and through subsidized schooling.
Conclusions and Recommendations: 
  • As an entrepreneurial organization it is important to believe in the possibility and potential of employees.
  • Employees work innovatively when they are not managed by strict order, but are guided by a corporate culture and set of values.
  • The support of managing directors is very valuable. When expanding, place strong inside employees in new positions instead of hiring outside talent.
  • When junior employees move to a new business, give them guidance and encouragement, through which they will come to understand how to accommodate their own personal missions with their business expectations.
  • Tailor client needs to fit different markets and geographies. Although there is a common culture through the organization, the business needs to be flexible enough to accommodate different customer needs.
Foundational Issues: 
Critical skills gaps
Level of Collaboration: 
Level 1: Collaboration within the organization
Region: 
Asia
Economic and political context: 

GLOBIS has experienced incredible success using the self-declaration model:

  • GLOBIS venture capital business, which started with a 540 million yen, now, manages funds totalling approximately 40 billion yen.
  • GLOBIS University has been ranked first among Japanese Business Schools by the Nikkei Career Magazine for two consecutive years (2008 and 2009) in terms of student satis­faction. It is currently the fastest-growing business school in Japan with an intake of approximately 350 students in 2011.
  • The GLOBIS corporate training business is widely praised for its practical curriculum and experienced lecturers.
About the Author(s): 

GLOBIS Group is a mission-oriented, entrepreneurial professional organization founded in 1992. It provides management knowledge, management resources and capital. GLOBIS Group comprises five business lines:

  • Graduate School Of Management, GLOBIS University
  • GLOBIS Management School
  • GLOBIS Organizational Learning
  • GLOBIS Publishing
  • GLOBIS Capital Partners