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How Kyocera’s management philosophy ensures employee wellbeing

Fostering a culture of wellbeing: Kyocera's holistic approach to employee happiness and success.
people smiling

True employee wellbeing goes beyond a program or a topic; it is deep-seated values, it is a mindset, or, in our case, it is Kyocera’s management philosophy. 

The pressure to meet financial goals can often lead business leaders to fixate on generating profit by any means necessary and neglect the mental, physical, and emotional health of their employees. While some organisations believe that wellbeing is not a management problem to solve, others reduce the concept of wellness to a mere slogan or generic health program to solely control healthcare expenses. In both cases, overlooking employee wellbeing is a big mistake. 

Ensuring wellbeing at the workplace is within the grasp of organisations across the board. By implementing measures to create a culture of wellbeing that prioritises trust, fosters teamwork at work, and establishes autonomy in the workplace, organisations are more likely to achieve the unique blend of work efficiency and employee happiness.

Countless studies have proven a direct link between productivity levels and the general wellbeing of a workforce, not to mention an improved employee performance and engagement. As highlighted in a ground-breaking report launched by The Economist Impact, the Magnetic Workplace, sponsored by Kyocera, “employees increasingly want to work with companies that share their values and care about their overall wellbeing”. It's crystal clear: work efficiency and employee wellbeing are intertwined. They’re mutually dependent. Wellbeing is the driver of long-term business prosperity. 

How Kyocera’s management philosophy impacts business

Embodying the practical wisdom and principles established by its founder and chairman emeritus, Dr. Kazuo Inamori, the Kyocera Philosophy shapes every business decision made at the organisation, no matter how big or small. Developed from real-life experiences and distilled into a single phrase of "Doing what is right as a human being," the Kyocera Philosophy upholds a commitment to fair management and adherence to fundamental human ethics and values.

Under Inamori's leadership, Kyocera introduced innovative business concepts and practices such as Amoeba Management and the Kyocera Accounting Principles, all rooted in the Kyocera Philosophy. Thus, employee wellbeing naturally forms an integral part of Kyocera’s management philosophy.

What is wellbeing at the workplace?

According to the International Labour Organization, “workplace wellbeing relates to all aspects of working life, from the quality and safety of the physical environment, to how workers feel about their work, their working environment, the climate at work and work organisation.“ 

The heart of management at Kyocera is built from a series of simple but effective philosophies, helping all employees to feel valued and empowered to make decisions about their career journey within the organisation. Here’s how the Kyocera Philosophy ensures wellbeing at the workplace:

Building a relationship of trust 

Trust is the cornerstone of a successful corporation, serving as the foundation for its growth. This truth is exemplified in the remarkable journey of Dr. Kazuo Inamori, who began his business venture with a small suburban workshop that had meagre financial resources and no notable credentials. However, what truly propelled Kyocera to its present status as a renowned corporation was the invaluable asset of 28 highly reliable and trustworthy employees. But how did he initially gain their trust? 

Kyocera’s management philosophy can be defined as a “management
based on the bond of human minds
." Dr. Kazuo Inamori gave his employees a sense of purpose and responsibility, in addition to motivating his managers to earn their employees’ trust. In return, he received the unwavering dedication and commitment that transformed Kyocera into the thriving entity it is today. Trust is essential for any healthy relationship to function and, in the context of the workplace, it is key to wellbeing and work efficiency.  

Finally, transparent management is vital to maintaining trust. From finance to performance monitoring, Kyocera’s system “is completely open to all employees, so that there is no room for any doubt or question about the company”. In this way, employee morale and engagement levels are kept stable, and employees understand how their work contributes to the big picture. 

Teamwork at work  

At Kyocera, the significance of teamwork in fostering workplace wellbeing cannot be overstated. Guided by the Extended Family Principle, employees are encouraged to cherish a profound sense of mutual trust that binds them together like a close-knit family. This strong camaraderie enables them to not only appreciate each other, but also offer unconditional support to one another during times of need and extend comfort even in personal matters, fostering a strong culture of wellbeing. 

Kyocera's emphasis on partnership further enhances the sense of teamwork and its positive impact on workplace wellbeing. From the company's inception, operations have been structured around groups of coworkers who deeply understand and trust each other. Rather than
adhering to a traditional vertical hierarchy of managers and workers, Kyocera fosters lateral partnerships, where employees work together toward common goals, while also realising their individual aspirations.

Kyocera’s management philosophy helps to cultivate a workplace where individuals feel valued, heard, and respected. United by a sense of solidarity and trust, employees are not only more productive but share the same aspirations and mission which boosts their motivation levels. As a result, Kyocera stands as a shining example of how teamwork and a family-like work culture significantly contribute to the overall wellbeing and success of the organisation and its employees alike.

Autonomy in the workplace 

Evidence gathered in the Magnetic Workplace study proved that “when employees have more autonomy over their role—how it is shaped, where work gets done, and how work interacts with life—their productivity and wellbeing are positively impacted.”

Kyocera provides its employees with freedom by staying committed to its “Management by All” philosophy which encourages every team member
to voice their opinions, express concerns, and actively participate in the
decision-making process.
This inclusive spirit ensures that all employees are involved, encouraging widespread participation rather than limiting decision-making to just a select few.

By providing opportunities for every individual to engage in management, Kyocera creates an environment where employees not only find autonomy in their work but also thrive as active contributors, promoting a shared commitment to success and growth.

People-centric leadership 

There is no denying the strong correlation between profitability and a healthy and happy workforce. The sooner that businesses realise that their
employees are not solely profit-generating machines, the more successful their organisation will be. Kyocera exemplifies this approach by treating
wellbeing as a management philosophy rather than a temporary initiative
. By adding a human touch to the workplace, every organisation can build trust, strengthen teamwork at work, offer autonomy in the workplace and maintain employee happiness – all you need is willpower.


By putting wellbeing first, Kyocera’s philosophy drives prosperity.

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