Mutual Mistrust

Good morning everyone,

It's another chilly morning out there, but we should see the highs today climb to somewhere in the mid-teens. The best news is that they're no longer calling for rain today-just grey skies. Tomorrow will rain and we may see rain on Sunday as well with highs on both days continuing in the mid-teens. Don't get used to this warm weather though-Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are all expected to see daytime highs of 7C or 8C and overnight lows around 0C.

A study found that workers in Japan distrust their employers significantly more than workers in the US, UK, Canada and Australia do-in fact, Japanese workers have the lowest level of trust amongst all the countries who took part in the survey. 

In the past, Japanese work culture revolved around one core belief: “lifetime employment”. Workers would join a company after graduation from university and remain with that company until their retirement. Often, a strong bond would form between the worker and his or her company, with customs such as company-wide trips, and “bring your family” events. Accordingly, workers in Japan used to have an awful lot of job security, and job-hopping simply didn't happen. These days, Japan’s workers have less job security, but are still under pressure to put in the overtime and workplace after-hours socialising that has always been expected of them.

Now, however, the only people who are generally granted job security for life are civil servants, who work at city hall for their entire career. Those who work for regular companies, however, have much less obligation to stick with their employer than they used to, and, in turn, that has led to companies showing significantly less care for their employees. For evidence, ust look at the high incidence of contract workers and part-time workers, and the emergence of so-called “black companies” which flout labour laws and in some cases treat their employees so badly, it can even drive them to suicide.

A new survey conducted by Edelman PR polled Japanese workers to discover just how loyal they feel towards their employers in this economic climate. The results are unsurprising — only 40 percent of those polled agreed with the statement: “I trust the company I work for”.

The results come as part of a larger poll in which the same question was posed to workers in 28 other countries; of that number, Japan ranked bottom in employer company trust. Mexico ranked highest with 89 percent agreeing to the statement. Other results included: United States (64 percent), United Kingdom (57 percent), Australia (54 percent), Canada (64 percent), Germany (62 percent), and France (48 percent).

Another statement, “I foresee improvement in the next five years for myself and my ability to provide for my family” , was met with only a 19 percent agreement rate amongst white-collar workers, dropping to 15 percent amongst blue-collar workers. The global average was 55 and 47 percent respectively for white- and blue-collar workers, indicating that Japanese workers are generally highly pessimistic about their futures in their current companies.

I never would have thought that Japanese workers don't trust their employers-I only ever hear people say good things about their jobs or companies. Hmmm...maybe it's because I'm not Japanese and they don't want to seem to be bashing their job 'in front of company'. In this case, 'company' means 'guests' and they don't want to make Japan look bad in front of guests. But I don't really know...anyway, it was surprising for me to find out. How about you?

Have a great day!


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