I am Yoshida, president of Yamada Shusei Ltd., a professional apparel clothing repair group in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture.
Recently, we have often heard the term "job-based employment. This is a form of employment in which job descriptions and compensation are clearly defined and the most suitable personnel are hired.
In contrast, Japan has traditionally employed a "membership-based employment" system, in which the employment contract at the time of entry into the company is meant to qualify the employee to become a member of the company (membership), and the employee's ability is enhanced through experience in a variety of jobs without limiting his/her duties.
The difference between these two forms of employment can be seen in the difference between "putting a job to a person" (membership-based employment) and "putting a person to a job" (job-based employment).
While job-based employment is expected to increase the mobility and flexibility of the labor market, it is not easy to shift from membership-based employment to job-based employment. Legal systems and customs are based on the premise of membership-based employment, and the understanding of labor unions and employees is also necessary. In addition, in order to clarify job descriptions and compensation, it is essential to standardize work and develop an evaluation system. Job-type employment encourages improvement in organizational and individual abilities and awareness, but it also entails severe competition and responsibility.
Job-based employment may be an effective means of responding to changes in work styles, such as the spread of the new coronavirus and the prevalence of telecommuting, but it must be introduced with caution and with a full understanding of its advantages and disadvantages. The choice between "putting people to work" or "putting people to work" is an important issue that concerns not only the nature of employment and personnel systems, but also the meaning and values of work.