Supporting Diverse Working Styles

img_sustainability_logo

Promotion of Flexible Ways of Working Toward Realizing Work-life Balance

Advantest believes that the realization of a good work-life balance will ultimately contribute to the improvement of corporate value. We believe that a well-balanced work style is necessary to allow employees to maximize their capabilities while balancing their private life with work, and to maintain their motivation. Based on this philosophy, Advantest has continued to create good working environments that offer flexible working systems.

In detail, Advantest has been promoting active use of existing systems, such as days to leave the workplace at the appointed time, use of annual paid leave, and flextime (for all employees). As a result, the ratio of employees using annual paid leave (23 days a year (22 days for employees with less than 10 years of continuous service)) has been maintaining a high standard at 70% each year.
In April 2020, a remote working system has been newly incorporated. Advantest aims to expand systems in which many employees will be able to conduct flexible and efficient work according to their tasks, work styles, and life styles.

Work-Life Balance Programs for Childcare and Caregiving

When working long term, there comes a time in one's life when balancing home and work become necessary due to factors such as childcare or caregiving. Advantest actively promotes support programs for balancing work and home life, providing flexible ways of working according to each individual's situation at various stages in employees' lives.

Pregnant employees can receive 100% compensation during pregnancy hospital commutes and pregnancy complications leave, as well as selecting to work shorter hours if directed to by a doctor. Advantest offers childcare leave and caregiving leave that exceeds legal standards. Childcare leave can be taken until the child reaches the age of two years and three months, and caregiving leave can be taken for a maximum of three years. Other leave programs are also widely used, such as the accumulated holiday program, which can be taken for a variety of reasons including a spouse's childbirth, childcare, fertility treatment, and other caregiving. Furthermore, Advantest offers shorter work hours for employees who are raising children or offering nursing care. Shorter working hours for childcare can be used until the child reaches the sixth grade, and is currently being used by many employees with children to balance work and childcare. There is no restriction on the period in which employees can work short hours for caregiving, so that employees can work in accordance with their situation.
As there are cases in which employees have no choice but to leave the company, such as marriage, childbirth, childcare, caregiving for the family, and spouse job relocation, Advantest has established a re-employment program for employees who meet a certain criteria.

It should be noted that re-employment following childcare leave was 100% in fiscal 2019.

We are also working on support for active childcare participation for fathers, which includes the provision of personal consultations for male employees who are raising children and their supervisors, guidance for childcare-related systems, and support for using childcare leave. As a result of these initiatives, the ratio of male employees taking childcare leave increased to 10% in fiscal 2019.

Number of employees using childcare leave

*Boundary of data: Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated)

Number of employees using shorter working hours for childcare

*Boundary of data: Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated)

Number of employees using caregiving and nursing leave

*Boundary of data: Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated)

Promotion of Work-Life Balance Programs

In 2007, Advantest has placed the "Work-Life Balance Support Guide" website on the company intranet offering information on work-life balance programs that can be used according to one's lifestyle, and to spread awareness of the various programs that Advantest provides and to encourage utilization. In recent years, Advantest has actively announced the work-life balance program and also developed an environment that allows easier consultation, such as establishing a consultation service, to promote an environment in which employees can use work-life balance programs with peace of mind.

Reducing Overtime Hours

Advantest strives to ensure employees work appropriate hours to protect their health and achieve a work-life balance.
The Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated) has set the goals specified below and focused on increasing operational efficiency, encouraging a change in employee mindsets, and making the most of available work arrangements such as flextime and shift work while striving to reduce the amount of overtime.

Our overtime reduction goals
1. Number of employees with a monthly overtime of 80 hours or more: 0
2. Average monthly overtime hours: 9 or fewer (excluding discretionary labor)

In fiscal 2019, Advantest incorporated an action plan to reduce the amount of overtime based on the Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace as well as the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children and worked to raise awareness on the intranet, in an effort to enable employees to strike a balance between work and life. Broadcasts each Wednesday were issued to urge employees to leave work on time, and notices sent to supervisors when employees clocked four or more hours of overtime by the 10th day of the month, or seven or more hours by the 20th day of the month, in an effort to further reduce overtime hours.

Although we have been engaging in these efforts, we have not succeeded in our in-house plan to have zero employees working 80 or more monthly overtime hours in fiscal 2019, as well as fewer than 9 average monthly overtime hours a month.
We were unable to achieve these goals due to keeping up with increased production and delivery support as well as dealing with unexpected problems.
The overtime hours per person at the Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated) in fiscal 2019 was an average of 13.6 hours as of March 2020.

Average overtime hours worked per person

*Boundary of data: Advantest Group (Japan, China, Korea)

*FY2019 figure is assured by KPMG AZSA Sustainability Co., Ltd.
*Overtime hours are included for management positions with no subordinates (For Korea only).

Annual Paid Leave and Other Leave Systems

We encourage employees to take annual paid leave (up to 23 days per year) according to the job schedule of each person, work-life balance and other work conditions to realize a work-life balance at Advantest. In addition to planned paid leave (6 to 12 days each year), we have also introduced multipurpose consecutive leave (3 days a year) and refresh leave (3 days, 5 days and 8 days of leave given to employees after working continuously for 10 years, 20 years and 30 years respectively). Furthermore, annual paid leave that will be lost can be carried over as cumulative paid leave for 5 days a year up to a maximum of 30 days to use for reasons that include injury to the employees themselves or the need to take care of a child or family member as well as volunteering, self-development, infertility treatments or to help with donor activities.

Graph of paid leave taken

*Boundary of data: Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated)

*FY2019 figure is assured by KPMG AZSA Sustainability Co., Ltd.

Number of employees taking accumulated holiday

*Boundary of data: Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated)

Engagement Survey

Advantest has conducted the Global Employee Engagement Survey (hereinafter referred to as "survey") to measure the engagement levels of its employees.

Purpose

Advantest continuously pursues a culture in which all employees are appreciated, respected, and work together to achieve common goals. The purpose of this survey is to provide employees with opportunities to share their thoughts on our company or organization. It stimulates dialog between the manager and team, which creates ideas for improving our company or organization from every level. The survey results provide a clue to knowing what the employees think of their work or work environment and how the company can support its employees. The survey makes it possible to identify the company's strengths and the fields that require improvement through open feedback from employees. In addition, we will take actions for improvements so as to raise the level of employee engagement in work and workplace environments, with the aim of improving the performance of the company as a whole as well as the performance of individual employees.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment of employees to their organization or its goals. An employee who is engaged in work does not only do what is minimally required, but goes about his/her work enthusiastically and energetically, with an effort to output more than what is required. According to a survey conducted by Gallup, Inc., engagement among employees worldwide is only 15%. In addition, it has become clear that there is a connection between employee engagement and the following indexes.

  • Profitability, customer ratings, and productivity (in direct proportion)
  • Turnover, absenteeism, safety incidents, and quality defects (in inverse proportion)

Implementation of survey

The survey during fiscal 2018 was conducted from October 16th to 30th for all 4,827 employees of the Advantest Group who had been employed for three months or longer at that point. The response rate was 91%. The survey was conducted using the platform of Gallup Inc, in an online format in which anonymity is ensured.

Results

Unfortunately, the scores of the 12 key questions in the Gallup survey were lower compared to those of other companies. In particular, situations were assumed from the survey results, where supervisors are not carrying out communication with their subordinates' growth firmly in mind. These results were communicated to all employees by President and CEO Yoshida via e-mail, and were explained by the president and general manager of each department of each affiliate throughout the world to their employees. Although the results were not very good, we believe that the survey was an important step in showing the transparency of the company or the attitude of working on the improvement of engagement.

Future plans

The next important task is for all members of the company, from management staff to line managers and employees, to become involved in the development and execution of action plans based on the survey results. Our goal is to turn the survey result into the improvement of company performance or customer satisfaction, while improving the engagement of employees. Whether the executed action plans have led to the improvement of engagement levels will be checked in the next survey (scheduled to be conducted in fiscal 2020) and later surveys.

Achieving an Enthusiastic Workplace

Advantest has been striving to realize work-life balance for all employees and achieve a working environment where each employee will be motivated to work.

As a result, Advantest Europe GmbH (Germany) was recognized as one of the Best Employers 2017 presented by Great Place to Work®, an international human resource consulting agency. Great Place to Work® conducts research about the scale, business category and region of companies throughout all of Germany to rank the top 100 Best Employers every year based on whether the company has built a workplace with a clear trust relationship and is able to bring out the full potential of each and every employee. The recognition of Advantest as one of the best employers demonstrates fair and sincere unification of strength between employees as well as management who have a strong sense of unity with the company. Advantest earned the highest marks in a variety of categories in the anonymous benchmark test for employees about the corporate climate conducted by Great Place to Work®.

Each Group company will endeavor to reform work styles to achieve a working environment where each employee will be motivated to work.