People before products at Panasonic

15:00 | 29/10/2018
At a time of vast social and ­economic changes within the 4.0 era, the business philosophy of Panasonic Corporation founder Konosuke Matsushita still holds true, especially when it comes to the human development of entrepreneurs.
people before products at panasonic
Panasonic Corporation’s HR development activities are based on the core management principles of people before products

To be bestowed with a title such as “the god of management”, Matsushita left a legacy for future generations, not only for people at Panasonic but anyone who valued exemplary business management experience. In the book “Everyday Lessons – 365 Best Practices in Business and Life of the Japanese”, readers learn about the “people before products” philosophy of the former Panasonic president.

When customers ask, “What does Matsushita Electronics Corporation produce?” Matsushita always advised his staff to give the answer, “It is a place to develop people and make electronic products”.

In March 1918, Matsushita Denkikigu Seisakusho was established, marking the foundation of Panasonic Corporation. From his point of view, people were always the most valuable asset even at the beginning of his career when the company encountered numerous difficulties. It has become the key for Panasonic operations over the past century - always regarding human resource and creating a favourable environment for each individual to realise and develop their own ability. Now, in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Panasonic finds it even more important to place people in the centre of all activities.

With nearly 50 years building a leading brand in Vietnam for sustainable growth, a strategic market of Panasonic in the ASEAN region, the company has implemented many policies on HR development.

In 2015, a HR development program called “Challenge and Change” was launched at Panasonic Vietnam Group. The programme’s aim is to encourage every employee to turn challenges into new opportunities for development. Many new ideas from staff have been proposed and highly appreciated by the management board. The company also facilitated a job-rotation and multi-skill development programme, which enables its employees to learn more and realise new development opportunities within the company, or group of Panasonic companies.

Former general affairs staff member Thanh Hoa took advantage of her love for children and science and is now a key member in developing STEM and science experiment activities for thousands of children visiting the high-tech Panasonic Risupia Vietnam facility in Hanoi.

Ngoc Chau, assistant manager of the Human Resource Department at Panasonic ­Vietnam, has rotated to three different companies within Panasonic Vietnam Group. She said, “I appreciate it as a great chance to study and grow myself, enrich my working experience for my career path, and contribute to the continuous expansion of the Panasonic business in Vietnam.”

In addition many new HR policies related to recruiting, training, and development are based on the core management principles and values ​​of the corporation such as talent management, and management localisation.

“For the young generation, the Panasonic scholarship ­programme has granted support to 68 outstanding students with a total value of VND51 billion ($2.2 million) over the past 14 years. Besides this CSR programme, various ­educational support activities have also been conducted to ­develop high-quality engineers and HR management in ­Vietnam, to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, said Morita Ken, director of the Human Resource ­Department at Panasonic ­Vietnam.

It is easy to understand why Panasonic has been successful over the past 100 years, ­substantially expanding its business beyond Japan to reach out to the world. Over the next century, just like at other giant companies, Panasonic will even aim ­further towards the focus of HR development.

Ken added, “We regard ­customer ­satisfaction and ­employee ­satisfaction as equally vital to the existence and growth of our company.”

By Hoang Anh

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