Human Resource Development

Basic Approach

We have positioned “Embrace challenges and teamwork” as the top value in Our Values and “Enriching human life by adding new value to society” as our Mission in the NGK Group Philosophy. In addition to providing educational programs, we also work with superiors and create a workplace environment that enables employees to take the initiative in their own growth. The goal of this is to enable employees to contribute to the business in the environment in which they work.

Skills development for employees

NGK undertakes systematic human resource development, including Group companies in Japan, which encompasses every job category from employment to every promotion milestone in their career.
The education and training that we provide employees across the NGK Group, in conjunction with their departments and with the aim of putting the Group Philosophy into practice, is divided into three areas: “Human Skills” needed to tenaciously pursue results through teamwork, “Professional Competence” needed to cultivate a distinctive skill set and a proactive approach to problems, and “Compliance Requirements in Job Performance” needed to recognize and act upon responsibilities as a member of society.

Since FY2020 we have continued to curtail some training programs to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

This figure shows our basic approach to human resource development.

Training Participant Summary


FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Total participants 3,889 4,661 4,685 2,527 8,201
Key personnel 1,132 991 813 480 665
General employees 2,757 3,670 3,873 2,047 7,536

Average Annual Hours Spent for Training per Full-Time Employee


FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Average hours 21.7 21.3 21.4 6.0 28.0
Key personnel 15.6 12.8 12.3 4.2 18.0
General employees 23.3 25.0 23.7 6.4 31.0

Average Annual Cost of Training per Full-Time Employee


FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Average expenditures 66,000 63,000 53,000 22,000 29,522

FY2022 Company-Wide Education Scheme

Key Personnel Competencies

In order to improve the managerial skills of key personnel and, thereby, contribute to greater organizational vitality, we have defined the “key personnel competencies (behavioral traits)” that are expected of key personnel in NGK.
As the diversity of our human resources continues to increase, we want to put in place a structure that promotes a shared awareness across our company to enable key personnel to effectively contribute to business performance.
We have established key personnel competencies for the sake of achieving the following aims.

  • Ensure key personnel have a correct understanding of their expected roles so that their performance meets the expected contributions of those roles to company development.
  • Ensure key personnel candidates have a clear vision for themselves, and promote their growth towards recruitment as key personnel.

Training Programs by Objective


NGK training and education seeks to foster an understanding of the NGK Group Philosophy and Code of Conduct such that employees will not simply work for the sake of meeting their individual targets, but rather will think about the significance of the work they perform and the basis for their decision-making, leading to a sense of pride and shared identity as an NGK employee. It is not enough for employees to know what the NGK Group Philosophy and Code of Conduct are; we want employees to incorporate them into their behavior.
This approach is particularly evident in the corporate history training program that was launched full-scale at our head office in 2017 for every level of employee, from new hires to those promoted to managers. It is also incorporated into the educational programs of Group companies outside Japan in order to reach a variety of personnel. We will continue to develop and expand such programs.

Business Skills

We carry out training designed to equip employees with the mindset, knowledge, and skills they need to carry out their jobs. To ensure that the skills employees acquire are applicable and directly contribute to the work that they perform—i.e., practical skills instead of just knowledge—we provide coaching in cooperation with the participants’ supervisors and training programs for handling challenges directly relevant to their own departments.

Career Support

In order to ensure that as many personnel as possible are able to actively participate in and contribute to the functioning of NGK, we provide employees with career development support in the form of a variety of effective HR initiatives, such as promoting the active participation of women and extending the mandatory retirement age. This support is focused on cultivating personnel capable of thinking outside the limits of predetermined career models to chart their own career path.
Career design training programs for women, employees in their 50s, and others serve as opportunities for employees to think about who they want to be and how they can challenge themselves in their work to grow to become that person.
To this end, we are continuing to focus on ensuring that every employee is able to work to their full potential within the context of the many and varied environments that comprise the NGK Group.

Initiatives for Employees to Chart Their Own Career Path

Compliance Requirements in Job Performance

We provide employees with training that communicates to them the responsibilities, which NGK bears as a corporate citizen, as well as what this requires of them as employees of NGK. This training seeks to instill a strong sense of ethics and a commitment to doing what is right.
The fundamentals of NGK business—safety, quality, environment, and CSR—are inculcated from the time an employee joins the company to every time they receive a promotion so that knowledge ends up being reliably translated into action.

Manufacturing Training

We pursue training aimed at conveying the central importance of safety, the environment, quality, timely delivery, and cost in manufacturing while passing on the traditions and spirit of NGK manufacturing. This training also aims to grow employees into individuals who can support the creation of new value.
Towards this end, we provide training in unique technologies that will deepen employees’ understanding of NGK products and technologies, as well as provide training in administrative and improvement techniques that will equip employees with the mindset and means to improve their workplaces.
Manufacturing basic training is centered on practical training tied to the actual manufacturing process. It involves teaching participants about ceramic technologies and manufacturing in general at NGK so that they will have a broad perspective, which they can apply in their work.
Worksite capability enhancement training cultivates human resources capable of making managerial contributions as manufacturing worksite leaders who independently pursue worksite capability improvements together with others both in and outside of their plant’s organizational framework.

This figure explains NGK’s manufacturing training curriculum. It introduces the process from basic manufacturing training, through worksite capability enhancement training for worksite leaders, prevention, and reliability management.

Developing Digitally Proficient Human Resources

Based on the NGK Group Digital Vision, we will educate all employees, from management to general employees, in digital transformation (DX), and will develop human resources who are skilled in the use of data and human resources to bridge the gap to DX. We provide training by grade level, according to experience and the role served. In the business units, training is segmented into levels such as “Leaders” to drive the pursuit of DX, “Supporters” who assist the leaders, and “Beginners” who learn how to view and process data.

Examples of development measures

  • In the “Leaders” development program, employees leave the division they are affiliated with and participate in an internal internship in a specialist division for one year to concentrate on learning data analysis and digital technology.
  • New employees learn IT (information technology) skills through e-learning during the first year after they join the company.

NGK Group Digital Vision

Innovation Training

The aim of innovation training is to backcast from the SDGs and social challenges in an environment that is changing drastically, to discover what points to consider with new businesses and the creative thinking that spawns innovation.
In the program for young employees with leadership potential, participants learn methods for working with employees from other companies who have different experiences and value, and overcome these barriers to create and achieve goals together.
It also aims to foster flexible thinking skills and outside-the-box thinking that avoids being trapped by existing ways of thought. Through workshops, participants learn methods and ideas that serve to broaden their minds.

Company History Training

This training program looks at the history of NGK in order to reexamine the origins of the corporate activities built up by our predecessors, to reinforce our shared values, and then to prompt participants to think about how this impacts the way they go about their jobs.
The program for Group S (section chiefs) uses videos to encourage participants to deeply consider what makes up the essence of NGK, with a focus on themes such as quality and globalization.
English language videos are being developed, and programs geared towards Group companies outside Japan are being steadily introduced.

English Language Training for New Employees

Since FY2011, we have been providing English language courses for all new regular-position employees with the goal of rapidly cultivating globally capable human resources.
In addition to English ability, participants cultivate global standard business skills like giving presentations in classes whose composition facilitates effective learning at each level.

Time spent learning English per new career-track hire (FY2021 results)

This value shows the actual time spent learning English per new career-track hire in FY2021. It came to 72 hours per year.

Practical Overseas Training / Global Seminars

NGK conducts practical training over a period of six months at Group companies outside Japan with the aim of developing globally minded human resources. The training focuses on developing practical business and communication skills in a cross-cultural environment targeting young employees who are future candidates for overseas postings.
In addition, we also conduct a wide variety of global seminars aimed at employees engaged in overseas work, including future candidates for overseas postings. These seminars cover themes such as language acquisition training, studies on individual areas, and acquisition of global standard communication and management skills based on an understanding of foreign cultures.

Securing and Retaining Human Resources

Work Performance Evaluation

The NGK Group makes use of the following work performance evaluation when determining individual compensation.

Work performance evaluation Percentage of employees targeted
Systematic use of measurable objectives (objective-oriented management) agreed upon in advance between the supervisor and subordinate 100%
Grade and qualification-specific comparison and ranking of employees according to a formal process 100%

Employee Engagement

Once every two years NGK carries out a survey in order to visualize workplace vitality.
For the survey carried out in FY2020, a total of 4,788 people took part (men: 4,207; women: 581). When compared against the average for other companies, the responses from NGK employees regarding job satisfaction and sense of relative importance tended to be higher. Also, job satisfaction scores were higher than those from the previous survey conducted in FY2018.
These survey results will be utilized as basic data for use in developing human resource measures focused on creating an organization that is more worker-friendly and offers employees a sense of challenge. The workplace-specific results will also be provided as feedback to supervisors and used for workshops intended to enhance division vitality, thereby contributing to improvement in the daily workplace environment.
Based on the results of the FY2020surveys, in FY2021 we held workshops in response to requests from each department aimed at helping employees consider their own career path and proactively engage with their work. We also provided individual support for problem solving towards vitalization, including creating training plans to boost the motivation of subordinates in an employee’s charge.

Results of Survey on Workplace Vitality


FY2018 FY2020
Satisfaction Employee coverage rate Satisfaction Employee coverage rate
Average hours 66 89 68 94
Men 68 95
omen 69 89

Note: Separate figures for women and men were not compiled in FY2018. Since the survey is conducted every other year, the next one is planned for FY2022.

Turnover Rate / Voluntary Resignation Rate