Social | Human Rights, Labor Practices
Enhancing job satisfaction, pride and engagement

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Human resources strategy

The Bridgestone Group places great importance on its employees, which are essential for the sustainable growth of its business, and believes the success of its diverse talent will lead to the creation of value as expressed in the “Bridgestone E8 Commitment.” The Group maximizes the value of individuals throughout its strategy, while appropriately aligning and linking human resource approaches with its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy.

The Group is confident that transforming each individual employee’s mindset and behaviors toward becoming a sustainable solutions company will lead to deeper employee engagement and foster a corporate culture that provides social and customer value in a sustainable manner. Furthermore, the Group has established talent development and human resources programs tailored to the characteristics of each region.

Initiatives in Japan

Bridgestone has branded its human resources transformation as B-HRX and is working to create an environment where the company and employees can take on challenges and grow together. B-HRX focuses on maximizing organizational capabilities and results by developing diverse talent and leveraging individual strengths. It seeks to clarify the functional and organizational capabilities and human resources requirements necessary to achieve its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy, to provide training opportunities and optimally allocate employees.

In line with its business strategy, the company is developing a system of self-directed career development and personal growth, such as reskilling employees to develop digital capabilities and fostering skills through learning and hands-on experience. In addition, it expanded its next-generation leadership development program, which began in 2020, to the global Group as the Bridgestone Next 100 in 2021. It is promoting the succession program in which each senior management and executive level collaborate from the perspective of strategy and global optimization.

The company also launched an engagement survey in 2020. It is an evolution from traditional employee surveys to gauge and enhance employee engagement. Each site in Japan is taking the initiative to create a better workplace by analyzing survey results, identifying issues and implementing improvements. Opportunities for dialogue between management and employees are also provided to maintain and create an organizational culture that motivates employees.

Initiatives at BSCAP

In 2020, Bridgestone China, Asia Pacific (BSCAP) implemented the philosophy of Safety First, Show Care and Stay Connected and introduced various activities that prioritize the well-being of employees in all 10 countries where it conducts business. BSCAP also introduced a survey on employee resilience focused on five categories: communication, technology, customers, connections and well-being to assess the organization’s ability not only to overcome adversity but to emerge stronger and better prepared to take on new challenges. Additionally, a cross-country task force was created in 2021 to develop regional guidelines on hybrid work and employee well-being to provide employees with flexibility and to improve work-life balance.

In the area of talent development, BSCAP introduced a Training & Development KPI of a minimum of 40 training hours per employee per year in 2021 and 60% of employees achieved the KPI that year. Specifically, BSCAP designed its 40-hour, High-Potential General Management Program in partnership with Asia’s top-ranked business school to help high-potential employees further develop their strategic thinking and decision-making skills. BSCAP’s BE INSPIRED campaign is creating a culture of continuous self-learning through more than 200 e-learning courses.

Employee development and performance enhancement

Career Development & Discussion (CD&D) is an integral talent management process at BSCAP. CD&D is a two-way process focused on preparing employees for future roles based on their career aspirations.

In the annual CD&D process, which runs from April to August, employees have dialogues with their managers to plan their career. Together, they identify the employee’s competency strengths and prepare actionable tasks for development, known as a Career Development Plan.

The process is a continuous journey driven by the employee with the manager’s support. It empowers employees to take ownership of their career by expanding their view of longer-term career options and broadening their exposure (social learning), while seeking alignment with company on their interests.

In late 2020, BSCAP also started the Critical New Skills for the Future initiative ― a bottom-up initiative which empowers employees in its group companies to participate in each country’s workshop and identify skills that will be required for upskilling or reskilling.

Commitment to employee well-being

Since COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, BSCAP has made employee well-being a top priority with the philosophy “Safety First, Show Care and Stay Connected.” This philosophy has been fully embraced by Bridgestone Group companies in all 10 countries where BSCAP operates.

BSCAP’s 2020 Employee Resilience pulse survey assessed BSCAP’s organizational ability not only to survive a crisis, but also to emerge stronger and better prepared to face new challenges in the future. The resilience survey covered five areas: communication, technology, customers, connection, and well-being.

BSCAP scored a mean 4.06 out of 5.00 for “I feel that the company is taking care of me.” All its group companies took strong and immediate efforts to make employee safety a top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuous efforts are in place in accordance with local regulations and safety management measures.

BSCAP sees hybrid work as a strategic necessity for remaining an employer of choice. In late 2021, BSCAP set up a taskforce to develop regional hybrid work guidelines to promote holistic well-being and enhance employee engagement. The taskforce aims to improve work-life balance by issuing regional guidelines that also provide flexibility for group companies given their market practices.

Leadership development

The High-Potential General Management Program (GMP) and Bridgestone NEXT100 talent program are BSCAP’s key programs for strengthening the region’s succession dashboards and building future-ready leaders.

BSCAP designed the General Management Program (GMP) in partnership with Asia’s top-ranking business school since 2019. The GMP is a rigorous 40-hour program which aims to develop a multi-disciplinary general management skillset for business and functional leaders. It combines an executive panel discussion on exposure to relevant industry research trends with and a capstone project in an intense simulated business environment.

In 2021, the GMP scored 4.9 out of 5.0 on whether employees would recommend it to others, with 89% saying they “strongly agree” and 11% “agree.”

Continuous self-learning at all levels

BSCAP employees practice the 70:20:10 development approach. Employees are empowered to take accountability for their continuous learning through Experience, Exposure and Education.

BE INSPIRED is a campaign to enhance BSCAP self-learning culture through cultivating continuous “byte-sized” self-learning. It was launched regionally in April 2020 to ramp up virtual learning amid COVID-19 pandemic. It comprises more than 200 SBU-curated, virtual e-learning courses on topics spanning from business and management to digitalization and mental and physical health.

HR management targets

In 2021, BSCAP introduced a Training and Development KPI that sets a minimum of 40 training hours per employee per year. This KPI will be expanded to all indirect employees*1 in the longer term. In 2021, 60% of BSCAP group company employees achieved the KPI.

BSCAP also plans to make its CD&D process available to all indirect employees. In 2021, it achieved a 260% increase in participants, from 500 to 1,300 employees, from the prior year. As a diverse region, some group companies in BSCAP have implemented CD&D to all employees, while some group companies are taking a phased approach.

  1. Employees who do not directly produce goods or services, but who make their production possible or more efficient.

Talent management organization and communication

BSCAP has a human capital management system with a full suite of talent management processes for managers to engage employees in career and performance conversations. Employees can share their mobility and career preferences and apply for jobs in the organization through the system.

BSCAP has a regional governance forum called the Operations Committee - consisting of the managing directors and their management committees from every group company in the region - for communicating, aligning and approving HR policies and programs.

Initiatives at BSAM

Employee development and performance enhancement

BSAM believes that its employees are the key to its success as an enterprise. To support them in delivering outstanding results, BSAM provides employees with access to a number of development opportunities and ongoing performance feedback throughout the year.

To meet the needs of its evolving business, a new performance management framework called AMP (Accelerating My Performance) was introduced in 2021. AMP is designed to ensure employees receive the ongoing feedback and support they need to achieve their professional goals.

Through AMP, BSAM has created an environment where employees and managers continuously communicate and share feedback to ensure employees are delivering great results and progressing on reaching their career goals. BSAM will continue to improve AMP over the coming years to further enhance the culture of agile, continuous performance and development feedback.

AMP represents a shift to a more forward-looking talent management process that aligns with BSAM’s evolution toward a more agile, sustainable enterprise. With AMP, BSAM aims to increase retention, development and recognition to keep up with employee and candidate expectations.

Commitment to employee well-being

BSAM provides resources and education to support its employees’ emotional, physical, and financial well-being.

In 2021, BSAM launched its Well-being Space as a more efficient and effective way for employees to access resources that address every aspect of living. Each quarter, BSAM spotlights a different topic that supports a healthy lifestyle. From managing stress, crisis and legal support, to planning for retirement or saving for a child’s college tuition, BSAM has an array of tools and partnerships to support their needs.

It also implemented Focus Friday, four hours of dedicated focus time, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (local time), for corporate employees to use as they see fit and focus on work outside of meetings.

Talent management organization and communication

BSAM has specialized teams with the human resources department dedicated to designing and building solutions that continually improve employee experience and overall program effectiveness.

In the U.S., employees’ primary access point for supportive tools and resources is Workday, an integrated HR system that they can access from anywhere. Non-U.S. locations leverage equivalent systems. Through their respective platforms, employees can launch, update and monitor continuous conversations and feedback, register for development opportunities, and access tools and resources.

BSAM has a lot of communication channels to ensure employees are fully informed of any changes to HR systems, policies, and practices. For all initiatives, BSAM develops a comprehensive communication plan that leverages all available channels, including Microsoft Teams, corporate emails, videos, printed resources, intranet sites and townhall events.

Development targets and results in 2021

BSAM believes that investing in its employees is key to increasing their capabilities, growing their career, and staying with Bridgestone long term. In support of this goal, BSAM set a target to increase participation in its annual Career & Development Week by 15% in 2021, to promote career advancement across its operations and ensure employees know about the opportunities it provides.

Through deliberate communication and allowing greater access to the program, BSAM was able to increase participation by 50% over the prior year. This dramatic increase was driven in large part by shifting to an instructor-led, interactive, virtual environment which allowed significantly more engagement for our remote and hybrid work locations.

Goals for 2022 and beyond

In 2022, BSAM will be focused on helping leaders and employees have more robust and effective career discussions. BSAM also plans to expand its focus on succession planning, internal talent movement (talent brokerage), and continue to provide employees with access to a broad range of learning programs that suit both their personal aspirations and interests, and the critical capability needs of the business.

Initiatives at BSEMIA

Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa (BSEMIA) has introduced self-directed career development and personal growth, and has implemented the tools to support its employees in their development (e.g. 360° feedback, mentorship programs, targeted training paths with e-courses). BSEMIA has also worked on fostering a culture that emphasizes and stimulates communication by hosting town hall meetings, introducing a recognition system and a goal-setting system, and also conducting monthly pulse surveys.

A structural cultural change management program has been implemented in manufacturing sites over the last years, which has resulted in well-trained and empowered employees, autonomous teams and significantly enhanced operational results.

Measuring culture and employee engagement

BSEMIA conducts a monthly pulse survey to quantitatively measure engagement and self-directed action of employees, and to monitor trends over time and at each workplace. The pulse survey has four strategic points: well-being, engagement, culture and collaboration, which drives targeted actions for improving lower scoring items. One application of the pulse survey was to develop a systematic action plan focusing on four well-being themes: psychological, social, physical and work environment. Each quarter, BSEMIA selects one theme and provides information and training to help its employees improve their overall well-being.

BSEMIA has made the conscious choice not to use other KPIs, opting instead to gather raw, honest data through its pulse survey. In the two years since adopting this approach, BSEMIA has seen a positive impact on well-being, engagement and culture in different employee resource groups.

Townhall meetings and clear, ongoing communication

Townhall meetings provide a structured opportunity for all employees to ask questions from leadership on the SBU’s strategy, initiatives and results. BSEMIA convenes regular townhall meetings at two levels:

  • The SBU level, with the executive team sharing messages and strategy and responding to questions from a large audience of employees.
  • Factory and regional sales level, where the global strategy and culture, the strategic priorities and leadership messages of BSEMIA and the local plant or sales goals, priorities and implementation plans are being shared and discussed.

BSEMIA focuses on having clear, shared goals so all employees know what to do and what to focus on. Goals are shared via the Organization Key Results (OKR) system, which ensures that key priorities in BSEMIA are aligned between teams and employees know how to collaborate.

Specific projects are given dedicated briefings via virtual meetings or face-to-face meetings. B-Connected, a weekly newsletter hosted on the SBU’s intranet site, provide a key channel of communication.

Employee development and performance enhancement

BSEMIA provides continuous feedback to empower managers and employees in their development and performance.

Performance is measured based on concrete business results (the “what”) and on the way people behave and achieve their results (the “how”). Its Go Beyond recognition system awards points to managers and employees that demonstrate good behaviors.

Managers at BSEMIA hold regular review meetings to follow up on execution and motivate and develop team members.

Commitment to employee well-being

BSEMIA has been working on employee well-being for the last two years through B-Olympic. This program measures well-being via the monthly pulse survey and follows a structured action plan focused on four topics: psychological well-being, social well-being, physical well-being and workplace environment.

Each quarter, B-Olympic focuses on a different topic, providing information, training and personal or group challenges to incentivize employees to take action. Olympic Ambassadors provide guidance on how to take care of well-being, while the Resilience Institute, an external partner, provides training for all employees. BSEMIA has also contracted an external organization to provide specific support for private and mental health issues.

Intentions for 2022 and beyond

BSEMIA considers the work of building a strong culture and empowering people as a continuous journey. In 2022, it plans to focus more on 1) collaboration and 2) diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as the next step to strengthening its culture and ensuring that everyone feels comfortable to speak up and share ideas and to work together across the value chain. Collaboration goes hand-in-hand with empowerment, since management is less able to create communication bridges across functions when employees are empowered.

Education and training programs

The Bridgestone Group believes that providing ongoing training and education for its employees is a key element of its employee value proposition. The Group is continually expanding and refining the development offering for employees and is working towards enhanced consistency across the SBUs.

Employee training

The Bridgestone Group offers extensive training opportunities for employees to acquire new knowledge and skills. In 2021, the Group invested a total of 1,193,620 hours on employee training across the Group. This represents an average of 11.1 hours (1.5 workdays) per employee per year.

Number of masters (as of December 2020)

2019 2020 2021
Average hours of training and development per employee in the Group 16.9 10.3*1 11.1*1
  1. Training sessions were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19.

Types of training

  • Technical training specific to individual roles and functions
  • Ascend Program (Global leadership development)
  • SEAL (Strategic Excellence and Agility Leadership program)
  • Ignition and Navigation (Early to mid-career high potential leadership development)
  • General trainings implemented by Human Resources Development Department
  • E-learning on the Code of Conduct implemented by Legal Department

Educating next-generation leaders

One of the Bridgestone Group’s human resource policies is to optimize the talent across the Group. On an ongoing basis, the Group conducts education programs to help develop key talent with the ability to guide and support the global organization. The Group has invested significantly in programs to develop next-generation business leaders to ensure that it has the best talent available to guide the business in the future.

Types of training

  • Leadership Development for Top Leaders
  • Regional Leadership Conference (RLC)
  • Regional General Management Program (GMP)
  • Leading in Crisis for Top Leaders
  • Leading in Uncertain Times for Top Leaders
  • Bridgestone Global Leadership Capabilities
  • Ascend, Ignition and Navigation Program
  • General trainings implemented by Human Resources Development Departments

Performance evaluation system

The Bridgestone Group ensures fair application of its performance evaluation systems across all regions. Employees are evaluated based on their demonstrated abilities and actual performance. The Group’s overarching evaluation principles emphasize ongoing dialogue between employees and their supervisors, to ensure employees have the right feedback and support to deliver results, complete meaningful and rewarding work and develop their skills and capabilities. The table below outlines the various assessment approaches utilized throughout our global operations, and the percentage of employees covered by each approach.

Regular performance reviews

Japan Total 97.5%
Bridgestone Corporation 100%
Bridgestone Americas 52.4%
Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa 80.2%
Bridgestone China, Asia Pacific 54.6%

Management by Objectives (MBO): systematic use of pre-defined measurable targets

Japan Total 53.8%
Bridgestone Corporation 42.3%
Bridgestone Americas 52.4%
Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa 80.2%
Bridgestone China, Asia Pacific 54.6%

Multidimensional performance appraisal (e.g. 360 degree feedback)

Japan Total 0.2%
Bridgestone Corporation 0%
Bridgestone Americas 21.1%
Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa 0.6%
Bridgestone China, Asia Pacific 54.6%

Formal comparative ranking of employees within one employee category

Japan Total 93.5%
Bridgestone Corporation 100%
Bridgestone Americas 0%
Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa 0%
Bridgestone China, Asia Pacific 54.6%

Career development reviews

The Bridgestone Group supports all employees in their efforts to continually progress in their career. Across our operations, employees are encouraged to have career and development plans that they work towards in collaboration with their supervisors and leadership teams. The table below reflect the percentage of employees receiving regular career development reviews.

Receiving career development reviews

Japan Total 80.0%
Bridgestone Corporation 89.0%
Bridgestone Americas 21.1%
Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa 39.6%
Bridgestone China, Asia Pacific 17.4%

Developing manufacturing-sector employees group-wide

The Bridgestone Group is committed to develop manufacturing-sector employees who can implement the Bridgestone manufacturing way. In January 2020, the Global Manufacturing Education Centre (G-MEC) moved to the Tire Manufacturing Innovation Division to promote the manufacturing human resource development and to work closely with the manufacturing and production engineering division of the Technology Center in Tokyo, Japan.

G-MEC uses three pillars to expand the global manufacturing employees: the standard employees development program, the train-the-trainer program, and systemization of manufacturing resources development.

The Bridgestone Group has about 140 manufacturing plants and 16 R&D facilities worldwide. The Group focuses on maintaining and enhancing production at all plants so that it can make and supply quality products consistent with standards, and ensure self-directed, high levels of production. To that end, the Group established promotion structures in each region: C-MEC (China), AP-MEC (Asia), E-MEC (Europe), BRISA-MEC (Middle East), NA-MEC (North America), and LA-MEC (Latin America). Promotion leaders, or “masters”, are trained and appointed to each strategic business unit or facility as the key person for promoting education and post-education activities and encouraging more earnest effort at individual facilities.

Number of masters (as of December 2021)

Region Japan Americas Europe, Middle East, India and Africa China, Asia Pacific Total
Production process management 12 3 6 13 34
Standard skills instructor 21 0 22 23 66
Equipment maintenance management 22 11 19 35 87
Total 55 14 47 71 187

Employee engagement survey

Each of the Bridgestone Group's four major regions (Japan, Americas, EMIA region, and China and Asia Pacific) regularly conducts employee engagement/satisfaction surveys, using methodologies that encourage as many employees participate as possible, with the diverse cultural contexts in mind.

The Bridgestone Group uses the Korn Ferry engagement survey*1 in the Americas and Japan to measure the levels of employee engagement (commitment and discretionary effort) and enablement (optimized roles and supportive environment), and the Denison Organizational Culture Survey*2 in China and Asia Pacific, which uses a validated organizational model that analyzes organization culture and linkage to business performance across four traits: mission, adaptability, involvement (engagement), and consistency.

  1. The Korn Ferry engagement survey uses 6-point scale (Strongly Agree/ Agree/ Neutral/ Disagree/ Strongly Disagree/ Don't know or don't apply). Response rates are as follows:

    Japan (2021):
    Japan total, Overall Participation: 91%
     Participation Rate By Gender: 90% Female, 91% Male
     Gender Breakdown of Respondents: 11.2% Female, 88.7% Male, 0.1% Others

    The Bridgestone Corporation employees only, Overall Participation: 95%
     Participation Rate By Gender: 93% Female, 95% Male
     Gender Breakdown of Respondents: 8.0% Female, 91.9% Male, 0.1% Others

    Americas (2022): North and South American employees
     Overall Participation: 83%
     Participation Rate By Gender: 87% Female, 83% Male
     Gender Breakdown of Respondents: 11% Female, 89% Male
  2. The Denison Organizational Culture Survey uses 5-point scale (Strongly Agree/ Agree/ Neutral/ Disagree/ Strongly Disagree). Response rates are as follows:

    China and Asia Pacific (2021): Indirect employees only
     Overall Participation: 92%
     Participation Rate By Gender: Not Available
     Gender Breakdown of Respondents: 20% Female, 79% Male, 1% Other

Employee benefits

The Bridgestone Group offers its employees a wide range of health and welfare benefits, as well as various regionally appropriate and market-competitive retirement options. All the Group employees worldwide enjoy various non-compensation benefits. For example, employees in Japan can make use of company housing, rest homes, childcare and nursing care support schemes, or group insurance. In Japan, employees can also join the employee shareholding association that enables them to invest simultaneously in the company’s and their own long-term future.

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