Taking a more active role in childrearing can lead to increase in a sense of fulfilment and enhance motivation for work
～Working toward a workplace where people can support each other to ensure that 100% of fathers take paternity leave～
The AISIN Group is currently working on job satisfaction reforms, aiming to bring benefits to both employees and the company by generating synergy between “providing employees with more job satisfaction and a more fulfilling life” and “creating new value for the company.” The basic idea is that a more fulfilling life with greater job satisfaction should be realized by placing more emphasis on quality rather than quantity in the way of working to create new value and achieve a balance between work and personal life.
As part of efforts to promote job satisfaction reforms, we are encouraging male employees to take paternal leave. The concept behind the initiative is that when male employees return to work with higher motivation from paternal leave while leading a satisfying home life, the quality of their work will be much higher. As a result, the rate of paternity leave increased significantly in fiscal 2020, showing a deeper understanding of the initiative in the workplace.
Firsthand experience of childcare gave me a fresh perspective
At Aisin, the number of male employees who take several days to several months of paternity leave depending on their family circumstances is on the rise. We had interviews with employees who took paternity leave.
- In charge of sustainability promotion work
- Father to a child (aged 0)
- Took five days of paternity leave after the birth of his first child in June 2020
“This was the first childbirth for my wife. I was so relieved that I was able to take childcare leave because it was difficult for my wife, who is from South America, to go home to give birth. She speaks Japanese, but she is not fluent enough to go through bureaucratic procedures and respond to hospital-related matters. Considering that she had a lot of anxiety and worries about her first childbirth, I accompanied my wife to the hospital for my child’s one-month checkup and protective vaccination and participated, together with her, in childcare seminars held by the local government. Since they were all first experiences for me as well, I wanted to share the anxiety and worries with my wife, learn more, and overcome such fear. In fact, I learned a lot through participation in childcare-related events, including what I need to learn about childcare and what I should do for my wife, all of which required a fresh perspective and new ideas. Now that I understand how tough it is to take care of a baby, I’ve been sharing the housework (including preparing three meals a day) and childcare with my wife after taking paternity leave.”
- In charge of budget control
- Father to three children (aged 4, 1 and 0)
- Took six months’ paternity leave after the birth of his third child in May 2020
“My wife’s and my parents are living far away from us, and they have jobs and family members requiring nursing care. So, it was difficult to ask for help from our parents. Considering that it is hard for the two of us to take care of three small children while continuing to work, I decided to take six months’ paternity leave. In May, when my third baby was born, my oldest daughter was not able to go to kindergarten due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since my family of five stayed at home for that period, I was really relieved that I was able to take childcare leave. I did not know how much burden had been placed on my wife before taking paternity leave. So, I promised myself that I would do uninterrupted work to finish up my job during work hours and do housework and childcare seriously after returning home. At the same time, I’m grateful to other members in the workplace for their kind support. So, I’m now working with high motivation in order to show my gratitude.”
Understanding and support of superiors and members of the workplace is indispensable
What is most important in taking childcare leave is the understanding of other people in the workplace and a corporate support system. Mr. Mitsuya and Mr. Fukushima say that the reason they were able to take childcare leave is because of other member’s understanding and support and that they truly cannot thank them enough.
- Sustainability Promotion Group Manager
- Father to three children (aged 26, 24, and 22)
“What I consider most important is to secure a working environment that enables all the people to work comfortably and with high motivation. I believe that it is important for superiors to become familiar with the anxiety or worries of their subordinates and consider what support they can provide to them in their capacity as a superior, and not to think that in their younger years, there was no culture that allows male employees to take childcare leave. Superiors may be concerned about how to handle related work, but job management is an important task for those in managerial positions. So, to create a better workplace, it is essential to form a team whose members can understand other members’ situations through mutual communication. I also believe that it is necessary to be ready to provide support to team members in various life events, not only limited to childcare leave, and respond to the tasks given with fewer members.”
Turning the experience of childcare leave into an opportunity for a bold change in thinking
Top management of the AISIN Group is very aware of the importance of encouraging male employees to take childcare leave. Mr. Ise, President of Aisin Corporation at the time, talked about his views on this matter.
“I think that encouraging fathers to take childcare leave will lead to the promotion of women’s advancement in the workplace. I also hope that our paternal leave system will help male employees develop a broader vision and a fresh perspective and will provide them with an opportunity for a bold change in thinking. In addition, I want male employees to enjoy non-working time and lead a fulfilling life while performing their work with high motivation. To this end, Aisin has been powerfully promoting paternity leave by setting a target of increasing the rate of childcare leave taken by male employees to 100%.”
Aisin will continue to come up with various measures to further increase employees’ job satisfaction so that all employees with diverse views can exercise their abilities in the workplace and lead a fulfilling life.