Highlighting JAPAN Vol.124 September 2018

HORI Co. Ltd.’s leading product, Yubari KANAMI YANAGAWAMelon Pure Jelly, has been Hokkaido’s top-selling summer gift for thirteen consecutive years. Kitakaro, a Hori While lifetime employment has been fading Making work easier is essential to ensuring that 1reduce the workload placed on our employees, which is something we consider vital.” The Hori way involves having robots handle manual labor and monotonous tasks, while humans handle important processes involving taste and final quality checks. This reduces the physical burden on employees. The robots only serve to support the human workers.The secret to making work easier isn’t limited to the physical work environment. The president visits the company’s farms and factories, where he chats with every employee to see if they are doing well. He knows all his employees by name—which is amazing enough—and presents them with cakes on their birthdays. What’s more, he personally writes replies to the employee suggestion forms collected every month. In addition, the company schedules study meetings, cherry blossom-viewing parties and company trips At renowned Hokkaido confectionery firm Hori, over ten percent of the employees are over sixty years old. An open corporate culture and automation that streamlines and simplifies their workload has stimulated the desire of employees to work longer, ensuring that the company stays fully staffed and improves performance.subsidiary founded in 1991, produces mochi crackers and confections like cream puffs using ingredients from Hokkaido. The Hori group boasts combined sales of approximately ten billion yen, and continues to grow.in the Japanese labor market, Hori has many employees who happily continue to work beyond retirement age. In fact, more than a tenth of their workforce is over the age of sixty.“I truly believe that the reason we work is not because we are healthy, but that we are healthy as a result of working,” says company president Akira Hori. “I am happy when I hear my employees say they want to continue working long after retirement age, because they clearly see what they do as their purpose in life.”senior employees retain this sense of purpose. The primary example of this is the company’s adoption of robots, which Hori says “was done to 20play videoSweet Work If You Can Get It: Spirited Seniors Making Great Confections in Hokkaido

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