Senior couple lifestyle moments

Nenkō Joretsu in Japanese Culture

In Japan, there is a cultural norm in companies called Nenkō joretsu. It is a seniority-wage system of promoting employees of the firm based on how close they are to retirement age. The advantage of this system is that older employees can get higher wages before retirement as well as more experience is shared amongst the younger executives.Senior businessman and young executive bowing

Nenkō joretsu is based on the premise that people who have dedicated their lives to co should be respected and rewarded. Therefore, Japanese people are always trying hard to make their efforts and do their work with their best. This view towards work is reflected on the working system of “年功序列 (Nenko-joretsu)” at Japanese companies. This system suggests that people who work and dedicate themselves to the same company for longer years can get more rewards by the company. Therefore, at a Japanese company, it is normal to get promoted based on years of working, not on one’s result or ability.

Along with the work-first philosophy, there is an aspect of seeing doing something other than work as evil. Working people, especially male employees, are expected not to spend much time on their hobbies or with their family. Due to this virtue of devotion to work, Japanese workers, especially male workers, are expected to work overtime everyday. There is an expression saying, “Once you graduate and start working, you will not be able to enjoy your own time until you retire at 65.”Senpai Kohai

However, as working overtime is bad for employees’ health and there are several cases of deaths due to overwork, there are Japanese younger employees who try not to do overwork and go home on time. A few years ago, this behavior was seen as something surprising and deviant by the Japanese society, and has brought a huge debate online. In recent years, due to an awareness of human rights, many companies have been trying to reduce hours of overtime. The virtue of working hard and long mainly comes from the “customer-first” mentality which is to put customers first always and treat them like a god. Because of this mentality, the qualities of Japanese services and products are outstanding. If Japanese companies would succeed in reducing overwork but at the same time keeping this “customer-first” mentality, they would become a good role model in society.