Japanese Work Skills for New Employees

In Japan, new company employees usually start together in April. But, they aren’t all thrown into their new jobs right away. Instead, they often go through general training, which can last from a few days to a few months! The training is geared towards high school and university graduates, most of whom have never worked in an office before. The training is less for a specific job, and more for a transition to adulthood. Let’s take a look at some common Japanese work skills. Did you learn any of these for your jobs?

Polite language

Japanese Work Skills - keigo
In Japanese, you can show respect or be polite by using special words, and these are mainly used at work. For example, there is a normal word for “company.” But, when you talk about your company to a client, you use a different word that means “my humble company.” And, when referring to a client’s company, you use a word that means “your honorable company.” Getting it wrong can be embarrassing or even insulting, so polite language is always included in training. This whole system is pretty complex, even for native speakers, so every bookstore has numerous guides and there are plenty of instruction pages online.

Business phone calls

Similar to polite language, but add on the special phrases that are used only for phone calls and message-taking skills.

Introductions and business cards

Japanese business skills - exchanging business cards
Business cards are still a must in Japanese business! And, of course, there are certain techniques in the exchange and certain polite language to use. And, when you introduce yourself, you say your company name, division, position, and then name, in that order.

Memorizing the company motto

This might seem a little cult-ish to people in other countries, but it’s also a good way to understand the company values before you start working.

Critical Thinking, Negotiation, Sales Techniques

New recruits can do various activities and tasks to practice these skills. Training programs can have role play, lectures, and even tests!

General Office Rules

Like in every country, Japanese companies have a myriad of rules, expectations, and practices. New employees can learn about company procedures for progress reports, meetings, office property, and the like.

Anything you wish you did when you started your job? Would you like your company to adopt this kind of training?

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