It seems that the Japanese have to give their workers incentives to actually take their vacation time. Cant say we have the same problem in Oz. This article is quite interesting from a westerners point of view. The red sentences are my comments etc.
Eager employers think outside the box for peon-pleasing perks
From bonuses for marrying a co-worker and days off to mope following a relationship bust-up, to time off for bargain sales and pay rises decided literally by the roll of a dice, some Japanese companies will do just about anything to make sure they keep their employees happy and motivated, according to Shukan Post (3/28).
Allowances for managers who foster good relationships with those working under them?????? huh?
The Japan General Estate Co. created waves earlier this month when it announced it would give managers an allowance of up to 300,000 yen a month to foster good relations with people working underneath them.
But there are plenty of other companies across the country that have been offering out-of-the-box incentives to spark worker motivation and satisfaction, in the hope it will reap corporate benefits.
Bonus for marrying a co-worker
Foodstuffs manufacturer Nihon Shoken's Co-Worker Marriage Happy Allowance is a case in point. Whenever co-workers marry, they are entitled to claim a 1,000 yen a month bonus apiece."We pride ourselves on the family atmosphere of the company, and decided to reward people who fill the place with real families," a spokesman tells Shukan Post. "If there are a lot of marriages between co-workers, we're confident that will inspire their parents and relatives to become fans of our products."
A $1000 bonus incentive to take a holiday????huh?????
Recruit Agent, an employment agency, offers its employees a once-yearly 100,000 yen cash bonus if they agree to take off at least four days in a row to go on a holiday. It also pays a 250,000 yen bonus to any worker that meets a target set for them, although conditions apply for this payment to be made."They must agree to go on a trip with at least four other people from the company and stay more than one night," a spokesman says. "We want to try and encourage communication amongst staff."
Shopping leave and leave if you get dumped by your boyfriend???
Marketing firm Hime & Co., meanwhile, gives its employees half-day holidays if they want to go to a bargain sale and full days off if they're dumped in a relationship."We're a company that only employs women. When someone's relationship ends, work is the last thing on their mind and if some people quit over a break-up, it can cause large losses for the company, so we started this plan in 2005," Hime & Co. President Miki Hiradate tells Shukan Post, noting that none of her employees have yet taken advantage of the offer.
Some said veterinary equipment maker Kyoritsu Seiyaku Corp. was barking mad when it started offering a pet allowance to employees who own cats or dogs, but the company doggedly stuck to its guns."One of our company philosophies is to strive for the creation of an environment where humans and animals can live in harmony. We want our employees to live with animals and show society that our company lives by what it believes in," a spokesman says. "We want wider society to know what our company is doing."
Deciding who gets which pay rise based on the roll of a dice???? HUH????
Internet service company Kayac, meanwhile, decided a decade ago to end petty rivalries among employees by determining annual pay rises according to the roll of a dice.
"We give rises of anywhere from 1 percent to 6 percent depending on the number an employee rolls on a dice. Someone earning a monthly wage of 400,000 yen, for example, could get a raise of as much as 240,000 yen," a spokesman tells the weekly. "We were sick of employees bickering over things like bonuses and rises, so came up with the idea of deciding them as though we were playing a game."
And Hosei University sociology Prof. Seiichiro Hayakawa says we can expect more oddball offers from companies in the future.
"Improving employee welfare raises motivation and satisfaction, as well as gives the company a better corporate image," Hayakawa tells Shukan Post. "We're still in a situation where most people still only take less than half the time off they are entitled to, though I can see growing numbers of women making effective use of maternity leave. I'd imagine more companies will continue coming up with ideas to get employees to use up their vacation time." (By Ryann Connell)