Jinji Ido – The Employee Shifting Tradition In Japan

The time for Jinji Ido is swiftly coming as spring approaches. There is no standard method to describe Jinji Ido in English since this extensive re-distribution of staff is unique to Japanese corporations (with the probable exception of Korea, where businesses have based their strategies on the Japanese model). “Staff shuffling,” “staff rotation to other jobs,” or “developmental redeployment of staff” may be the closest definitions.

Jinji Ido

Jinji ido was created as a means of assisting individuals in developing in their professions and preventing them from becoming stagnant because Japan does not have a free-flowing employment market and many Japanese continue to frequently work for the same employer throughout their whole careers. Contrarily, in the majority of western nations with more nimble labor markets, employees frequently benefit from diversity and career chances by switching firms (and in many cases that is the only way they can do so).

Jinji Ido

Jinji Ido is unique in the sense that it is organized systematically by the human resource management department, which frequently surprises non-Japanese. This grants the HR department more authority than is customary in most western businesses. The periodic rotations of employees become an accepted aspect of business thanks to Jinji Ido, which also adds a specific type of cadence to work in a Japanese organization.

The fact that individuals are regularly rotated extensively, and even to areas far outside of their typical specialization, is another facet of jinji ido that regularly leaves non-Japanese people shaking their heads.

According to the hypothesis, offering employees exposure to a variety of business functions would better prepare them for management roles in the future. It seems like everyone is going through training to become the company’s president eventually. While this is going on, in western businesses, people often remain in their sector of expertise, expanding their skills in their chosen sector, unless they have freely opted to seek a career shift.

Americans who work with Japanese people commonly express their displeasure with jinji ido’s apparent abruptness and the resulting lack of consistency. It’s possible to develop a positive working connection with someone for years just to have them abruptly transfer to a different department. Sending a postcard or, more lately, an email is typical in Japan when switching jobs. Japanese business colleagues may only send them to individuals who speak Japanese, however, they don’t usually do this. This may put you in the awkward spot of calling someone only to learn that they have been moved to a different post, leaving you wondering, “Why didn’t they inform me?”

Jinji Ido

It is advisable to notify non-Japanese coworkers and connections when you are being moved and to formally introduce your replacement to avoid creating this type of unfavorable image. It would be courteous to say, for instance, “As of the end of the month, I will be shifting to the Sales Department. Working with you has been a pleasure for me, and I wish that Taro Yamanaka will receive the same politeness from you. Make sure to pay adequate focus to transitional activities as well.

Non-Japanese find it extremely difficult when they feel like they have to start over with a new individual they are functioning with from scratch. To ensure that your successor is knowledgeable about what has been accomplished in the past, be sure to brief them on the important projects and individuals you have worked with.