Round-table Talks: Supporting Each Other by Transcending the Boundaries of Generation and Position―Promoting the Active Participation of Women
The Konami Group strives to further develop its childcare-related measures, with the goal of creating an environment that enables all employees to balance work and child-rearing.
The members who participated in the round-table talks are three female employees whom play an active role at Konami Business Expert Co., Ltd., a shared services company of the Konami Group. They work in the department consisting of staff members from different generations and positions, and get along by supporting each other. This feature covers interviews about the appeal of team management, the Konami Group and their work.
Participants: Members Working for Business Support Department,
Konami Business Expert Co., Ltd.
Joined the company in 1998
After having been engaged in the management of sales assistants, she moved to her current position in April 2015.
Having a picnic on holidays with her child is a favorite for Arakawa, who is a mother of one child.
Joined the company in 2009
At the time she joined the company, she was assigned to the human resources department and was in charge of the promotion of work-life balance.
Three years after joining the company, she moved to her current department, and then she was promoted to Assistant Manager in 2015.
In her personal life, she enjoys watching soccer games, and visiting spas and cafes to refresh herself.
Joined the company in 2000
Since joining the company as a new graduate, she has been mainly in charge of accounting. She was promoted to Assistant Manager in 2017.
As a mother of two children, she enjoys hanging out with her children on holidays.
—— Thank you for joining the round-table talks today.
Let us start with an overall impression of how you feel about working for the Konami Group.
I joined the company as a new graduate, and I really appreciate that the Konami Group has maintained its great aspects of tirelessly taking on new challenges, while continuously making things better. As a company and as an employee, these aspects enable me to prevent activities from entering a stereotypical routine, as well as allow me to operate with a sense of urgency in the ever-changing environment.
The Group also incorporates our ideas and opinions when updating operations or rules that may occur in such a changing environment.
I have 19 years of service, and when looking back at the past, I have been given a number of opportunities to take on challenges. The time when I was given an opportunity to play a management role was a bit earlier than I actually thought it would be.
I feel that that the Konami Group is a company that trusts female employees to do responsible work. For me, I was promoted to Assistant Manager in my seventh year of service. I was very unsure as to whether I, in my 7th year, was entitled to take it on, while worrying whether I could really do it. At the same time, however, I was happy to be offered the opportunity, so I decided to take on the challenge.
Of course, I feel the pressure, but I am able to perform my duties with the help of other members.
—— What kind of approach do you take in the concrete?
We belong to the section mainly in charge of issuing invoices for payment in the Konami Group companies. I am responsible for the management of the section, which consists of two teams that are led by Wakida and Yamauchi.
Our department includes a variety of members from different standpoints, including those who are rearing children, already married or single, all of them concentrate on their duties.
For instance, members who are working with reduced working hours sometimes need to take a sudden day off when their children become sick, even though they have strong willingness to complete their duties on their own. For such an occasion, we have developed a support system and strengthened our teamwork to complement with each other. I may be ringing my own bell, but I can say so―can’t I?
Yes, you can.
I also sometimes need to take a day off due to child-related reasons, including events at a daycare, and I strongly feel that the company has developed an environment based on the assumption that such things happen. I do appreciate the current environment that motivates me to work harder and give back to the company.
Our department includes many working mothers who balance work and child-rearing. Therefore, members in the department can support each other when someone is absent. For that reason, everyone can say, “Please go home today,” when something happens. The best way is to facilitate our work by supporting each other, because work is done by everyone in general.
We are supported by such thoughts!
—— Well, people from various standpoints work in the department by supporting each other.
When do you feel your job is rewarding and meaningful?
I am mainly responsible for coordinating the work among members in the department or between departments. My first point is that I like communicating with people.
My second one is that I can see the growing process of team members from a long perspective, and know what couldn’t be done yesterday can be done today, which is meaningful to those at a management level.
I am motivated by the opportunity to work with a team. I am also motivated by a process in which I consult with Arakawa and Wakida on how to make a collective effort to achieve something, and how to solve problems that team members face by paying careful attention to whether or not they stumble through their work.
I greatly hope that team members come to work feeling good every day. So I try to focus on providing a positive atmosphere, including greetings, and I feel fulfilled when team members are also aware of such things. Being able to create a better atmosphere as a leader makes me feel meaningful.
I like KONAMI games, so I am also motivated by being able to get involved in them, even a little.
Yamauchi and Wakida seem to have changed a lot compared to when I was transferred to here in 2015.
When you are responsible for putting a team together, things often don’t go as you planned.
At such times, they have come to first and foremost consider what they should do to make things work better, which makes me so happy, and other team members also move forward toward doing things for others.
—— How do you feel about the balance of work and child-rearing?
From a management stand point, I try to help team members better understand that there are diverse work styles for people from diverse backgrounds.
I arrange a meeting with all members at least once a month, because I hope to realize the happiness of each member respectively, regardless of what their position or work is.
In the meeting, I listen to their opinions of work-related things of course, any complaints or improvements, and other feedback. This opportunity really gives me a better understanding.
For instance, although when your child becomes an elementary school student, you need to work full time instead of working with reduced working hours, some people say that they cannot work overtime. This situation can be possible because of everyone's understanding.
For me, I feel I can balance work and child-rearing at a level where I am satisfied. I am not sure what my child actually thinks about it, though.
As for my team, I have quantified the total number of invoices that have been issued and divide them up among team members according to their working hours. This creates an enhanced sense of mutual understanding among team members.
Although I try hard to finish up my work during hours, things sometimes may not go as planned due to an urgent meeting. At such times, other members naturally offer help to me, which is a real relief for me.
When I score myself regarding the balance of work and child-rearing, my score would be 70. I always hurry my children by saying “Hurry! Hurry!” at home, so if I can streamline household chores and make sufficient time for my children more, I would be able to get a mark of 100.
When looking at senior colleagues working within the Konami Group, I deeply feel that we can maintain the balance between work and child-rearing.
In this regard, I hope everyone does not give up pursuing career goals due to major life events, such as pregnancy, and I hope everyone can think the same way.
Yes, If you think marriage or pregnancy prevents you from pursuing your career goals or growth, you will not be able to manage your work regardless of whatever jobs you do.
As there are many superiors who promote active workplace participation for female employees in the Konami Group, I would like to follow their mindset to be more like them.
I do hope to create a workplace environment that enables staff members to feel happy to be engaged in their job, and encourage them to play an active role in the Konami Group.