Social

Human Rights Protection

Policies

In 2003, we established the “Foster Group Corporate Action Guideline” and the “Foster Group Code of Conduct for Staff”, which define our respect for human rights in compliance with all laws and regulations, international rules and their spirits and concepts. We have also requested our business partners in the value chain to show a similar respect for human rights.
An outline is provided below.

Respect for Employees’ Humanity

Under our labor-management mutual trust and responsibility, we seek to create safe and work-friendly worksites, aiming to help our employees enjoy comfortable and affluent lives. We also respect our employees' human rights, personalities, individuality, and abilities. In addition, we do not support any form of forced labor and child labor.

Respect for Human Rights and Anti-discrimination

Working to maintain healthy worksites at all times, we respect the human rights of each employee and do not conduct any actions that lead to discrimination.
We do not engage in irrational discrimination based on place of birth, nationality, race, origin, creed, religion, gender, age, disability of various kinds, hobby, academic background, etc.
We do not conduct any actions that might lead to human rights violations such as violence, ridicule, defamation, slander, forcible working by threat, or bullying.

Sexual Harassment

We do not engage in any act of sexual harassment or any act that could be misconstrued by others as sexual harassment.
We do not engage in any sexual speech or acts that are offensive to another person and prevent other persons from engaging in such acts.

Protection of Personal Information and Privacy

With respect to personal information and privacy of Foster Group Directors and Staff or for persons outside the Company that become known to Foster Group Directors and Staff during the course of work, we only use the personal information for the work and control it strictly. We control it strictly so that it will not be divulged outside the Company.

Worksite Health and Safety

We give priority to the provision of safety and health, endeavor to maintain a safe and healthy workplace environment, understand the laws and orders concerning work-related safety and health and comply with them. If any work-related disaster arises under any circumstance, Foster Group Directors and Staff strive to carry out the prescribed procedures such as the creation of an immediate report in order to minimize and prevent the recurrence of such accident in a reliable manner.

Compliance with Labor-related Laws

We comply with the labor-related laws and endeavor to maintain a comfortable and healthy workplace environment.
In order to ensure that the working conditions stay within the limit set forth in the “Labor Standards Act,” we strictly control working days and working hours.
We do not force labor that compels excessive work or over-time work and so on.
Managers take into consideration the condition of the physical and mental health of subordinates at all times.

Activity Promotion Structure

We have established the CSR Committee and Compliance Committee to promote all relevant Foster Group initiatives.
In addition, we have established the Compliance Hotline and the Harassment Helpline as contacts for consultation and reporting and provide advice to various stakeholders.

Diversity and Inclusion

Policies

The Foster Group seeks to create systems and environments in which a diverse workforce of different genders, ages, nationalities and backgrounds as well as employees who work while raising children or providing nursing care can work actively according to their respective lives.
Through those activities, we aim to build a “Win-Win relationship” between the company and its employees and create synergies with the realization of enjoyable personal lives for each employee, the creation of new value, and improvement in the company’s creativity and competitiveness.

Activity Promotion Structure

We have established the Diversity Management Section as a special organization in the Human Resources Department and are involved in multifarious activities.

Main Activities, Measures, and Development

Supporting Employees Raising Children and Providing Nursing Care

To promote a working environment where employees who are raising young children and providing nursing care can work at ease, we have improved our system to support the balance between work and child/nursing care. Since April 2018, we have extended the childcare leave period to three years maximum and the nursing care leave period to 183 days maximum. In addition, Diversity Management Section accepts counseling requests regarding child care and nursing care from employees at any time and responds carefully.

Promoting Women’s Active Participation

By providing female employees with planned cultivation and supporting their career development, we are aiming to have female managers represent 30% of all managers by the end of March 2021.
In fiscal 2017, we held the "Round-table Talk about Women’s Careers" aiming to establish a network among female employees by sharing their real opinions and thoughts of the future careers of the women who work in a variety of job categories.

Our Activities for LGBT (Sexual Minority)

Currently, the Human Resources and CSR departments are carrying out activities to deepen understanding of LGBT and increase the number of allies (those who show understanding and support for LGBT people). In the future, we will increase allies company-wide through activities designed to foster understanding.
In addition, we provided trainings for all employees in fiscal 2017 to deepen their understanding of LGBT.

Global Human Resource Employment

The Foster Group employs a variety of human resources regardless of their nationalities, and is actively promoting international communications in the Group to cultivate human resources and enhance the functionalities.

Regarding the Award of New Diversity Management Selections 100 (2017)

With our activities recognized as a company that leads diversity promotion to its management, we were selected as the “New Diversity Management Selections 100 (2017)” awarded by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
We will continue to create a working environment that makes use of diversity of the employees who has various backgrounds.
■Website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry: New Diversity Management Selections 100/Diversity Management Prime
Companies awarded as New Diversity Management Selections 100 (2017) (Japanese)
Best practices in fiscal 2017 (Japanese)

Labor (Labor Practices and Decent Work)

Policies

We put a high value on creating an environment in which each employee can grow through work and display their capabilities in a rewarding work. To realize this, we believe it is important to create an “work-friendly” environment where employees with various backgrounds support each other spontaneously through daily communications and give ideas to each other.
Under labor-management trust and mutual cooperation, we seek to create an organizational culture and develop various institutions, aiming to create an environment where employees with various lifestyles and aspirations can work in the style that suits their situation.

Activity Promotion Structure

In addition to the promotion activities conducted by the Diversity Management Section, we have established the innovative working style project, which is involved in a wide range of activities with cooperation between labor and management.

Main Activities, Measures, and Development

Work-Style Reforms

Since September 2016, we have established the systems and culture that satisfy a variety of work-style needs to promote diversity and realize a work-life balance.
In fiscal 2017, we applied the flex time system to all employees and introduced the work-at-home program at full scale. As for the work-at-home program, though the targets were limited to the employees who are providing child and nursing care during the trial run, we have introduced the program at full scale without limiting the targets. The program was used for 599 days in total in fiscal 2017, which shows that flexible work styles are penetrated.
In addition, we continually implemented the initiative of the two days of week recommended to go off work at the same time and the private-public initiative of the Premium Fridays, which is promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. We implement the initiative of Premium Fridays, which ensures leaving work on time, two times a year (February and August). 84% and 92% of employees left work before the fixed time in August and February, respectively, which showed gradual penetration of the awareness of leaving earlier.

Enhancement of the Leave System and the Leave of Absence System

Since April 2018, we have introduced the volunteer leave system with an aim to grow employees through volunteer activities.
We have also introduced the system that grants the leave of absence for two years at the longest to the employees who wish to go to school to deepen and expand their own expertise and the system that grants the leave of absence for five years at the longest to the employees who wish to accompany with their spouses on overseas transfers.

Health Enhancement

Mental and physical health is essential for employees to feel job satisfaction and work with vigor. We position the enhancement of employees’ health as an important management issue and are conducting various initiatives.
To raise the awareness of enhancement of employees’ health, we implement the “Health Point System,” in which we give points and provide health incentives to employees. In this system, incentives are given to the employees who took periodic health examinations, participated in in-house health seminars and participated in exercise events such as the walk rally.
We also implement a “Smoking Cessation Support Program,” which subsidizes the expenses paid to medical institutes to the employees who wish to quit smoking, and encourage them to take specific health guidance in cooperation with the health insurance association, providing an opportunity to review their daily habits. In addition, we hold the “Autumn Festival (athletic meet).” We implemented those initiatives by sponsoring the plans of employees’ union, aiming to maintain and enhance employees’ health and activate communications in the company.
Such initiatives were evaluated and received the “Certification of Excellent Company in Health: Silver” from the Tokyo Federation of the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies in February 2018.

Human Resource Development

Policies

Our human resource development is based on "continuous performance by linking various personnel systems with individual development goals determined by mid/long term business strategy and individual personality (strength/weakness)."
The ideal for human resource development is as follows:

  • Personnel who embody our corporate philosophies and corporate creed through their duties and who have a “strong will” and “activity” to work toward their realization.
  • Personnel who do not remain complacent about the current situation but utilize every opportunity to improve their own abilities and grow with ingenious attempts and efforts.
  • Professional personnel who use their expertise to play a key part in strategy formulation and implementation and who can create value continuously.
  • Self-directing personnel who are conscious about their expected and assigned roles and missions and who can take responsibility for their own actions and results.

Activity Promotion Structure

Those human resource development measures are driven mainly by the Human Resources Department. In addition, through the “Foster Rhythm Project,” which introduces our corporate philosophy penetration activities globally, we are striving to develop human resources who can embody those corporate philosophies and create a lively organizational environment.

Main Activities, Measures, and Development

  • To promote philosophy-focused management (Way Management), enhance the power of human resources and organization, and transform the organization, the Foster Group developed the action guidelines by redefining “the ideal company.” We summarized those into the “Foster Rhythm Guidebook” and “Foster Rhythm Card” and distributed them to our employees across the world. We are also continually providing workshops and various kinds of education programs.
  • We are working to promote diversity and foster and enhance the global mind of our employees by regularly conducting “Inter-Cultural Communication Training” at various levels. We will also introduce the Global-eye Program, a new overseas training program for young employees, to promote the planned and continuous development of the next-generation of global leaders.
  • Since April 2018, we have introduced a new personnel system (personnel system with multiple courses) aiming to make the transition to a more flexible personnel system with a wider range of selections according to each employee’s career plan, life stage, and work-life balance. At the same time, we are also working to promote the development of engineers by providing life-career design training and introducing the “Technical Master System.”
  • To promote localization of overseas site management, we are also actively working on the development of the local managing staff at each site. Specifically, we ran the Global Leader’s Training and facilitated human resources exchange by the Overseas Trainee Program and the international employee reassignment within Group companies, etc. to develop human resources globally.

Health and Safety

Policies

We have established a rule to “prioritize securing of health and safety, and endeavor to create a safe and healthy working environment.” Based on this rule, we are advancing redressing activities, which are carried out mainly by the Health and Safety Committee, which governs health and safety, and the health and safety management organizations at respective sites.

  1. Understand laws and orders concerning work-related safety and health and comply with them. And minimize and prevent a recurrence of an accident in a reliable manner.
  2. Employee exposure to potential safety hazards is to be controlled through the proper design, engineering and administrative controls, preventative maintenance and safe work procedures.
  3. Procedures and systems are to be in place to prevent, manage, track and report occupational injury and illness.
  4. Employee exposure to chemical, biological and physical agents is to be identified, evaluated, and controlled.
  5. Employee exposure to the hazards of physically demanding tasks is to be identified, evaluated and controlled.
  6. Production and other machinery is to be evaluated for safety hazards.
  7. Employees are to be provided with ready access to clean toilet facilities, canteen with suitable drinking and eating environment.
  • * Abstract from the “Code of Conduct”

Activity Promotion Structure

The health and safety activities carried out by Foster Electric are operated by the Health and Safety Committee at headquarters in cooperation with industrial doctors, under the supervision of its upper-level organization, the Risk and Crisis Management Committee. By sharing information among the health and safety management organizations at each site, the Group is working as one to create an appropriate working environment.

Main Activities

As part of our health and safety initiatives, we are taking steps to address Group-wide issues, led by the Risk and Crisis Management Committee, together with initiatives to resolve site-specific issues, led by the health and safety management organization at each site.
We are carrying out initiatives to address the “group-wide issues” based on the Foster Group Corporate Action Guidelines and the Foster Group Code of Conduct for Staff.
In the future, we will begin full-scale initiatives to address issues common to the Group using ISO 45001-Occupational Health and Safety.
The Foster Group implemented safety inspections on the bicycles used for commuting as an issue common to the Group for preventive maintenance.
The headquarters has developed and executed the plan based on the policy of the Health and Safety Committee,“Aiming for zero risks,” as an initiative to address site-specific issues. In particular, as one of the work-style reform promotional activities, we worked on a corporate-type childcare project to enhance our benefit packages. We conducted the "Declaration of a Healthy Company" and enhanced the system to improve work-life balance, in an effort to create a mentally and physically healthy working environment for our employees through various activities.
In addition, we had a renewal audit for the certification of the excellent fire prevention property at headquarters this year and re-checked the activities of the self-defense fire-fighting force. We are working to improve our employees’ safety awareness to become a company that is also needed by the local community.

Bicycle Safety

Some employees working at headquarters use bicycles for their work or commute, and their safe use of bicycles and our traffic accident prevention activities were evaluated by the Japan Traffic Management Technology Association. We were certified as a “model company for bicycle safety” in February 2017, with our activities being seen as a role model.

Video Conference with Overseas Sites

As one of our initiatives to expand and share information on the global industrial health and safety project based on ISO 45001-Occupational Health and Safety Management System, we held a regular video conference with the persons in charge at overseas sites. We shared cases related to industrial safety that occurred at each site and started to take preventative measures and actions as group-wide issues.

Customer Satisfaction

Foster Group Sales Department

Policies

The Foster Group Sales Department mainly sells speakers and headphones for cars and audio devices. To realize our vision “To make contributions for future society through acoustics,” we are working every day to create good sounds that can impress people across the world through our products and parts. The only thing we must do to achieve this mission is to “create customers,” as a wise person once said. Needless to say, customers can be created by continuously satisfying someone’s needs. We consider it as the origin and made our primary responsibility “customer satisfaction,” which we believe is the principle of all our activities.

Structure

We have sales offices in Japan (headquarters), the U.S., Europe, and other Asian countries/regions beside Japan. This tetrapolar structure is the base of the framework that enables our flexible responses not only based on the local time, languages, but also a deep understanding of business customs and cultures. In addition, through personnel interchanges among regions, we have established a structure to develop global human resources as true cosmopolitans, regardless of where they were born, and deliver our quality sounds to people all over the world.

Activities

The current economies and corporate activities are connected around the world and do not stop. Through our tetrapolar structure described above, we have realized a 24-hour response system globally and are conducting activities to quickly respond to every customer.

Fostex Company

Policies

The Fostex Company provides high quality products at appropriate prices to deliver an enriched and comfortable life to customers who purchase those products. In addition, the Company always seeks to develop products that lead to the peace of mind and satisfaction of the customers who select and own them. In its after-sales services, the Company also pursues customer satisfaction by always promptly providing services from the customers’ perspective.

Structure

We always listen to our customers’ comments and seek what they need so that we offer products that our customers can use with satisfaction and peace of mind. As such, we have established a project promotion structure across our sales and technical units. In addition to the domestic market, we also understand global needs and strive to develop products specific to each region.

Activities

As domestic activities, we share information with the dealers who are constantly in contact with our customers and also make efforts to listen to as many customers’ voices as possible at exhibitions and trial listening events. In 2017, we held over 30 listening events at dealers and participated in seven exhibitions. In overseas markets, we identified the needs of customers from overseas countries/regions through cooperation with our contracted sales agencies and sold regionspecific models in Hong Kong and the U.S.

Quality and Safety Assurance

The Foster Group is promoting and deploying quality assurance activities based on the FOSTER TQM (Total Quality Management).

Our Quality Assurance Activity Policies and Actual Activities

Under our customer-focused philosophy, the Foster Group considers delivery of safe, eco-friendly, products of reliable quality by fulfilling the customers’ expectations and social requirements as the basics of quality assurance.
In addition, under the Basic Quality Policy, we globally promote comprehensive quality assurance activities to ensure that our products are of high quality.
The product safety, reliability, and product environmental quality of our products and components are certainly taken into account during the processes (product/process design, purchase, and manufacturing) supported by our high level technologies.

FOSTER TQM and Quality Management System (QMS)*

  • As for the quality management system of the Company, quality assurance and management activities have been developed under its customer-focused philosophy on quality since the Company’s foundation.
  • In 1975, we formulated the Total Quality Control (TQC) Regulations in accordance with the philosophy of FOSTER Total Quality Control (TQC). In May 2006, the TQC Regulations were upgraded as the Total Quality Management (TQM) Regulations.
  • Since 1998, all the Group companies have successfully acquired the certification of the quality assurance (system) standards (including the ISO9001: 1994).
  • In 2004, all the Group companies successfully acquired the certification of the ISO/TS 16949, a quality standard based on the ISO9001: 2000, which has continued to be renewed to date.
  • In 2017, we switched to ISO 9001: 2015 and IATF 16949: 2016 standards company-wide and have continued to comply with them.
  • * QMS: Quality Management System

Global Quality Assurance Structure

The Group has developed global quality assurance systems, connecting the headquarters, overseas factories and sales companies to improve the quality of our products to be supplied worldwide.

Enhancing Quality Awareness

Our headquarters has made November the “Quality Month” and holds a variety of events to improve quality awareness.

Main Events Held Last Fiscal Year


Quality lecture presentation (headquarters)

■ Holding the quality lecture presentation
The quality lecture presentation was held by inviting outside lecturers.
Approximately 170 employees attended this event, which led to an improvement in their quality awareness.

■ Holding a quality improvement case exhibition
We held improvement case exhibitions at headquarters and overseas sites to share detailed information on the improvements.

■ Seeking ideas for a quality slogan
We seek ideas for a quality slogan for each division every year. Compiled in a booklet, all of our employees carry at all times.


QC Circle Convention (headquarters)

■ Holding the Global QC Circle Convention
At each overseas factory of Foster Group, through the QC Circle activities, opinions from production sites are valued and used to improve product quality.
Each year, more than 100 QC circles in total are conducting activities at overseas factories. Among them, 12 teams that won the QC Circle Convention at each factory give presentations of their results at headquarters.