Human Resource Development and Personal Growth

We provide all employees the opportunity to build and advance their career.

Basic Approach

Based on the principle of “respect for human rights,” a constant element of our corporate DNA since the company’s foundation, we actively invest in human resources since we regard the growth of employees as a source of business competitiveness.

We support employee growth through a system of training/study programs and traineeships, based on the desire of every individual to grow in line with the San-ji (Three Selfs) spirit, along with on-the-job (OJT) training that relies on support provided by superiors and workplace colleagues.

We have also created specialist in-house bodies and programs to support business strategy in certain domains. Developing next-generation leaders, software engineers and other human resources will help to drive Canon’s future growth.

Promotion System

Led by the Human Resources Management & Organization Headquarters, Canon has put in place a wide range of HR development systems, based on the idea of “developing our people in-house.” As a rule, this means training the course trainers in-house as well.

Technical HR development committees have been established for each specialist area. Composed of inhouse experts from each field, the groups discuss related HR development issues and training set-ups to support the systematic development of specialist engineering human resources.

In addition, we have created systems to allow Canon engineers to gain the latest external knowledge and technical skills through assignments to universities and research institutions in Japan and abroad.

Developing Globally Minded Personnel

With 341 operational sites* worldwide as of the end of 2022, the globalization of Canon’s operations is proceeding apace. Against this backdrop, we are stepping up training to develop human resources with leadership abilities that can be utilized on the international stage.

  • * Number of operational sites includes Canon Inc., consolidated subsidiaries and equity-method affiliates.

Vitalizing Human Resources Through International Assignments

Canon established the Canon Global Assignment Policy (CGAP) as an international assignment system for its Group companies worldwide to stimulate international personnel exchanges, not only from Japan to other countries but also from other countries to Japan, and internationally from Europe to the United States, for example. The goal of this program is to promote global business cooperation and the development of human resources capable of functioning at the global level.

CGAP is an international personnel dispatch policy shared by our Group companies, and personnel assignment policies in each respective country or region are based on it. Combining these policies allows us to promote personnel exchanges and to share basic philosophies and systems, while providing for flexibility in dealing with the special characteristics of each region, such as laws and culture.

For example, in Europe and the United States we have the US/Europe Exchange Program, which enables employees with at least three years of service to participate in a personnel exchange for a period of one year; and, in Asia we have the ASIA CGAP, which is a one-year training program in Europe and the United States for developing executive management candidates from Asia.

As of the end of 2022, a total of 1,040 employees were deployed on international assignments under these programs.

Global Training for Young Employees

In order to help employees acquire language and international business skills, Canon Inc. has established a system to allow employees to gain overseas work experience early in their careers.

For example, the Asia Trainee Program enables employees who are 30 years old or younger to engage in practical study at Group companies in Asia. Started in 1995, the program to date has deployed a total of 118 people. The program sends trainees to Group companies in countries and regions where languages other than English are used on a regular basis in professional settings. After roughly six months of language training at a local university, trainees spend about one year gaining practical experience at Asian affiliates. Meanwhile, the Europe–US Trainee Program dispatches young employees to Europe and the United States. Started in 2012, the program has thus far provided training to a total of 68 employees. In 2020, we launched the Canon Global Marketing & Sales Trainee Program for new employees. With the aim of fostering human resources who will play an active role in Canon’s future global marketing efforts, participants spend a year and a half both in Japan and overseas acquiring sales experience and language proficiency.

The Overseas Study Program for Technicians is intended to develop engineers and technicians who can function internationally, as well as enable them to acquire skills that they can use to contribute to Canon’s core businesses in the future. This program began in 1984, and to date, a total of 129 employees have participated in the program, studying at universities abroad. In line with our strategy to improve our R&D system in the United States and Europe, we plan to select several employees each year for overseas study.

Fostering Experts in Various Fields

Development of Human Resources in Engineering

To aid development of next-generation engineering human resources, Canon Inc. has built specializationspecific training set-ups for machinery, electronics, optics, materials, software, and other areas. We have also set up committees to oversee development of human resources across five core specializations. Each committee develops rank-based training programs for personnel from new hires and junior engineers to experienced leaders, as well as conducting courses and implementing other initiatives. We also provide training- in some non-core specializations such as analytical technology. In 2022, a total of 8,017 engineers from Group companies in Japan took part in 231 related programs. Since 2021, we have also held online training to build general IT literacy for Canon employees across all job types.

In 2023, we instituted a new system to designate technology leaders within Canon as “top scientists” as part of our efforts to retain and develop the people needed to create new businesses based on our technical innovations.

Development of Software Engineers

Canon Inc. set up the Canon Institute of Software Technology (CIST) in 2018 to cultivate software engineers. Programs at CIST provide systematic support for the development of human resources in this area, from upskilling for engineers within product development teams to providing basic training for new recruits and people joining from other occupational fields.

Elsewhere, we have sent 4 people to the “Top SE (system engineer) course” programs hosted by the National Institute of Informatics; and 5 people to the “Smart SE course” business school program organized by Japan’s Waseda University that focuses on AI, IoT and Big Data technologies.

Based in Tokyo, the CIST develops software engineers

Development of Global Human Resources in Manufacturing

At Canon, we are focusing on developing human resources who support production activities, mainly through the Monozukuri Advancement Center of Canon Inc.

In 2022, 216 employees working at eight overseas production sites took part in a total of 39 online training programs organized by the Monozukuri Advancement Center.

To promote training at overseas production sites, Canon is also focusing on on-site instructordevelopment training. A total of 62 personnel took part in 16 online training workshops for instructors in 2022. Site-based instructors across the Canon Group provided training to around 3,400 personnel in 2022.

A technical skill testing program, following the same standards as in Japan, has also been established at overseas sites. In 2022, testing was carried out for seven types of work skills, including injection molding, board mounting, and metal stamping, at a total of five sites in Thailand, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, etc. with approximately 460 employees participating.

Human Resource Development System

To motivate employees and enhance skill specialization, Canon Inc. maintains an educational system for rankbased, elective, and self-development training. Rank-based training is carried out to help employees more readily understand and fulfill their respective roles and to foster awareness of the actions and behaviors defined by Canon’s guiding principles. We also supplement this with elective training that includes e-learning programs and other programs to support self-development. These training programs cover such issues as harassment prevention and compliance. On average, Canon Inc. employees spent about 22 hours on average in training in 2022. Related training costs per employee amounted to approximately ¥162,000 at Canon Inc., and about ¥89,000 at major Canon Group companies in Japan and overseas marketing companies.

Canon Inc.’s Human Resource Development System

Canon Inc.’s Human Resource Development System

Managerial Development

For the development of management personnel, we operate the Canon Management School and the Canon Leadership Development (LEAD) Program. The Canon Management School, aimed at division managers and general managers, is designed to develop top-class management leaders. Led by our CEO, the school invites as instructors experts from such fields as politics, foreign diplomacy, economics, and science and technology. The program has produced many of our Group executives. The LEAD Program is designed to help candidates switch to a management-oriented mindset and develop their leadership abilities while also reinforcing strategy planning and execution capabilities. It provides training prior to and after appointments to management positions, as well as assessments prior to appointments. Our goal is to further reinforce efforts to systematically cultivate the next generation at Canon, concentrating on the development of management personnel as well as personnel for global, technological, and manufacturing roles.

Canon Inc.’s Career Development Support Programs

Regular Performance and Career Reviews

Since we evaluate the conduct and performance of employees under our position-based pay system, supervisors have meetings with their team members individually three times a year—at the start, midpoint, and end—to confirm duties and targets, monitor progress, and discuss future career development based on a “career sheet” filled out by the employee.

When discussing the evaluation, supervisors offer advice and guidance on improving results and work performance. This enables employees to objectively understand their own strengths and weaknesses, which aids them in achieving further growth. Supervisors also use this information in future development plans for the employee.

Career Matching System

Canon Inc. has also established an internal career matching system to support its employees in pursuing satisfying careers. The system matches the right people to the right jobs, promotes internal mobility of human resources, and brings greater vitality to the company.

We also provide a trainee-style career matching system featuring a combination of training and internal recruitment. Employees who wish to take on new work challenges in a field where they have no experience can receive training opportunities to gain requisite skills, and then take up a position based on their skill level. In 2022, a total of 312 moved jobs via our internal recruitment system.

Career Development Support for Young Employees

At Canon Inc., discussions are organized by the Human Resources Division for all employees after working for three years to review the suitability of their job and working environment and provide peace of mind and help them fulfill their potential.

Since 2022, we have also introduced a training program for young employees in their third year with the company that includes a talk on career development and the opportunity to talk to a career counselor. The program aims to build awareness and motivation for career development. A total of 588 employees attended this training program in 2022.

Post-retirement Career and Life-plan Training

Canon holds Creative Life Seminars for employees when they reach the ages of 50 and 54 in order to help them plan for their retirement years. By providing employees with an opportunity to think about their life plan and career plan at an early stage, we help them to systematically plan and prepare for life after the age of 60.

Supporting Organizational Invigoration

Canon aims to realize individual and organizational growth at the same time as achieving success in business. To this end, we have established a dedicated division for organizational development, which supports organizational invigoration through consulting on increasingly diverse organizational challenges, post-activity support, and rank-specific training. As of 2022, the division has provided support to 464 divisions and 16,000 employees, including Group companies worldwide.

Other Career Development Support

To offer a more diverse range of learning opportunities and support the career development of self-motivated employees, we are developing e-learning content that can be accessed on weekends or after work during the campaign period to promote work-life balance.* In 2022, around 6,000 employees participated in these programs.

  • * As part of a drive to reform work styles, from July to September, we set our work hours forward to enable workers to finish earlier.

Various Certification and Award Programs

Canon has established certification and award programs to honor Group employees for their outstanding achievements.

At the Canon Summit Awards, Canon honors Group companies, divisions, teams, and individual employees who have made a major contribution to the development of the company in terms of activities or products. Canon recognizes employees with numerous other accolades: the Invention Award for employees who make inventions and contribute to intellectual property activities; the Quality Award and the Production Innovation Award for excellence that contributes to improvements in quality and productivity; the Canon Meister Certification/Commendation for contributions to advancements in manufacturing using a wide range of skills; the Canon Master Craftsman certification for outstanding skills that Canon should pass down; and, the Environment Award for excellent environmental practice.