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Best Employers lead the way in Japan and in Asia Pacific

Tokyo, Friday 27 March 2015 – Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), announced today its first list of the Best Employers - Japan 2015 in a media briefing where two organizations were recognized with the Best Employers  awards. The agenda of the briefing covered key market insights in Japan and in the region, as well as benchmarks and case studies to explore what Best Employers do better.

Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers study was first conducted in Asia in 2001. It is its first edition in Japan and has already attracted recognition from participants and the public. The purpose of the program is to gain insights into companies that are creating real competitive advantage through their people, to explore what makes a workplace of choice and to identify the Best Employers in the region.

The Aon Hewitt Best Employers program is the most comprehensive study of its kind in Asia Pacific. It is run in 12 markets: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. The study’s research methodology involves a rigorous process, conducted over a nine-month period that culminates in a solid, credible list of Best Employers.

Being recognized as an Aon Hewitt Best Employer means that:
The organization inspires strong commitment and superior performance from its people
 It drives business results through effective people practices; and,
It manages its business in ways that build long-term success and sustainability.

“Best Employers clearly achieve better business results compared to market. We found that Best Employers across Japan, North Asia and Asia Pacific achieve significant higher growth in their income profits when compared to market average, said Anand Shankar, Regional Practice Leader for Performance, Reward and Talent for Aon Hewitt in Asia Pacific“This makes becoming a Best Employer a business agenda and not just an HR agenda.”

Only two organizations were recognized this year as Best Employers in Japan (in alphabetical order):

Aon Hewitt Best Employer – Japan 2015 Awards

Company Name


Best Employer Japan 2015


Best Employer Japan 2015

The Ritz Carlton Hotels of Japan

In addition, both FedEx Express and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts having received three or more Best Employers awards in the Asia Pacific this year, were also recognized as Aon Hewitt Regional Best Employers in Asia Pacific 2015.

The most noticeable trends that emerged in this year’s Best Employers – Japan 2015 research were:

Employee Engagement

- The average engagement score for Japan (32%) is the lowest amongst markets in Asia (overall average of 59%).
- Best Employers engagement score for Japan and Korea combined at 72% is significantly higher than individual market average of 32% for Japan and 52% for Korea respectively.
- Gen Y has the lowest engagement score at 27% (although the average for Asia is distinctly higher at 56%), and only 17% of Gen Y employees said that their future career opportunities in their organization look good.

Steven Kusumi, Representative Director and President for Aon Hewitt in Japan, said: “Low engagement scores characterise the Japan workforce at large, compared to the rest of the world. That is where Best Employers lead the way with significantly higher employee engagement scores that, in turn, impact organizations positively in terms of attraction and retention of the best talent, as well as productivity and improved business results. Mr Kusumi added: “This gap also creates an opportunity for companies to seek ways and initiatives to improve employee engagement, in particular by addressing the needs of certain segments of the work population.  Generation Y is one of them were innovation and dynamism can be harnessed to create higher engagement”.

Compelling Employer Brand
- Only 30% of employees in Japan believe their organisation delivers on promises, compared to 55% of employees in Asia.
- Only 3 out 10 employees in Japan would recommend their company, compared to 6 out of 10 in Asia.
-Teamwork & Empowerment is the most prevalent employee value proposition theme for Japanese organizations, with 71% of organizations having it amongst their top 3 descriptors, followed closely by Products & Service Excellence and Well-being & Social Responsibility with 64% each.
Learning and Careers is the top ranked employee value proposition for Asia with 42% organizations having it as their top 3 descriptors. However, for Japan the average for this theme is particularly low at 14%.
Collaboration among co-workers has the highest positive perception at 56%, while Learning & Development has the lowest positive perception at just 17%.

Steven Kusumi highlighted: “With only 30% of Japanese employees who would recommend their company as a workplace to friends and acquaintances (vs 60% in Asia), there is a significant opportunity

for Japan employers to increase the positive perception of their brand by developing a strong and compelling employer brand and employer promise. They can do this by aligning the experience they deliver to their employee with their brand promise, such as Teamwork, Service Excellence and Well Being which all rank high among employers’ value proposition in Japan. A strong brand that notoriously delivers on internal promise is in turn a driver of engagement for employees.”

Effective Leadership

- 56% Best Employers in Asia train their managers on career conversations, compared to 31% participant average. None of the participating organizations in Japan have adopted this practice for talent development.
- 2 out of 3 employees at Best Employers in Japan and Korea combined believe that senior leadership treat them as the organisation’s most valued asset, compared to only 30% and 47% of employees at participating organisations in Japan and Korea respectively.
- 36% organizations in Japan have a structured approach to succession planning compared to 97% participants in Asia.

High Performance Culture
- 79% organizations in Japan identify their high potentials through informal mechanisms. This is clearly distinct when compared to rest of Asia where 75% identify their high potentials through formal talent management processes.
- 1 in 2 employees in Japan feel that their efforts are recognised by their managers compared to every 2 in 3 employees in Asia. Best Employers in Asia score distinctly high with 80% employees feeling the same.
- Only 31% of employees feel they receive appropriate recognition (beyond pay and benefits) for their contribution, compared to 50% in Asia and 75% of Best Employers in the region.
- Only 20% employees in Japan feel their future career opportunities look good in their current organization. An equivalent average for Best Employers in Japan and Korea is 59% and Best Employers across the region is 72%.

Steven Kusimi said: “Compared to other countries in the region, employers in Japan don’t have formalized processes for career conversations and identification of high potentials. Yet, recognition and career progression are driving elements in employee engagement. By initiating open career processes and conversations, Japan employers would show alignment to a positive global trend.”

While the Best Employers study recognizes organizations that display standards of excellence, the journey to get there is one that Aon Hewitt recommends for every organization to embark upon.

“For organizations that don’t make it to the Best Employers list, but are aspiring to become Best Employers, we want to reinforce that this is a journey. Becoming a Best Employer doesn’t happen overnight, said Jee-Young Yang, Engagement Lead and Best Employers Project Manager for Aon Hewitt in Japan. “It is possible for everyone to become a Best Employer, if you’ve articulated the destination you want to head to and have planned your journey wisely.”

Participation in the program brings a wide range of benefits for organizations, such as finding out how employees perceive and rate their employer, the reasons why they are attracted to certain employer brands, and the type of organizational culture they value sufficiently to “stay and strive”. The study also access to Aon Hewitt’s latest market research insights, along with the best and most innovative people practices of Best Employers.

To find out more about the Aon Hewitt Best Employers Asia 2015 Study, please visit or

To find out more about the Aon Hewitt Best Employers – Japan 2015 awards or to inquire about the next edition of the Best Employers program starting soon, please contact Jee-Young Yang, Best Employers Japan Project Manager at

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About Aon Hewitt
Aon Hewitt empowers organizations and individuals to secure a better future through innovative talent, retirement and health solutions. We advise, design and execute a wide range of solutions that enable clients to cultivate talent to drive organizational and personal performance and growth, navigate retirement risk while providing new levels of financial security, and redefine health solutions for greater choice, affordability and wellness.  Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource solutions, with over 30,000 professionals in 90 countries serving more than 20,000 clients worldwide.  For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 65,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world’s best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon’s global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

Ryota Usui
+81 3.4589.4306

Romy Serfaty

Hill & Knowlton Japan
Katsuhisa Oda
+81 3.4520.5800

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