Many foreigners working at Japanese companies often have difficulty adapting to the communication style of the host company even though they initially completed their work very well. This situation may be due to cultural communication barriers and they do not know clearly how to properly apply Horenso principles. So what is Horenso? How to apply this principle? Get the details about the Horenso method and how to apply this principle when working with Japanese customers!
1. What is Horenso?
Horenso in Japanese means spinach, but in Japanese offices, Horenso is an acronym for the principle of communicating and working with Japanese people, also known as Hourenso.
What is the structure of Horenso? Hourenso is made up of three acronyms: Hou, ren, and sou, which translates into Vietnamese as Reporting, Communication, and Consulting.
The concept of Horenso first appeared in a book published by the CEO of Yamanata Security, Tomiji Yamazaki in 1982. He produced this book and implemented the Horenso principle at his company and from there it started to become popular in Japanese companies.
Horenso is one of the basic soft skills for employees. New employees often go through a Horenso training and learning process. They also need to firmly grasp the principles to ensure effective communication within the company.
2. What is the importance of Horenso’s rule?
Horenso is a necessary principle for enterprises to operate effectively. This is also the key to communication to help employees always cooperate and work together for the goals of the business.
Horenso also helps reinforce the relationship between superiors and subordinates. When an employee applies Horenso regularly, they also become more trustworthy.
Horenso is also one of the factors that helps work progress and productivity at Japanese companies always improve. Therefore, if you want to work at Japanese enterprises, you need to learn and practice Horenso to integrate into the corporate culture.
3. Method of applying Horenso rules in business
3.1. Houkoku: Report
Houkoku includes reporting daily issues and reporting work results. Proactive reporting will help your superiors grasp the pace of the project and help you when difficulties arise.
For small projects, the best time to report is when you have just completed the assigned project. With large projects, you need to report progress regularly as each small phase in the project is completed.
When reporting, you need to keep in mind that what you report is complete, timely, and accurate, showing respect to your superiors. You need to avoid reporting false, inaccurate information, unreliable data, and disrespect for readers.
3.2. Renraku: Communication
Renraku is a phrase that refers to short and quick information for your colleagues. Renraku also means to keep in touch and is closely related to time, so Japanese people always try to comply with this principle at work.
Appropriate communication method: With small issues, you can communicate immediately verbally, by phone, and express yourself in a concise, easy-to-understand manner. If the issue involves multiple colleagues, you can conduct a meeting or use email to communicate with them.
Inappropriate communication methods: This means when you use a style that is wordy, confusing, wastes time, and is not related to the main job.
3.3. Sudan: Consulting
Japanese companies encourage employees to ask for opinions and discuss after completing work. Employees can consult with company members or superiors. This usually takes place in a 1-1 model. With this principle, employees will not feel lonely when working, promoting teamwork to improve work efficiency.
Appropriate consulting method: Group discussion with diverse personalities of members to record many different opinions. Discuss with clear, understandable purposes and make decisions with the consent of all members.
Inappropriate discussion method: Discussion in groups with too few people, few opinions, and no recording of those opinions. The purpose of the discussion is vague, with no final decision.
4. Horenso Principles for Devs when working with Japanese customers
4.1. Confirm before work
Firstly, to be able to effectively apply the Horenso principle, the Dev needs to get into the habit of confirming work before implementing requests given by customers. You need to consider and confirm the problem, and solution as well as the cost to handle that problem with the customer. Regardless of whether you know it’s true or not, you need to confirm with the customer before working. This not only avoids mistakes but also shows your respect for the customer.
4.2. Report promptly
Timely reporting is a principle similar to the Houkoku rule in Horenso. Reporting helps managers promptly check and support you in difficult problems. Your superiors will take measures to support you and handle your work together. Even if work is going smoothly, you need to report it to your superiors because you may be missing a hidden problem that only an experienced person like a manager can detect. In addition, this reporting also helps managers control work progress and feel more secure when they work.
4.3. Always share information with others
When working, you need to try to share information with colleagues and superiors. You can do this through live updates, and announcements in the business system or at regular meetings.
Sharing information will help people grasp each other’s work situation, thereby helping each other complete their work. If you have a problem at work, you can discuss and get advice from your colleagues to find the most optimal solution.
4.4. Be proactive when working
The most important thing when Dev works with Japanese customers is that you need to be proactive when working.
Working proactively saves time for yourself and your managers. At the same time, this also helps you complete work sooner and creates conditions for managers to handle other tasks.
Proactively working not only shows that you are diligent, able to manage time, and have a good working attitude but also helps you provide better quality service to customers.
5. Example of applying the Horenso principle
Example 1: When you have personal matters and cannot go to work.
Solution: You need to “Contact – Renraku” with your superiors to explain the reason and ask for leave. Asking for your leave will show that you respect your superiors and help you and everyone else be more proactive in your time.
Example 2: A project X that your boss assigned to you is in operation and you need to report progress.
Solution: You will need to apply the Houkoku principle. You can report to your superior as follows: “I will report on the progress of project X. Currently, all customer requests in the meeting have been approved. The project has been proceeding smoothly.”
Horenso is a working principle commonly applied by Japanese enterprises in the host country as well as their branches in other countries. Therefore, if you are a programmer who regularly contacts and works with Japanese customers, practice Horenso principles to improve work efficiency as well as bring a great experience to customers.