University of Tokyo

Survey Number 0701
Survey Title Survey on Support toward Work-Life Balance and Business Performance, 2005
Depositor Employment Environment and Equal Employment Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
(Former Name:Work and Family Harmonization Division, Equal Employment,Children and Families Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
Restriction of Use For detailed information, please refer to 'For Data Users' on the SSJDA website.

- Apply to SSJDA. SSJDA's approval is required.
Educational Purpose Only available for research.
Period of Data Use Permission One year
Access to Datasets Download
SSJDA Data Analysis Not available
Summary Various steps are being taken throughout society to address Japan’s rapidly declining birthrate. One of those attracting the most attention is a review of work styles and support for work-life balance in corporations. What ought to be noted is that supporting workers so that they can achieve balance between their professional and personal lives benefits not only workers but also corporations, as it means securing and retaining better talent. For more corporations to promote such measures in future, corporations not only need to be explained their importance, but there needs to be a specific indication of the benefits to corporations from such measures and typical examples of their positive effects on corporate performance.

In actuality, the positive effects of implementing balance support measures on corporate performance have recently attracted attention from the perspective of corporate operation and human resource management, and there has been an accumulation of research in Europe and the United States. Empirical research on this subject has just begun in Japan, and although there have been several studies already, no finalized conclusions have yet been drawn.

Against this backdrop, the “Study group for balance support and corporate performance” (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare commissioned study) was established at the NLI Research Institute for a two-year period in the fiscal year 2004 and 2005. This survey was designed and conducted for the purpose of developing survey research techniques on work-life balance measures, including balance support and corporate performance, and using them as a basis for identifying the relationship between balance support measures and corporate performance.

This survey has following characteristics. First, it was designed with the intention of definitively verifying the causal relationship between implementing balance support measures and improved corporate performance. As stated above, steps are being pursued to verify the relationship between balance support measures and corporate performance. However, the following unavoidable problems arise when attempting to assess the relationship between the two as a causal relationship. The fact is that corporate performance is determined not only by the implementation of balance support measures but by the involvement of various other factors. Hence, verifying the effects of balance support measures requires the complex task of measuring effects while also negotiating those other factors. With these problems in mind, this survey provides multiple survey items concerning the factors that may affect corporate performance. It is thereby possible to measure the effects of balance support measures, while negotiating the other factors affecting corporate performance.

The second defining characteristic of this survey is that the survey was designed to examine the process from balance support measures to when they affect corporate performance. The introduction of balance support measures affecting more than one part of a human resource management system not only directly influences corporate performance but has effects resulting from interactions with human resource management. Specifically, a process may be imagined in which balance support measures are implemented/enhanced, resulting in individual improvements in human resource management in the form of improved securing/retaining of employees, improved employee motivation, and more efficient business operations, which positively affect corporate performance. Consequently, when evaluating the effects of balance support measures, the direct relationship of balance support measures and corporate performance as well as the above process need to be examined at the same time. Based on such problems, this survey provides survey design such that the above improvements in human resource management are measurable, and thus, this survey is capable of examining the process until effects are realized, in addition to directly measuring the effects of balance support measures on corporate performance.

Furthermore, when the actual questionnaire survey is conducted, a request form clearly indicates that response results and the performance data released by individual corporations (using Toyo Keizai quarterly report company data [kaisha shikiho] and Nikkei Annual Corporation Reports/general manager [kaisha sokan] data) will be analyzed in relation to each other, and the external data of responding corporations will be incorporated per corporation. However, upon release of the survey, only some external data will be provided so that individual corporations cannot be identified.
Data Type quantitative research: micro data
Universe A total of 3,464 companies with a staff size of 301 to 2,000 employees listed in the Toyo Keizai quarterly report company data [kaisha shikiho] (breakdown: 1,791 listed companies, 1,673 unlisted companies)
Unit of Observation Organization
Sample Size Number of valid responses: 446 companies (Valid response rate: 12.9%)
Date of Collection 2005-10-01 ~ 2005-10-01
Time Period 2005 ~ 2005
Spatial Unit
Sampling Procedure
Mode of Data Collection Self-administered questionnaire: Paper
Surveys mailed to human resource managers at surveyed corporations and then returned by mail
Investigator NLI Research Institute
DOI 10.34500/SSJDA.0701
Sponsors (Funds)
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Please refer to the abstract in Japanese.
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation [Questionnaire]
Major Survey Items (1) Corporate attributes
- Industry
- Capital keiretsu (foreign-owned or other)
- Presence of labor union
- Experience receiving corporate awards from public institutions for measures for gender-based equal employment or work-life balance measures
- Whether or not corporate action plans have been enacted pursuant to the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children
- Whether or not hoping to receive “certification” (if corporation has enacted corporate action plans)

(2) State of working hours and taking holidays
- Percentage of regular employees who exceeded 30 non-scheduled working hours (overtime hours) in a month in the last fiscal year
- Average number of days of paid leaves taken by regular employees in the last fiscal year

(3) Securing and retaining employees
- State and actual results of hiring new graduates and mid-career workers compared to five years ago
- Changes (increase or decrease) in the number of applicants to job postings for new graduates and mid-career hires respectively compared to five years ago
- Current retention rate (per gender) of regular university graduate employees (including both new graduates/ mid-career hires) hired while in their early 20s five years ago
- Changes (highs and lows) in the retention rate of employees in their late 20s (per gender) around the time of their fifth year with the company compared to five year ago
- Ratio of married people among regular female employees
- State of continuing work among female regular employees (through marriage, pregnancy, child birth, childrearing, etc.) looking at the company overall  

(4) Characteristics of employment management
- Items emphasized in human resource strategies among the followings
  (a) Long-term employment of employees
  (b) Sense of belonging to company
  (c) Employee evaluation on the basis of results and performance
  (d) Investment of company in employee skills development
  (e) To make employees think about future career in the company

 - Percentage of regular employees with about 10 years of employment (per gender) having experience changing jobs in which they changed residences
 - Rate of increase from first-year salary to average annual salary at age 35 of university-graduate regular employees (per gender)
 - Highest and lowest salaries of 35-year-old employees and ratio to average salary

(5) State of introducing and operating balance support systems
 - Whether or not corporation has any of the systems below, time introduced (if they have), times when change was made (if changes were made after introduction)
  (a) Childcare support-related systems  
  (b) Nursing support-related systems  
  (c) Re-employment systems for employees who leave work for childcare or nursing
  (d) Short-term employment systems available for reasons other than childcare or nursing
  (e) Short-time working system other than short-term employment systems available for reasons other than childcare and nursing

 - Starting periods of measures to utilize female employee skills
  (a) Start of new hiring of female university graduates
  (b) Percentage of women among university-graduate hires exceeding 30%
  (c) Men and women assigned to all workplace positions
  (d) Appointment of women as sub-section head (kakaricho) and supervising managers
  (e) Ratio of women in management (section head (kacho) or above) exceeding 10%
  (f) Women appointed to corporate executive officer or higher-level management
  (g) Has taken steps toward positive action
  (h) Percentage of pregnant women who continued work after birth exceeding 50%
  (i) There were women who took parental leave
  (j) There were men who took parental leave

 - Types of steps taken for work-life balance support
 - Percentage of female regular employees giving birth who took parental leave in the past five years or so
 - Degree of emphasis on establishing environments in which female employees can demonstrate skills
 - Degree of emphasis on supporting employees’ work-life balance
 - Thoughts on companies introducing systems and steps for supporting work-life balance

(6) Regarding employee motivation and performance, etc.
 - Comparison of the following items to other companies in the same industry and comparison of current status to five years ago
  (a) Per employee productivity indexes
  (b) Business performance  
  (c) Employee motivation toward work (per gender)
  (d) Degree of employee satisfaction toward company and work (per gender)

 - Comparison of current sales and ordinary profits to 10 years ago and five years ago
 - Overall employee composition per gender (number of employees, number of officers, average age of regular employees, average years of employment)
Date of Release 2011/01/06
Topics in CESSDA Click here for details

Labour relations/conflict
Working conditions
Specific social services: use and availability
Business/industrial management and organisation
Topics in SSJDA Economy/Industry/Management
Version 1 : 2011-01-06
Notes for Users Variable and value labels are written in Japanese.