Creating New Value for Society
Since its founding, Rakuten's corporate mission has been to "contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship." We strive to realize a culture that values uniqueness and diversity, and provides equal opportunities to those who wish to take the challenge, regardless of age, gender or nationality.
Diversity plays a big part in Rakuten.
With employees from over 70 countries and regions, we believe that the unique and diverse cultural backgrounds and perspectives are what drives innovation in Rakuten. The company cafeteria offers Halal-compliant and vegetarian meals. Prayer room facilities are available for employees who choose to pray during the work day.
We also support employees with families balance work and responsibilities at home.
Additionally, we are striving to create a working environment that allows people with disabilities to pursue their career in Rakuten.
Furthermore, we are strong supporters of the LGBT (*1) community. We have an internal support framework that is part of the community and allies (*2).
A workplace where anyone can use their strengths to the full. That is what diversity is in Rakuten.
support is not just limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, but available to all employees from a diverse spectrum of orientation and identity.
refers to employees who openly support rights and protections for the LGBT community.
English is now the common global language used in business across the world. Englishnization, Rakuten’s initiative to make English the official company language, was established in 2010. In the years following the launch of the initiative, we were able to reach our original company-wide goal(*) of achieving an average TOEIC score of 800 points.
Englishnization was launched with the aims of ensuring smooth information sharing between employees both in Japan and overseas, to stay up to date on the latest global trends, to expand our pool of potential hires and to become a more competitive and unified organization. This transition did not only allow deeper discussions within existing and increasing multinational employees, but also with external parties (such as those with top engineers and business persons).
This is one of Rakuten's greatest success stories as it was a big step for us to become a truly global company.
Rakuten Ichiba was launched in 1997 with only 6 employees. Since then, Rakuten has continued to develop new business models and new services, offering new values and opportunities to the world.
This spirit is found within each and every one of our employees.
Even as our company grows, we strive to maintain the spirit of entrepreneurship, the drive to create new businesses.
“Project 6” is an example of an initiative that embodies this entrepreneurial mindset. In the initiative, small teams of just six people are formed to quickly develop new services. This practice has its roots in Rakuten’s own founding with just six staff in 1997.
Launched in 2012, the initiative has now grown to become a division responsible for incubating new projects. Even to this day, countless teams are hard at work developing and running new services.
R-Pitch was launched in December 2017 as a new business incubator program to help encourage entrepreneurship throughout the company. As part of the initiative, employees form teams to develop their own ideas for new businesses with support from mentors.
These ideas are then carefully examined, pitched to the executive team, and the ideas that are selected are provided with funding and launched as fully-fledged projects.
n the near future, we expect that R-Pitch will be a main contributor to driving innovation at Rakuten with many new services incubating from this program.
ASAKAI & DESK-CLEANING
Rakuten has a number of long-standing traditions that have been passed down since the founding of the company.
The “Asakai” weekly all-hands meetings and employees cleaning their own desks are examples of these traditions.
Asakai (meaning “morning meeting”) is an all-hand townhall meeting held every Monday morning for all employees of Rakuten. The townhall is broadcast live to Rakuten offices around Japan and the world via our video conference system.
Also, each region has the opportunity to share their local news and content to ensure information from across the company is shared with all employees.
The main purpose of this Asakai is to build a sense of unity amongst employees at the beginning of each week. Topics covered during the Asakai include progress towards targets for each business, best practices and success stories, reports on company-wide marketing activities and the latest technology trends. There is also an interactive Q&A session with our CEO, Mickey Mikitani, where he shares thoughts and views on anything from corporate strategies to HR regulations with employees.
Asakai helps foster a shared awareness of Rakuten's goals by sharing executive level information. It creates an understanding of business initiatives that, at a glance, might seem to be outside the job scope of an individual employee, but the lessons learnt from these success cases can be applied across the company through "Yokoten" (horizontal deployment) and lead to deeper collaboration between services.
Cleaning ones' own desk
Cleaning ones’ own desk area is another part of Rakuten culture that has been carried out since the founding of our company. Regardless of the employee's position, everyone - including our CEO Mickey Mikitani - cleans their own desk and chair once a week.
The purpose of this cleaning is to create and maintain a sense of ownership among all employees, and ensures that all employees remember that they are connected to every aspect of the company.
Cleaning is a unique system of Rakuten that acts as a reminder to all employees of the importance of the process to achieving our goals, and by having all employees carry out the same task at the same time reaffirms that the entire company is one team.
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