How Toyota uses Beaconforce to add a human touch to productivity

4 ottobre, 2022
Caso studio Toyota

Toyota is one of the world’s largest and best- known automobile manufacturing businesses employing over 360,000 people.
The company’s vision is to “lead the way to the future of mobility by developing the safest and most responsible ways of transporting people”.

Toyota’s two main values include respect for people and continuous improvement.

While many people know about Toyota’s original manufacturing philosophy called the Toyota Production System (TPS) which aims to eliminate waste and achieve the best possible efficiency - widely known as a “lean” or “just-in-time” system, only a few know the principle of TPS is the concept of jidoka - a Japanese term that can be translated as “automation with a human touch”. The aim of jidoka is to spot problems or faults in the production process and take prompt action to prevent problems from happening again while maintaining quality and productivity.

Toyota had long known the value of the human touch and how respect for their people empowered continuous improvement. Toyota Motor Italia offered employees a survey relating to their involvement but, with such a large workforce this data could only be collected every two years. Toyota realized that if they could find a way to frequently check on their people’s engagement and motivation the company would be able to identify areas of improvement, define action plans and measure their impact in a more agile way.

Aware of the partial effectiveness of the two-year employee engagement survey, Toyota Motor Italia realized the need to implement a tool that would help them support employees on a daily basis. The company commissioned Gartner to recommend tools that would:
  • Be easily integrated into their people’s daily workflows
  • Collect data in real-time
  • Involve line managers in a more effective way
  • Facilitate meaningful and productive conversations
  • Provide HR with clear metrics
  • Support the Toyota values of respect for people and continuous improvement
The video interview

After a thorough analysis of available technologies, Toyota Motor Italia selected Beaconforce as the system most aligned with the principles of TPS.
With these principles in mind, Beaconforce implemented methods taking into account several factors.

Firstly, by spearheading the redesign of Toyota’s HR reports with a strong focus on the fact that Toyota has always been committed to putting their people’s needs first.

By leveraging the Beaconforce Stress Diagram to identify the teams and employees under high stress.
And, in order to help employees in the stress zone, HR created a clear escalation process that involves managers first, and top management after if the situation doesn’t improve.

And finally, through Beaconforce, the monitoring of organizational and team engagement in a more structured way, adding objective data to performance reviews or other qualitative approaches.

On a quarterly basis, among all the Beaconforce key indicators, HR identifies the main areas of improvement and the metrics that require more attention and then presents an action plan to top management.

“After doing an analysis with Gartner of the different options out there, we couldn’t find any other technology that allowed us to manage, monitor, and cultivate intrinsic motivation like Beaconforce allowed us to do in real-time.”

Giuseppe de Nichilo

HR, Corporate Planning & Facilities General Manager at Toyota

Changing what they measure, directed leaders’ attention to the real drivers of sustainable success.

With the identification of teams and employees that were under stress, Toyota’s HR team was able to help employees at risk of burnout.

Some of these action plans have included:
  1. Providing dedicated training to the employees after identifying a gap in their knowledge or skills.
  2. Guiding managers on reassessments of work allocation within teams.
  3. Personalized coaching sessions when the issue is not directly related to the day-to-day activity.

The results of implementing Beaconforce exceeded Toyota Motor Italia’s expectations.

Within the first few months, results included:
  • An adoption rate of 98% (greater acceptance than any previous technology).
  • Employee stress was reduced by 32%
  • Turnover rate reduction by 65% (from 2.84% to 0.95%, data relating to the period: February 2019 - May 2022).
  • Greater sensitivity in conversations between managers and workers
  • Real-time reporting of employee engagement and motivation
  • Agile business improvement.

In many ways, Beconforce is the embodiment of “automation with a human touch" but instead of looking for problems or faults in the production process, Beaconforce uses technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) to identify sentiments within the workforce to instigate conversations with managers that can prevent stress, burnout or other problems occurring.

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