ALL FOR HR, HR FOR ALL: The HR Agenda Triumvirate | みんなはHRのために HRはみんなのために 「The HR Agenda」の三立役者

Originally written in English

This article first published at The HR Agenda Magazine [July-October 2016 issue].

When I was in high school, one of my favorite subjects was world history. One of the topics that truly enthralled me was the rise and fall of the Roman Empire where I first learned about The First Triumvirate — an unofficial, some say unholy, political alliance amongst three prominent Roman politicians, (triumvirs) namely Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great and Marcus Licinius Crassus. The alliance was borne out of the desire to wield power and fortune that was best done by combining their power, influence and wealth that none of the triumvirs could do on their own. In a way, it was an earliest form of the “1+1=3” or synergy concept that we now know works best in practically all aspects of life, politics and business.

Another favorite subject of mine was arts and literature, in particular the European classics such as William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” and “The Merchant of Venice,” Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” and Alexander Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers,” to name a few. Studying these great works of literature certainly helped me balance the science and math subjects that a preengineering high school student had to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Little had I known that 30 years down the road, I would revisit again the lessons I learned from these classics and historical events, and write an article out of them on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of The HR Agenda — the first and only bilingual HR magazine in Japan since 2011.

This anniversary issue of The HR Agenda focuses on the theme of Employee Engagement — a workplace topic that according to numerous research and surveys has remained in the Top 3 issues that keep HR professionals awake at night.

Why is employee engagement so hard to achieve? How is engagement achieved in the first place? Who is responsible for engagement anyway?

These are some of the questions that this issue aims to address, not necessarily to provide you, our loyal readers, with the “correct answers” but to give some insights and perspectives that we hope will guide you and your organizations to achieve that highly elusive goal of workplace engagement.

In the last five years, The HR Agenda has remained committed to its editorial mission: To facilitate the exchange of up-todate and relevant knowledge, information and resources affecting and influencing human resources (HR) professionals in Japan, and to become a bridge between Japanese and non-Japanese HR management systems so that we can facilitate the exchange of information and HR best practices, standards, and HR body of knowledge.

At The HR Agenda, we don’t just write about HR stuff for the sake of writing. If you are looking for feel-good articles about HR management in Japan and the world, look elsewhere. The HR Agenda has defined and raised the bar of HR journalism in Japan by presenting to our readers thought-provoking and even avant garde HR management concepts and practices worldwide and addressing how they can be applied to Japan and vice versa. We have challenged the status quo and provided alternative thinking from respected HR subject matter experts and key HR opinion leaders within and outside of Japan.

For example, in this issue, our concept of engagement may sound radical to some — that engagement is first and foremost a shared responsibility of employees, supervisors and executives. In addition, as you may read from our Editorial, engagement should be initiated by the employee. The employee should know what engages him in the first place and how these can be aligned to the company’s goals, so that the employer can respond accordingly to engage him at work. It’s not the other way around. We also have articles that debunk commonlyheld myths about employee engagement, show how to create a culture of engagement, advise how to build frontline engagement, and more.

As we continue to publish this groundbreaking platform for Japan-focused HR professionals, we again invite everyone to become part of this undertaking and form part of The HR Agenda Triumvirate: the Readers/ Contributors, the Advertisers/Sponsors, and The HR Agenda/JHRS.

Contribute your thoughts to us. Become a JHRS member. Subscribe to this magazine. Advertise or sponsor any of our JHRS programs or magazine columns. Or simply get in touch with us via and let us know how we are doing. We welcome any comments, feedback or suggestions. Good or bad, we don’t mind. The most important thing is that we can engage HR professionals and readers like you to help us advance the practice of the HR profession in Japan and elsewhere.

The Three Musketeers’ famous motto is “All for one, one for all.” We, at The HR Agenda, meanwhile say…

“All for HR, HR for All.”