Chorei, The Secret of Productive Work Days in Japanese Office


There are many ways in Japanese business culture to increase productivity and produce more remarkable results—for instance, the Kaizen method to eliminate unnecessary things and HoRenSo principles for effective communication strategy.


There is one more key for Japanese companies to have productive days: they like to have a morning assembly to start their day.


Chorei in Japanese Offices

Effective morning routines determine how productive your day will be. Japanese people are well aware of this and have created a system where people can be productive together.


Chorei (朝礼; ちょうれい) is the Japanese term for morning assembly. Many institutions asked their people to have a meeting the very first thing in the morning before starting the day. These include elementary to high schools, restaurants, and offices.


In schools, a homeroom teacher will have a session with a class in the morning to give pep talks and information about the day's activities or ask students to do homeroom activities. In a workplace, morning meetings are used for everyone to bond and update their progress.


During chorei, the whole organization's members are expected to present. The person in charge leads the meeting by greeting the employees and reciting the company motto. Then, each person (if it's a small company) or manager from each department reports what they did yesterday and what they will do today.


Chorei in company (Image: www.seibikai.co.jp)


Chorei is also used to discuss issues and instigate collaboration across departments. Everyone needs to understand the overall work progress and the common goals. By the end of the short meeting, the employees feel motivated to start their tasks.


Chorei is usually done while standing. It's common for Japanese offices to have an open workspace with no individual cubicles. The employees can simply stand from their desks to see everyone.


Other than chorei, there are also chuurei (昼礼; ちゅうれい) or afternoon assembly, and yurei (夜礼; ゆうれい) or evening assembly. The general purpose is similar: reporting, bonding, and raising motivation.


How to Do Chorei

The requirements for chorei are simple. You can always modify it to suit your company's culture, but here are the basics:

  • Everyone should come to the office on time. Being punctual is crucial because everyone should be there for the chorei to start. If someone is late and misses the meetings, they won't know the information from the others and vice versa.

  • Chorei should be concise. Ten to fifteen minutes should be enough to brief everyone. You don't need to fill unnecessary agendas to make it longer than it should be, as it will bring a contrary result.

  • The main goal of chorei is to energize all employees before starting their day. Therefore, it shouldn't have any activities that can dampen employees' spirits.


The Purpose of Chorei

  • To get everyone on the same length about current prioritized tasks

  • To share important updates and information with all employees at once

  • To bridge smooth coordination among different departments

  • To be reminded of the company's value

  • To boost employees' morale and spirit for work


Benefit of Chorei

Everyone will be punctual. Since every employee is obligated to present, everyone cannot come late unless they want to get caught immediately.


Everyone is constantly updated. The employees know what's happening in other departments and the company in general. If someone is absent, they can easily catch up on the next day's chorei.


Team productivity will be increased. Each employee has a clear plan of what they will do and what targets they should achieve for the day. The managers supervise them daily because the employees have to report it daily.


Chorei builds a high sense of belonging to the team. Employees from multiple departments and higher-ups interact and communicate during chorei. This event makes everyone connected. If they feel supported and appreciated by the company, they will perform better and produce more significant results.


Chorei Ideas

Chorei doesn't always have to be a serious meeting. In a close-knitted environment like a local company in a rural city, people can share their personal lives during chorei. If the company members have the same interests, including those for bonding time would be great.


Here are some ideas for engaging chorei sessions:

  • Rotate the department representative to report so it's not always the manager that has to speak

  • Each employee has a turn to share inspiring life episodes

  • Stretching or meditating together

  • Make a creative chant or cheer; even better if it has some moves!


There are many morning routines you can do to make a productive day. However, instead of doing it alone, you can do it together with your coworkers for greater results. If you are an employer looking to improve team behavior management, you can definitely try to implement chorei in your office.

 

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