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【Voice of Professional 】Mr. Yamanaka, President , GOGYOFUKU Co., Ltd. [1]- PREX Island

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【Voice of Professional 】Mr. Yamanaka, President , GOGYOFUKU Co., Ltd. [1]





GOGYOFUKU CO., LTD.:Located in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. Founded in 1955. 70 employees. Production and wholesale of delicacies (approximately 400 types of delicacies such as various types of traditional nibbles for alcohol drinks from all over the country, a new type of appetizer, kugini (simmered sand lance in sauce), cheese, ham, and dried mullet roe. These products are developed with more than 200 associated factories in Japan and are sold in 4,000 shops throughout Japan.)

Url: (Japanese only)

Their unique management aiming to create a fun company not only for their customers but also the employees and their families is so highly rated that they have been awarded the Hyogo Innovative Management Award, the Grand Prize of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise IT Management Award, the Kansai Region Productivity Award (award of excellence) and the like.

In this article, Mr. Yamanka’s ideas like “Management”, “How to motivate employee” are introduced.

*Q. (PREX staff)
*A. (Mr. Yamanaka, President of GOGYOFUKU Co., Ltd.)

How to motivate employee?

We hear from concerned participants that ‘Staff quit because there is no incentive to work because pay doesn’t increase. How can staff motivation be increased?’ What do you think Mr. Yamanaka?

Even if they are busy every day, employee’s motivation will change if they realize why they are doing their job, and that it makes someone happy. It is the manager’s role to make this clear.

In the case of GOGYOFUKU, it is important to give staff feedback to let them know that our customers, family and friends are happy with GOGYOFUKU products, that our retailers, and factories that cooperate with us are happy. I believe it is important that the managers get their employees to realize that as far as their work is concerned, people are certainly made happy with it.

GOGYOFUKU aims to be the most interesting company in Kobe. Each employee’s idea of what is interesting or fun is different; achieving goals, feeling a sense of growth, being useful to people and being thanked are all part of it. I want each employee to find his or her own sense of what is interesting.

What is Team Management and its key to implement it for company management

Mr. Yamanaka who had worked in a trading company returned to his family business in 1995 when the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake happened. The family business which had previously been run in a one-man dictatorial management style by his father switched to ‘team management’. The company now has 70 employees. Mr. Yamanaka, what kind of ‘team management’ are you aiming for.?

Management can only be run in a style which matches the character of the enterprise manager. I personally could not run the business in the same one-man show manner as my predecessor, and if I said to my successor ‘run the business exactly as I did’, he/she probably couldn’t. My character doesn’t allow me to run the business in a dictatorial management manner. My way is ‘team management’.

I don’t get angry with the staff. I don’t want them to feel afraid to speak out. If I made them feel like that, it would make me feel bad. I don’t do this for the sake of GOGYOFUKU, my character just wouldn’t allow me to do it.

Photo GogyofukuThe company’s work is like an athletics relay race. For example, in the Japanese men’s 400m relay team, each athlete’s level may be a little below the world top level, however, if the team’s baton passing is good and teamwork is good, the team can win a medal in the Olympic Games. Work is the same. Everyone should do his/her best in their respective position and pass the ‘baton’ to the next person. For example, if the salesperson informs the company of what the customer says or wants, and this is passed onto the product development department and cooperating companies, the product can be delivered to the customer through the retail stores we work with.

There may be people who ‘drop the baton’ or who ‘run a little slow’. However, if the team members follow up and support each other, use some imagination and continue to ‘run’ they will find success. It is the same at work as in a relay race.

At such a time, it is not the enterprise manager’s role to ‘run with the baton’. It is the manager’s role to prepare and maintain the ground where the staff will run, cheer them on from outside, and provide energy and support. Long ago, it was thought ‘I (the manager) will run with the baton’, was how it should be done, but I don’t think so.

Ideally, it is necessary to nurture department managers through jiso-keiei (self-creative management) and nurture staff who are capable in self-management.


【The Voice of Professional】Mr. Yamanaka, President , GOGYOFUKU Co., Ltd. [2]

  • Date : April 17, 2020
  • Name : Mr. Yamanaka
  • job name : President