LinkedIn Learning Case Study: Japan Tobacco

Operating in over 120 countries, Japan Tobacco (JT) is a leading international tobacco company with a reach that extends into the pharmaceutical and processed food industries. As a global employer and corporate citizen, JT also engages in a wide range of social and community activities to help people lead more enriching lives.

For JT, supporting a large and diverse workforce means adapting to different work styles and schedules. Many employees at its manufacturing sites, for example, work in shifts to keep production lines operating around the clock. An increasing number of them also have to balance work responsibilities with childrearing or elderly care commitments.

This helped JT realise that its fully classroom-based learning approach, which made it difficult for many employees to attend, would no longer work. The company recognised that it needed to create an environment where employees could gain the professional skills and knowledge they need, when and where they want. To address this, JT began considering the adoption of an online learning framework.

Covering the essentials with microlearning
JT introduced online learning as part of its workplace learning in 2015 and, in 2018, began considering full-scale adoption. In 2019, the company committed to implementing a user-friendly learning solution with a wider range of learning content. There, it found LinkedIn Learning.

JT chose LinkedIn Learning for several reasons:

  • LinkedIn Learning was already in use at the group company Japan Tobacco International (JTI)
  • It supports a wide range of languages other than Japanese
  • Its microlearning format empowers employees to take short-form courses covering the essentials across a wide range of relevant topics

Work-from-home shift drove surge in usage
With LinkedIn Learning in place, JT’s Human Resources department promoted it directly to new hires and high-potential employees. Even then, platform usage was off to a slow start. Then, in February 2020, the shift to remote working arrangements trigged by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic increase in usage. LinkedIn Learning came to serve as a welcome replacement for face-to-face training. For many employees, experiencing LinkedIn Learning for themselves made it easier to adapt to home-based and online learning. As of December 2020, JT had 512 users, a significant year-on-year increase of 277%.

Combining online and offline for effective learning
Going forward, JT remains committed to providing an online learning environment that empowers employees to learn when and where they want.

The company intends to move in the direction of blended learning - resuming in-person training when possible and continuing to build on its online learning programme with LinkedIn Learning at the core.

   ●  To establish a learning environment that is flexible and compatible with a broad range of work styles, accommodating employees working in shifts and those balancing work with childrearing or elderly care
   ●  Equipped employees to learn online and on-demand, when and where they want, with LinkedIn Learning
   ●  Introduced microlearning - short-form courses covering the essentials across a wide range of fields
277% year-on-year growth in number of users (as of December 2020)
   ●   To enable employees to gain the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles
Headquarter: Tokyo
Employees: 7,464 (as of December 2019)
Japan Industry: Food, pharmaceutical
Naoki Matsumoto