HENNGE’s 10 Years after Making English the Company’s Official Language, Boosting Reskilling with Learning Support and Various Allowances 2023.04.05


HENNGE K.K. (headquarters: Shibuya, Tokyo, Representative Director, Chief Executive Officer: Kazuhiro Ogura, "HENNGE") has been promoting employees’ reskilling (the act of learning new skills outside of the worker’s existing skill sets) through various English learning support programs since the declaration of English as the official company’s language in 2013 (went into effect in 2016). As of now, 10 years after the announcement, HENNGE is pleased to announce that the average TOEIC L&R (Listening and Reading) score of the company has surpassed 800 for the first time, and about half of the targeted employees (*1) have acquired a Business-level English proficiency.

In order to recruit talented engineers from all over the world, HENNGE has decided to make English the company’s official language, and has been able to promote the hiring of foreign national employees without requiring Japanese language skills. The increase in the number of non-Japanese employees in the company has created a virtuous cycle in which employees respect each other's differences, value challenges, and transform into an organization that is more open to change and diversity. To this end, we place great importance on English as a common language within the company and have developed various measures to motivate employees to learn English.

Specifically, in addition to providing full subsidies for employees' English learning expenses, we have incorporated English proficiency into our personnel evaluation criteria. We have introduced the CEFR-J (*2), an international standard that comprehensively measures all four skills, as the basis for assessing English language proficiency in order to improve not only "listening and reading" but also "speaking and writing" skills, with the aim of revitalizing communication in English in 2020. In July 2022, we also began providing an English language allowance based on the CEFR-J to motivate employees to improve their language skills.
The following is a list of English learning support systems and initiatives that HENNGE has implemented to date and the obtained results.

■ HENNGE's English Learning Support System and Initiatives
- Company’s full subsidy of online English conversation lessons
- Company’s full subsidy of English learning apps
- Company’s full subsidy of the cost of taking the official TOEIC test
- In-house implementation of TOEIC IP test
- Permission to take TOEIC and other English tests during work hours
- Company’s subsidy of the cost of language study abroad (Cebu Island studying abroad Program)
- Adoption of English proficiency as a personnel evaluation criteria
- Payment of English language allowance based on English proficiency (starting July 2022, 120,000 yen to 1,080,000 yen per year)

■ About the effect
1) Company’s average TOEIC L&R score is now 800.3
As of December 2022, the average TOEIC L&R (listening and reading) score of our employees was 800.3, surpassing 800 for the first time (on a 990-point scale). This is an increase of 305.3 points from the company’s latest average score in March 2014.
The average score has been rising steadily every year. It can be said that the TOEIC L&R measures, which we have been working on over the years as a first step to improve English proficiency, are showing favorable results.


2) Within the start of English allowances, the number of TOEIC S&W test takers increased by 10 times in almost 3 years
In November 2022, 81 employees from the company took the TOEIC S&W (Speaking & Writing) IP Test. This was approximately 10 times the number of 8 people who took the test in February 2020. The average in-house score remained around 290 (on a 400-point scale), with 287.7 (178 examinees) in December 2022 and 292 (35 examinees) in December 2019.
Against the introduction of CEFR-J in January 2020 (*3) and the start of the English language allowance in July 2022, it can be said that more and more employees are focusing on improving their “speaking and writing” skills.


3) Approximately half of the target employees have acquired business-level English proficiency
As of December 2022, of the 175 employees holding both TOEIC L&R and S&W scores, 94, or 53%, have acquired business-level English proficiency (B2.1 or higher on the CEFR-J).
Three years ago, as of December 2019, the percentage was almost unchanged at 54%, but the denominator, the total number of employees holding both TOEIC L&R and S&W scores, was only 35 at that time; of which, only 19 were business level.
With the introduction of the CEFR-J and the English Language Allowance, more employees than ever are learning all four skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) and acquiring business-level English proficiency.


4) With 20% of employees are foreign nationals, HENNGE transformed to an organization that embraces diversity
By making English the company’s official language, HENNGE has accelerated the hiring of non-Japanese employees. As of the end of September 2022, 22% of the company's workforce is made up of foreign nationals. The globalization of the company and the increased diversity of its employees have also changed the organizational structure. Before 2013, which was the start of foreign nationals recruitment, HENNGE had a uniform organization that was sensitive to differences, making it difficult for employees to take on new challenges. However, as employee diversity has progressed, the company has become an organization that accepts diversity, respects each other's differences, and values challenges, making it easier to change.
Currently, we regularly hold various internal events to promote interaction among employees, such as communication lunches, lunches between the sales and customer success division and the development division, and "Monthly Technical Session (MTS)”, an internal study group. By deepening understanding of each other's culture, ideas, and work, HENNGE encourages employees to take on new challenges.



At HENNGE, meetings and internal chats with even one foreign employee are conducted in English. Communication has become smoother as employees' English proficiency has improved.
While the above-mentioned various effects have been achieved by making English the official language, issues such as the resignation of some employees due to English, discrepancies in communication, and lack of information sharing have not been completely resolved, and we are still working to resolve these issues on a daily basis.
HENNGE will continue to accelerate its business while continuing to change and take on new challenges, thereby spreading its corporate philosophy “Liberation of Technology” throughout the world.

※1. This program targets employees who have acquired both TOEIC L&R and S&W scores.
※2. CEFR-J is a new English language proficiency indicator based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It is designed for use in English language education in Japan. The CEFR-J indicators are written using the "can do" descriptor, which specifies in writing what a person can do with words. In addition, the CEFR-J index is composed of descriptors that have all been validated using a variety of research findings. (
CEFR-J can calculate 12 levels from PreA1, A1.1, A1.2...C1, C2 based on scores from various tests such as TOEIC (L&R, S&W), TOEFL, and IELTS.
※3. The CEFR-J can calculate levels based on scores from various tests such as TOEIC (L&R, S&W), TOEFL, and IELTS, etc. Since the majority of HENNGE employees chose and submitted TOEIC (L&R, S&W) scores, this release mainly focuses on the data regarding TOEIC (L&R, S&W).

■ About HENNGE K.K.
HENNGE K.K. was established in November 1996. It is a SaaS company, guided by the philosophy of "liberation of technology to change the world" and it develops and sells unique services that bridge the gap between technology and reality. HENNGE provides "HENNGE One", a one-stop cloud security service enabling consolidated IDs and passwords management of multiple cloud services, "Customers Mail Cloud" which is a cloud email distribution service, and "SumaMachi", which is an interactive communication service between local government bodies and their residents. Since October 2019, HENNGE had been listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), Mothers, and then, a transition was made to the TSE Growth in April, 2022.
The company name "HENNGE" originated from the Japanese character for transformation, 'HENNKA' and 'CHALLENGE', which represents its commitment to keep challenging against every change we encounter.

Company name: HENNGE K.K. (securities code: 4475)
Address: Daiwa Shibuya Square, 16-28 Nanpeidaicho, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Representative: Kazuhiro Ogura (Representative Director, Chief Executive Officer)

■ Contact information for inquiries regarding this press
Corporate Communication Division
TEL: 03-6415-3660
Person in charge: Yano

*The names of companies, products and services mentioned in this press are trademarks or registered trademarks of HENNGE.K.K. or other related organizations.

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