Reggie Fils-Aimé may no longer be with Nintendo, but he did serve as NoA president for quite some time, making him very much able to comment on some of the more serious topics plaguing Nintendo at the moment.
For the latest month+, Nintendo has been under fire for mistreatment of contractors, and to a lesser extent, hired employees. Reggie has commented on these matters before, but he shared a much lengthier statement on the topic with the Washington Post.
Reggie touches on contractor complaints, the workplace environment, unionization, and much more. You can see his full statement below.
[When I was at Nintendo of America] I made it a priority to have a culture within the organisation that was welcoming… that promoted all the workers that we had… and so, these reports are really troubling.
I did not have a situation as the leader of the company where we had a broad issue with our associate base. It just wasn’t there.
What I would say today is that every organization needs to look hard at their employment practices, especially in this time of COVID, and make sure that they are being progressive, that they are being welcoming to all their employees whether they’re full-time or not, and to make sure that they’ve got the policies and principles in place to have a welcoming work environment… and to make sure that there are no systemic issues going on.
I do believe it is the role of company leadership to set a culture in the organization and to set the tone. And that tone starts with having openness and having every employee in the organization that can come to you and raise an issue, that’s certainly the culture that I advocated while I was at Nintendo.
There’s only so much I can do as president of the company, but if I have the right mentality, the right culture throughout the organization, then the entire organization can do much more than what I can do individually.
When issues do come up, you need to be aggressive dealing with them — you can’t ignore them, you can’t push them under the rug, you have to deal with them, and deal with them swiftly.
The last 2.5 years have created some rally challenging situations…it’s been a lot tougher to do work, and to do good work.
In many industries, unionization is a good thing. As a leader, you need to look hard and if this is what your employees want, you need to address that, and embrace it, and move forward.
I’ve worked in industries that have had high levels of unionization. This is not a good or bad thing, it is a situation that, as a leader, as an executive, you need to manage just like any other challenge or issue or opportunity that you face.