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Japanese Company Makes HP Badges For Employees To Wear & Know How Their Colleagues Are Doing At A Glance

Employee HP Badges

Employee welfare is vital to the smooth running of a company, no doubt, since it contributes to work productivity. From improving cafeteria food quality to setting up meditation rooms, workplaces around the globe have tried various methods to take care of their employees

Taking novelty to the next level, Japanese company Onken (音研) has made HP (“health points” or “hit points”) badges that its employees can wear to let others know their current state of well-being. Due to favourable reactions from netizens, the badges have also been put up for sale on Onken’s online shop.

Several types of HP badges

For the benefit of non-gamers, HP refers to “health points” or “hit points” that players can afford to lose before they’re no longer capable of fighting. Adopting this concept in the workplace, Onken made acrylic HP badges for its employees to signal how much energy they have left before burning out.

The HP values are rated out of 10,000 and come in 3 main levels: low (red), moderate (yellow), and high (green). Since unique colours are tagged to different HP values, it’s easy to tell which colleague could do with your emotional support at a glance.

Employee HP Badges - normal HP badges
Image credit: @onkenkenken

The acrylic HP badges could potentially also serve as a conversation starter with colleagues whom you’re not so familiar with. If you love the idea, get the set of 3 HP badges in small size (¥1,300, ~USD8.79) or big size (¥1,700, ~USD11.49) via the Onken online shop.

Employee HP Badges - different sizes of HP badges available
Image credit: ケンさんずマーケット

The Onken online shop sells other variations of the HP badges too. Mimicking how game characters are sometimes inflicted with abnormal statuses such as poison and sleep, there are also badges that show 1/10,000 HP and the emoji for “heartbroken”.

Employee HP Badges - HP badges with other statuses
HP badges with special statuses.
Image credit: ケンさんずマーケット

Similar to the original HP badges, these special status badges come in small size (¥1,300, ~USD8.79) and big size (¥1,700, ~USD11.49).

Netizens’ reactions to the creative gimmick

While fascinated by Onken’s fun idea to liven up the workplace, netizens expressed their doubts about whether the HP badges actually serve their purpose. Twitter User @mons__05 commented on Onken’s HP badge tweet, “This (badge) system’s fascinating! Does everyone actually treat those with low HP kindly…? (laugh)”

Employee HP Badges - tweet user asking if the low HP badges are effective
Image adapted from: @mons__05, @onkenkenken

In response to the question, @onkenkenken tweeted, “Thank you, and yes they do! But almost everyone’s on low HP. (laugh)”

Others asked after the model in the photo who wore a low HP badge, and joked that they should make sure to remove it when meeting clients. 

Employee HP Badges - tweet user jesting that employees shouldn't meet clients while wearing low HP badges
Image adapted from: @RasouleFerman 

Twitter @RasouleFerman wrote, “This made me laugh. It’s a great invention. But is the model in the photo (who’s wearing a 15/10,000 HP badge) doing okay, if that’s his real HP? It’ll be better to take the badge off when meeting clients. (laugh)”

HP badges as employee welfare

By incorporating amusing gaming elements in the workplace, Japanese Company Onken is reducing the solemnity of discussions on stress levels. As employees are empowered to share their worries more lightheartedly through the HP badges, they may experience greater welfare – which is one of the goals every company strives to achieve.

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Cover image adapted from: @onkenkenken, ケンさんずマーケット