Human resources are the most important management resource, and securing highly motivated and capable personnel is the foundation of business operations.
In addition, our business environment has become more complex and sophisticated. In these circumstances, it has become extremely important to secure personnel with broad knowledge and diverse skills, and to conduct training so that employees can maximize their abilities.
Against this backdrop, the Corporate Business Plan (FY2022–2024) sets forth one of its basic policies as promoting the securing and development of human resources from a long-term perspective and achieving sustainable growth through enhanced engagement.
Based on this policy, we are strengthening our recruitment capabilities dramatically and effectively promoting the current personnel and training systems based on the basic philosophy of “development and growth.” We are also working to create an environment in which diverse personnel can work healthily and energetically.
Human Resources System Initiatives
Sumitomo Chemical engages with its employees through a human resource system that takes account of the performance individuals achieve in their roles, depending on the scale of their responsibilities, along with the abilities they employed and their actions in the process. The system enables those willing and capable employees to aspire to higher roles at an early stage, and to build their self-motivated desire to grow in their career process.
Accordingly, our annual performance evaluations are not limited to evaluating how well each employee fulfills their expected role and their achievements; it also evaluates how well said employee demonstrates their ability and acquires the knowledge and skills needed. The system thus contributes to individual development and growth without overly focusing on short-term achievements.
Managers talk with all their subordinates on a regular basis to review their performance and objectives and to provide feedback on their behavioral advantages and areas for improvement. In the interviews, they also discuss future job expectations and career paths in an effort to increase their motivation and abilities.
Moreover, we have adopted a similar human resources system for managers at overseas Group companies to that for Sumitomo Chemical's managerial employees. We are working to develop personnel on a global level and provide opportunities for advancement.
Philosophy and Aims of the Human Resources System
Characteristics of Our HR Systems
(1) Career Development Fields (CDFs)
To encourage the development and growth of each employee amid a time of diversifying ideas about career trajectories, we have incorporated career development fields (CDFs) into our HR systems. We decided to do this because we understand the importance of implementing from the medium- to long-term perspective placements and training in line with each employee’s ability and suitability as well as based on their career goals. Planned placements and training are promoted in line with each employee’s career goals, and employees are encouraged to take the reins when thinking about their careers.
A career in which the employee takes on a specified role, while also working on tasks that support the maintenance and development of Sumitomo Chemical’s business over the medium- to long-term.
A career in which the employee works on tasks that contribute to the development of business as a professional, within a role with a defined scope.
A career in which the employee works on a variety of tasks supporting things like the development of new technology and the increasing sophistication and complexity of business.
(2) Careers for Specialists
We offer more than the conventional path, which assumes a largely vertical progression in rank from manager to general manager, and so on. To reflect the need for complex and advanced knowledge in operational and R&D fields, we have introduced a mechanism that provides appropriate compensation so that personnel with a high degree of specialization can unleash their full potential and rack up accomplishments.
Careers for Specialists
Under the direction of human resources executives, the Headquarters Human Resources Department works closely with the HR departments of worksites, business sectors, regional headquarters, and Group companies in Japan and overseas to promote and roll out various measures. In addition, employees are rotated through job assignments based on each person’s specific training plans while sharing information with the aforementioned HR departments and other departments with corporate functions, such as research, production, and administration.
Human Resources Management System
Sumika “Let's Do This Declaration”
We have set forth a number of important values and views to help our employees find significance and feel pride in working at Sumitomo Chemical in the Sumika “Let’s Do This Declaration,” and we are promoting this initiative so that they can lead healthy and fulfilling lives as employees, both mentally and physically. The initiative is divided into a series of five steps, with each step further broken down into five action items, and we are promoting various measures to support progress. In addition, we established a labor-management committee to promote the Sumika “Let's Do This Declaration” to ensure that information is shared and opinions are exchanged on the progress of initiatives and their direction.
Communication with Employees
Sumitomo Chemical and its labor union are working together to solve various issues within a labor-management relationship based on mutual understanding and trust.
We have concluded a labor agreement covering a wide range of topics, including union members' concerns about human resources, work duties, compensation, disaster compensation, welfare facilities, safety and health, labor-management meetings, and collective bargaining. Based on this agreement, as a place for labor and management representatives to exchange opinions, we hold central labor-management meetings twice a year as well as regional labor-management meetings at each worksite twice a year. In addition, we have established Safety and Health Committees at each worksite to ensure and improve the safety and health of union members.
Furthermore, the Company and labor union have concluded a union shop agreement, ensuring that 100% of general employees at the Company are enrolled in the labor union. The percentage of union employees among all the Company's employees is 68%.
We aim to ensure that each employee feels greater motivation and a deeper sense of fulfillment while promoting a better work-life balance. In addition, we are working to foster a workplace environment where it is easy to work, mainly by introducing a flextime system, utilizing telework, and establishing daycare facilities at worksites.
In 2010, Sumitomo Chemical established a labor-management committee to promote DE&I as well as work-life balance. To this end, the committee has shared information and exchanged opinions in addition to checking on the progress of efforts undertaken by labor and by management.
From 2020, we delegated these functions to the labor-management committee for promoting the Sumika “Let’s Do This Declaration” as we strive to be more constructive.
Targets and Results / Examples of Initiatives
To encourage work-life balance, Sumitomo Chemical established key performance indicators (KPIs) along with three main targets: ① Correct long working hours, ② Encourage employees to take paid annual leave, and ③ Promote flexible workstyles. We implement various measures to achieve these targets.
- Measures to Promote Work-Life Balance
- Systems and Measures for Better Work-Life Balance and for Use at Time of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Childcare
- Results of Systems for Work-Life Balance (Sumitomo Chemical)
- Employee Awareness Survey (Conducted using the survey contractor’s proprietary indicators)
Number of respondents: 6,118; Response rate: 97% (FY2022)
- Daycare Facilities at Worksites
- Support for Childbirth and Childcare
- Kurumin Mark
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)
Sumitomo Chemical has raised “promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)” as one of the material issues to be addressed as management priorities based on the Basic Principles for Promoting Sustainability. We have established a Group-wide basic philosophy related to DE&I and are promoting measures in line with the situation of each Group company.
Group Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy
We will promote diversity, equity, and inclusion across the Sumitomo Chemical Group. We understand that a variety of ideas and values among our employees represents a vital resource that forms the foundation of the Sumitomo Chemical Group’s competitiveness. In order to create continuous new value, we will build and enable an inclusive organizational culture that allows us to respect the individuality of each employee and embrace diversity to empower employees in an environment of mutual and close communication.
In addition, we are promoting various initiatives to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment and to ensure that people of all different backgrounds can thrive.
For management systems for promoting DE&I, refer to the management systems for work-life balance.
Targets and Results
To promote DE&I, the Group set specific KPIs centered on basic principles related to DE&I for around 100 of the major Group companies and is promoting relevant measures. Moreover, when setting the KPIs, we established the following three points as Critical Success Factors for the promotion of DE&I.
Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
- Employ and develop diverse human resources, including those at senior management level
- Implement measures to empower diverse human resources
- Enhance diversity and inclusion awareness among managers and employees at all levels, and implement measures to build an inclusive culture that empowers employees
Sumitomo Chemical (Non-Consolidated): Results of KPIs (FY2016 - 2022)
- Have women in at least 10% of positions equivalent to managers or above
- At least 70% of male employees taking extended childcare leave
■Percentage of women in positions equivalent to managers or above (female manager rate)
■Percentage of male employees taking extended childcare leave
Sumitomo Chemical (Non-Consolidated): New KPIs (FY2023 - 2027)
Sumitomo Chemical set a new KPI focusing on the promotion rate to managerial positions as a measure that can reflect the total progress of measures to promote the advancement of women, including recruitment, training, promotion, and environmental improvement, in line with the Company's basic human resources policy of focusing on growth and development from a medium- to long-term perspective.
- Percentage of employees promoted to managerial positions (equivalent to section manager) being female
Target: Over 15% over the 5 years between FY2023 and FY2027 on average
- Percentage of male employees who have taken extended childcare leave or other childcare-related leave due to birth of a child during the current fiscal year.
Target: Over 90%
Progress on the setting of KPIs at Group companies in Japan and Overseas
Many of the KPIs set by Group companies are related to the active promotion and empowerment of women, work-life balance, and diversity regarding nationality, racial background, and age. Going forward, we will continue working with Group companies to promote initiatives aimed at achieving these KPIs.
Examples of Initiatives
- Promoting the Active Advancement of Women
- Internal Lecture Helping Promote DE&I
- Diversity Management Training
- Encouraging Male Employees to Take Childcare Leave
- Joining the Ikuboss Corporate Alliance
- Hiring Personnel with Diverse Skill Sets and Qualities
- Promoting the Utilization and Advancement of Global Personnel
- Promoting the Hiring of Persons with Disabilities
- Equal Pay for Equal Work
Human Resources Development and Growth
We are implementing various training programs and measures for different purposes and employee classes to realize our current human resources system, the basic philosophy of which is “development and growth.”
Specifically, we are developing all motivated and skilled employees and enhancing their capabilities by upgrading our training system in a “stepwise” manner in line with our goals. Education includes class-based training aligned with positions and roles, management skills enhancement training for managers, and programs to enhance language skills appropriate to global business development.
Organization of Training Programs
Note: The Company conducts in-house training courses in the areas of compliance, human rights, sustainability, and health maintenance and improvement
Targets and Results / Examples of Initiatives
Since FY2022, we have provided a learning platform called the SUMIKA Learning Square to enable all employees to update their knowledge and skills as and when necessary, regardless of their age, job title, or other such factors, thereby supporting autonomous and voluntary learning.
- SUMIKA Learning Square
- Investment in Training
- Time Spent on Training
- Methodical Development of Global Talent
- Management Skills Enhancement Training
- System for Passing on Skills and Developing Personnel
Going forward, Sumitomo Chemical will continue to promote various measures for employee growth to realize a human resources system centered on “development and growth.” We have expanded online options for training programs. We will continue to take measures that let employees choose their own training content and make learning a habit.
To ensure that employees can live healthy and active lives both physically and mentally, Sumitomo Chemical is promoting a variety of health support programs to help solve employee health issues and on the other hand improve employee health.
The Board of Directors and the Management Meeting seize opportunities to receive reports and hold discussions on the status of employee health and the direction of initiatives addressing various issues. At the annual liaison meeting of industrial physicians, the head of industrial physician and the industrial physicians of each worksite hold discussions and their opinions are being sought when deciding on Company-wide measures and targets. Moreover, the industrial physicians, medical staff (public health nurses, registered nurses, etc.), and health managers of each worksite work together to implement measures to maintain and promote employee health in collaboration with the Company and the Health Insurance Association.
Furthermore, at Health Manager Meetings, the progress of Company-wide measures at each worksite and the measures taken at each worksite are shared and the results are assessed. The Health Management Promotion Committee shares financial status of the Health Insurance Association’s healthcare business and medical expenses.
As for Group companies, through liaison meetings attended by executive officers in charge of human resources at Group companies, we announce such information as key points regarding legal amendments related to health management and disseminate information to ensure appropriate responses.
Promotion System for Health Maintenance and Promotion Measures
Targets and Results / Examples of Initiatives
To maintain employee health both physically and mentally, we are implementing the following initiatives.
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organization (White 500)
Cost of promoting health management measures at each worksite: ¥11,250,000 (FY2023)
Women’s health seminar: 206 participants, 94% satisfaction rate (FY2023)
Overall health risk of Stress Check*: 96 (FY2022)
- This indicator shows the degree of impact that workplace stress has on the health of workers. The higher the figure (over 100), the higher the health risk to workers.
Sumitomo Chemical will continue creating and implementing various initiatives to maintain and promote the health of employees in line with the belief that personnel are the most important management resource. Furthermore, we will assess the results of these initiatives, make improvements, and run the PDCA cycles in our continuing efforts to develop more effective measures and support employee health.