Creating Environments that Bring Out the Best in Employees

Promotion of Working-Style Reforms and Health and Productivity Management

ITOCHU Corporation believes that employees are its greatest asset, and that the full exertion of each individual employee's capabilities will lead to an improvement in corporate value. Based on this belief, ITOCHU has pursued a range of initiatives to develop environments where all employees can utilize their respective characteristics and concentrate on work at ease. The morning-focused working style, which we introduced in October 2013 as a measure for working-style reforms, has greatly influenced the government and many companies. More than three years after its introduction, it continues to give the results steadily as the core element of the company's working-style reforms.
For Health and Productivity Management, which we began to work on in full scale in FY2017, we promote a range of measures for improving the health of employees, based primarily on the ITOCHU Health Charter (established in June 2016). These include the introduction of the "Health MyPage" apps, via which all employees can manage their health statuses, individual programs for employees who have a high potential risk of suffering from lifestyle-related diseases (distribution of wearable terminals for health and diet and exercise instructions by experts), and enhanced support for smoking cessation (grants of aid money to reimburse the full amount of medical costs involved in smoking cessation). In addition, we are planning to open a new health-focused integrated dormitory for unmarried employees in April 2018.

As the leading company in "working-style reforms" and "Health and Productivity Management, ITOCHU will continue to implement a range of initiatives in a pioneering manner to establish an environment where employees find it worthwhile to work for the company.

Click here for details of the morning-focused working style.

Supporting the Activity of Diverse Human Resources

Amid intensifying global economy, we at ITOCHU Corporation believe that diversity as an organization is indispensable for accurate response to diversifying needs in the global market as well as continuous creation of new business and additional value. Based on this belief, we formulated the Plan for Promotion of Human Resource Diversification in December 2003 and set about efforts to increase the number of diverse personnel and support their acclimation and activity. We are committed to continued efforts to prepare environments enabling each and every employee to exercise his or her unique talents to the fullest, and to strengthen our power on both the individual and organizational levels. By so doing, we are going to make ITOCHU an attractive company with attractive corporate culture.

ITOCHU Corporation's measures for human resource diversification

Supporting the career development of female employees

Among its measures for human resource diversification, ITOCHU Corporation focuses primarily on supporting the career development of women. We have increased the number of female employees by promoting the Plan for Promotion of Human Resource Diversification. We have also expanded and upgraded systems far and above those required by law to help female employees succeed in both work and family life. At present, we are implementing a Gen Ko Tsu Reform (Gen for genba, or "front line,"ko for kobetsu, or "individual," and tsu for tsunagari, or "connection"). Under this reform, we promote individual support measures based on the life stages and careers of individual employees. At the same time, we strive to create role models of women with successful careers and develop an environment that enables women to work with a sense of job satisfaction, through training programs for nurturing career consciousness among young female career-track employees and various forums.

The number of female managements and career-track employees

Year April 2014 April 2015 April 2016 April 2017 FY2021 Target
Female management 4.0% 4.6% 5.2% 5.9% Over 10.0%
Female management / All management 97/2,401 111/2,438 130/2,479 149/2,505
Female career-track employee 8.9% 8.8% 8.8% 9.1% Over 10.0%
Female career-track employee / All career-track employee 301/3,401 304/3,444 307/3,490 323/3,531

Measures for supporting female career-track employees

Gen Ko Tsu Reform

Support for nurturing career consciousness among female career-track employees

Major Awards and Certifications

ITOCHU Corporation's initiatives for creating environments that bring out the best in employees have earned high praise from various quarters.

In FY2017, ITOCHU was selected as a Health and Productivity Stock 2017 for the second consecutive year in the health and productivity management program carried out jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In the Randstad Award 2017, which selects the most attractive companies in terms of workplaces, ITOCHU was granted the First Prize in the "Trading Company, Wholesaler, and Retailers" division . In the "Comfortable, Highly Productive Companies and Workplaces " hosted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, ITOCHU was granted the Encouragement Award.

Platinum Kurumin Authorization New Diversity Management Selection 100 Nadeshiko Brand Health & Productivity Stock Selection

Companies with excellent initiatives for providing employees with support at work as well as with childcare receive approval to display the Platinum Kurumin Authorization mark.(Received on 2016 / Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)

A project for selecting excellent companies that provide diverse human resources with opportunities and an environment for exercising their potential (Selected in March 2016/ Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

A program under which companies with excellent measures for encouraging women to play active roles in the workplace are evaluated and designated (Selected in March 2016/ Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Tokyo Stock Exchange)

A program that recognizes enterprises which focus on and strategically carry out efforts regarding their employees' health from a management perspective (Recognized in February 2017/ Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Tokyo Stock Exchange)
*ITOCHU was the first sogo shosha to be selected for two consecutive years.

Related Data:

Systems for Providing Support for Work as well as Employees' Childcare and Nursing Care

During the course of their working lives, most employees inevitably pass through life stages that require them to render childcare and nursing care. To enable them to continue working with peace of mind and demonstrate their fullest potential, ITOCHU has expanded and upgraded systems to help that are far and above those required by law. These systems are available to both male and female employees, and provide support for them to succeed in their work as well as child and / or nursing care duties. Concerning childcare leave for male employees, which had been taken only by a few employees, we began to implement a campaign in FY2016 to encourage male employees to take childcare leave by involving their supervisors as well. As a result, 111 male employees took childcare leave during the two years until FY2017. Also, in FY2016, we carried out a trial of a work-from-home system for those who need to stay home due to childcare or nursing care. In FY2017, we officially introduced the work from home system, which is applied based on specific criteria to employees who have time constraints due to childcare, nursing care, or similar reasons and those who have difficulty commuting for reasons such as pregnancy, injury, or illness.

Support for Childcare

Support for Nursing Care

ITOCHU Kids Day for Visiting Dad and Mom at Work


Since 2014, we regularly invite elementary school boys and girls to ITOCHU Kids Day—an initiative where the sons and daughters of employees can visit their dads and moms at work. They visit their parents in the office and practice exchanging name cards with people at work, using their own cards printed especially for Kids Day. They also hold a mock conference in the Board of Directors conference room, and enjoy lunch in the employee cafeteria as virtual ITOCHU employees. Kids Day is very favorably received among the parents, who are grateful to see their children develop an interest in their parents' jobs at ITOCHU and have reported that their children said they wanted to work for ITOCHU in the future. The company also considers such measures for strengthening family ties and the understanding of ITOCHU to be very significant, and plans to continue holding ITOCHU Kids Day in the future.

Supporting the Utilization of Senior Human Resources

ITOCHU Corporation is supporting the employment of aged workers even more actively than before. In light of factors such as the declining Japanese birth rate and aging population and support for the utilization of diverse human resources, we have introduced an employment extension system as a new option in addition to mandatory retirement at the age of sixty. This provides an environment in which willing employees can continue to play an active role so that their wealth of knowledge and experience can be utilized. In addition, we give seminars on life planning and other topics to those who have reached the age of fifty-eight, thereby providing them with support in terms of work styles and financial planning following the employment extension. In the future, we will make further efforts to develop environments in which aged employees can continue to work with even greater drive and enthusiasm.

Supporting the Participation in Society by People with Disability

ITOCHU Uneedus Co., Ltd New office building (Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama)[Open in a new window]

In 1987, ITOCHU Corporation established ITOCHU Uneedus Co., Ltd., the first special subsidiary in Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture for the purpose of giving people with disabilities, such as physical disabilities and intellectual disabilities, a desire to work and places where they find working worthwhile. This company handles three divisions of business involving cleaning, printing services, and photography centers under the motto of strict quality control and cordial service. In the cleaning division, people with disabilities and those without help each other perform all the cleaning-related processes. In November 2015, ITOCHU Uneedus Co., Ltd. was relocated to a new office building in Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama that boasts a floor area that is 2.4 times wider than the old building and possesses the latest equipment. The purpose of this move was to provide a more comfortable work environment for staff members with various disabilities, as well as expand the business.
As of March 2017, the proportion of our workforce with disabilities is 2.31%, which exceeds the legally stipulated ratio of 2%. We will continue to actively help people with disabilities participate in society.

Career Counseling

The Career Counseling Center offers a wide range of counseling and support for diverse career stages, ranging from new recruits to organization managers. Staffed by employees, the majority of whom are certified as career counselors, the department touches on an array of topics fit for the circumstances of each individual, including relationships with supervisors, junior staff and peers, approaches to work and considerations about one's own future. A system is in place for all young employees to receive career counseling when they reach certain milestones in their ITOCHU careers, as part of their training. Counseling is also available to mid-career employees as well as middle-aged employees looking to continue working. The number of visits to the Career Counseling Center to undergo counseling exceeds 500 per year. The Career Counseling Center aims to provide ITOCHU employees— through them and their organizations— with the opportunity to develop their careers, as well as a safety net.

"Managers of the Future" Reward System

This system is a trust-type employee incentive plan based on the U.S. Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
We have established "Managers of the Future" reward system, in order to enhance medium and long-term contribution,by raising awareness of employees to encourage them to participate in the corporate management.This system positions ITOCHU employees at the rank of Section Head or above, who will be the key people responsible for future growth as candidates for "Managers of the Future." They are provided awarded points, whose number increases as they are promoted to higher job levels. At the time of the retirement of such employees, the accumulated share points are multiplied by a multiplier linked to the company's consolidated results of each employee's tenure after the first award of the share points. In addition, the rate of membership in the employee shareholding association reached 80% (as of March 2017) as a result of measures to enhance the association's system in FY2016. We believe that we will be able to share our achievements with stakeholders as well as shareholders by further elevating our corporate value. To accomplish this, we must ensure that employees share the same perspective as management as they perform their duties.


Trial Implementation of the Challenge Career System

This system was introduced in FY2017 for career-track employees (excluding organizational manager) working in Japan. Under this system, an employee checks the list of job openings announced on the internal intranet in advance and makes a request to their supervisor for a transfer to their desired position. Once approval is obtained from the supervisor, the employee is introduced to the desired transfer destination, and if the department accepts the employee, a transfer beyond the boundaries of Division Companies and administrative divisions is carried out. This system is aimed at increasing employees' motivation by providing the opportunities for career options and enhancing the organizing ability by fostering career awareness among them. We believe that this system will contribute to "Engaging All Employees."

Overall schedule


Cooldown Rooms

In June 2012, ITOCHU Corporation introduced Cooldown Rooms, where summer heat is alleviated, on the first floor and first basement floor of the Tokyo Headquarters building. These rooms are aimed at keeping visitors comfortable in the building and providing employees with a comfortable working environment. As a measure for preventing global warming and saving electricity during summer, when power demand increases, ITOCHU ensures that the temperature setting of the air conditioners in the building is not lower than 28 degrees centigrade. However, the Cooldown Rooms have lower ceilings than other rooms for greater air-conditioning efficiency. Cool air of 15 degrees centigrade is supplied to the rooms to keep the temperature at 20 degrees centigrade or lower. The rooms thus cool down people who visit the building on hot summer days and employees who return from sales activities outside. In addition, in December 2016, we began to make effective use of the Cooldown Rooms in winter by raising the temperature setting to warm people up and established ITOCHU History, a section for history exhibitions, so that many people can experience the pioneering spirit of ITOCHU.

Shower Lounge and Shower Room


As a measure for creating a workplace environment that provides job satisfaction, ITOCHU introduced a shower lounge on the third floor and a shower room on the second basement floor of the Tokyo Headquarters building in the summer of 2016. Employees who returned from business trips by early morning flight would say that the airport shower rooms were crowded and that they had to use external facilities (such as gyms and saunas) on their way to work. In response to this feedback, ITOCHU established these facilities in the Headquarters building so that employees who have returned from business trips are able to start working in comfort.
The facilities are equipped with overhead showers, which warm up the body immediately, even in winter, and amenities (towels, hair driers, shampoo, and conditioner). A total of 250 employees have used these facilities in the nine months since they were opened. The employees greatly appreciate the facilities, stating that they make it possible to work in comfort.
In response to employee other requests, these facilities are now open for longer hours and are also available for employees who have exercised to improve their health.