Human Resources Development
Human Resources Development Policy
The ITOCHU Group works together as one to provide each employees with opportunities to pursue spontaneous learning and take on new challenges to gain robust business experience. By doing so, we push ahead with human resource development and provide career building assistance in a way that is aligned with the diverse skills and aptitudes our employees possess. In addition, Human resource development expenses were, in FYE 2000, repositioned by the Company as investment in human capital essential to supporting sustainable improvement in corporate value. Therefore, we regularly review these expenses on a Company-wide basis and direct investment to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of human resource development. Through these Group-wide initiatives, we develop Merchants capable of fulfilling “Infinite Missions” and adapting to changes in the social environment and customer needs, with the aim of realizing “Sampo-yoshi,” the ITOCHU Group’s corporate mission.
Targets and Action Plan
Based on our employee training policy, ITOCHU Corporation works to achieve the following goals.
Structures and Systems
ITOCHU Corporation implements a global personnel strategy. Specifically, in FYE 2011, we established leadership standards and we constructed the Talent Management Process to hire, develop, utilize and promote excellent talent who will expand overseas revenues worldwide.
We also reflect the corporate philosophy and values we have inherited since the foundation of our company not only in our recruitment standards but in our evaluation and training systems. With this, we are recruiting and training people who match the values of ITOCHU Corporation on a global basis. We provide a selective online training program as support for career formation according to diverse values. This program enables employees to take about 3,000 courses anywhere. It is utilized by about 1,000 overseas bloc employees every year. We have so far stationed a total of about 100 overseas bloc employees in our headquarters from the perspective of career formation. The purpose is to deepen their understanding of the corporate philosophy, to acquire knowledge and experience through the headquarters’ business, and to build a human network. Currently, there are about 700 overseas bloc employees among management personnel (equivalent to managerial positions). We will continue to work with each company and overseas bloc to proactively train and promote excellent employees in the right place regardless of their nationality. This will lead to a further business expansion overseas.
- We have created the ITOCHU Global Classification (IGC). The IGC is a global grading system based on positions and duties at all levels worldwide. We use it to place, promote and train personnel regardless of nationality.
- We have set behavioral requirements that leaders should possess on a global basis. We use these in the recruitment standards and evaluation standards.
- Relevant data:Overseas Bloc Employees by Region
The ITOCHU Corporation training system consists mainly of selective training for future management personnel and selective training for career development based on meetings with superiors in addition to mandatory training when an employee is appointed an organizational manager or is posted overseas. There is a wide range of training opportunities at various levels, not only for Headquarters employees, but also for those at certain overseas bloc companies and Group companies.
Overseas blocs arrange their own training systems to teach the skills and expertise required for their business and markets. In combination with the headquarters training system, they develop management talent capable of global success.
- Relevant data: Time/Cost Allotted for Employee Skills Development Training
- Relevant data: Attendance in Major Training
Key Points for Better Training
In FYE 2014, we created a training scheme for talent who shoulder administrative responsibilities at Group companies from the perspective of group management. Specifically, in FYE 2015, we started Business Management Training for young employees to learn about accounting work efficiently in a short period of time through practice to strengthen the acquisition of basic knowledge on business management and risk management techniques. Additionally, we have a replete lineup of Group company employee trainings so that domestic Group company employees can upgrade their skills and expand their networks within the Group.
Furthermore, we conduct trainings in the Global Development Program and the Short-Term Business School Dispatch to develop global management talents with an overseas perspective. Meanwhile, we were among the first to offer a short-term overseas dispatch system in 1999. This program is designed to improve the English language skills of young employees at the headquarters and foster a global mindset. Chinese and other special language programs dispatch employees to emerging markets such as China and etc.. These are the core programs for our initiatives to foster specialists in each market.
Our employees take stock of their strengths/weaknesses and career every year from the perspective of independent learning. They meet with their superiors to discuss the development of their abilities (re-skilling) and their vision for the future. Our employees can choose to take more than 100 training courses we have prepared as Career Vision Support Training.
For our training with an emphasis on practical on-the-job skills, we conduct independent training programs that are based on each company or Headquarters administrative division's talent strategy and tailored for various objectives to develop industry professionals with diverse values.
Most recently, we have been providing our employees with opportunities for training and lectures aimed at studying cutting edge business model cases and acquiring IT expertise according to our Mid-term Management Plan. The aim of these training programs is to develop personnel to put into practice digital transformation focused on profitability to drive evolution of business.
Talent Synergy with CPG & CITIC
In January 2015, ITOCHU Corporation formed a strategic business and capital tie-up with Charoen Pokphand Group Company Limited (CPG) and CITIC Limited (CITIC), which are some of the leading conglomerates in Asia and China, respectively. Thereafter, in January 2016, the three-company group signed a memorandum to strengthen talent synergies as the foundation for producing medium- to long-term business synergies and raising enterprise value. According to the memorandum, the goal for the future is to build a robust network of talent between the three companies and construct a foundation that will support their strategic partnership. This will be accomplished by dispatching and exchanging talent between the three companies from the short-term to the long-term, dispatching trainees to join training programs at other companies, and conducting new joint training.
In FYE 2017, the three companies held their first joint training in Tokyo. We held this combined training seminar for the second time in Beijing, where CITIC is based, in FYE 2018 and for the third time in Thailand (Khao Yai and Bangkok), where CPG is based, in FYE 2019. In FYE 2020, we held this training for the fourth time in Tokyo. We select employees who match the business themes established in advance from the three companies. The participants come to fully understand each other's management policies, values, history and main business. They then thoroughly discuss the creation of business synergy. With this, the aim is to build a solid personnel network as partners.
The three firms are also steadily accepting trainees into their existing programs through short- to -long-term talent dispatch and exchange arrangements.
In addition, the strategic business and capital tie-up was accompanied by the FYE 2016 startup of a project to develop 1,000 Chinese-speaking employees, who account for one-third of all career-track employees. The project has made progress in laying a solid linguistic foundation. By the end of FYE 2018, we reached our goal of 1,000 people. We continue developing those employees even after that. The total number of trainees as of the end of FYE 2023 was 1,293. We will continue to build the foundations to further promote the expansion of business in China and the rest of Asia in the future.
ITOCHU Morning Activity Seminar
In September 2016, we began conducting early-morning training sessions and presentations as one measure to encourage shifts beginning in the early morning. The themes of these seminars are focused on the next generation of business and health. We held these seminars a total of 3 times with the participation of 864 people in FYE 2023. We received comments from the participants like the following: “I was able to hear stimulating stories before work, so I felt very positive.” We plan to hold these seminars on a periodic basis in the future.
Morning Activity Seminar Results for FYE 2023
|What Should We Do Now after COVID-19? Focusing on Autonomic Nerves and the Intestinal Environment
|Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Juntendo University
|Work Style Reform Arising from Experiencing Childcare Leave Three times: 100 Work Styles for 100 People
|Yoshihisa Aono, CEO of Cybozu, Inc.
|Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Reiwa Period (2019 Onward): Taking on the Unprecedented Challenge of the Space Business
|Nobu Okada, Founder & CEO of Astroscale Holdings Inc.
HR Appraisal & Assessment System
The HR Appraisal & Assessment System is a core part of the human resources organization that helps employees fully demonstrate their capabilities in a motivated and rewarding manner. It covers all ITOCHU Corporation employees. One part of the system is Management By Objectives (MBO), by which we assign individual employees with targets that match up with the management plan, then confirm execution. This approach helps us carry out business strategies.
We determine bonuses by reflecting company performance in addition to individual performance assessments based on MBO. This has led to an increase in employees’ awareness to participate in management. In addition, we comprehensively grasp individual employee’s competencies, expertise, past career, aspirations and suitability. We have established a human resources assessment system that we utilize in placement and transfer planning and an employee commendation system that recognizes employees who have made significant contributions in quantitative and qualitative terms and teams that have produced results based on the corporate action guidelines.
In order for these components of the HR Appraisal & Assessment System to function, we believe it is critically important that superiors conduct fair and impartial evaluations and meet with their subordinates to provide feedback. 360° feedback* assessor training and one-on-one interviews enlighten superiors so that they will encourage employees to develop and grow.
- Multifaceted observation: A system by which feedback from observations by the organization managers themselves and subordinates are used to review everyday personnel management that the organization manager typically does not notice, followed, if necessary, by initiatives to make improvements or upgrade capabilities. We make sure to apply this approach every year.
Overall Picture of the Personnel Evaluation Systems
Management By Objectives (MBO) Flow
Competency Assessment Flow
The Career Counseling Center provides wide-ranging counseling and support services for the diverse careers of all employees. We have established a self-career dock system that provides opportunities for career counseling together with the training held at each milestone after an employee joins the company. All the center's counselors are nationally certified career consultants. They support the independent initiatives of those seeking advice about balancing work with childcare and nursing care, communication in the workplace, and other areas in addition to future career according to the situation of each employee. The counselors also support mid-career hires to smoothly adapt to life at ITOCHU and assist with the success of middle-aged and older employees. There are over 800 consultation visits to the center each year. Here, visitors are provided complete confidentiality so they can feel at ease conversing with a counselor. The center's aim is for employees to develop an awareness about how to independently shape their career.
Formal Introduction of the Challenge Career System
We have introduced the Challenge Career System as a measure to increase the mobility of personnel for career-track employees (excluding organization managers) and clerical employees working in Japan. With the system, employees can check a list of job openings announced on the company intranet, then inform their superior of their desire for a transfer. With the superior's approval, the system will try to match the employee with the desired division and, if successful, may make a transfer between Division Companies or Headquarters administrative divisions. The aim of this system is to strengthen organizational capabilities by motivating employees and supporting them to independently develop their careers with the provision of career selection opportunities. 13 people transferred in FYE 2023 following on from 13 people in FYE 2021 and 16 people in FYE 2022. We will increase the number of opportunities to apply to join this system to twice a year in FYE 2024. We will further promote support for our employees to independently develop their careers.
Challenge Career System Process
We introduced the Virtual Office in FYE 2024. The aim of the Virtual Office is to promote business by sharing ideas and resources across organizations and to support the growth and career development of our employees. It is a mechanism which solicits cross-organizational projects company-wide. Employees themselves can then use small blocks of spare time outside of their main work to engage in the projects in which they have a high level of interest and enthusiasm.
We conducted a trial of the Virtual Office with a total of five projects in FYE 2023. Employees with different work locations, ages and duties gathered from across the company to work on the projects. According to a questionnaire we conducted on the participants in the trial, 91% of employees said that the activities of the Virtual Office led to their own growth and job satisfaction.
Promotion of Rotation
We have formulated rotation guidelines for young career-track employees. The aim is to assist the activities of personnel in the next generation who will support management in the future. We have determined the training and transfer policy for each organization under the premise that young career-track employees will have finished their basic education by their second year in the company and will have experience of an overseas deployment within eight years of joining the company as a general rule. In addition, organization managers explain this training policy to young career-track employees and employees in clerical positions and then hold career meetings to exchange opinions with them. With this, we have developed an environment in which it is possible for young employees to tackle the work in front of them while looking to the future. We have also created a mechanism so that they can achieve diverse careers by reviewing their transfer requests and rotation results every year.
ITOCHU provides an internship to students which allows them to tackle various challenging issues based on past business cases. We do this so that they can think about their careers in terms of working in a general trading company.
ITOCHU Website for students(Japanese only)