Employee Training

Policy and Basic Concept

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Human resource development is based on this philosophy. We will accomplish infinite missions by inheriting the intentions contained in the spirit of sampo yoshi (good for the buyer, good for the seller and good for society) and our commitment to the global good.

ITOCHU Corporation's employee training is focused on providing practical work experience through on-the-job (OJT) training. This is supplemented by efforts to foster a desire to grow through appraisals, assessments and feedback, as well as employees' acquisition of knowledge and skills through the training. We also provide growth opportunities tailored to employees' individual situations and careers. After becoming industry professionals who can thrive in any field, we train them into Global Management Talent who will lead our worldwide business in the future.

Targets

Based on our employee training policy, ITOCHU Corporation works to achieve the following goals.

Issues to Address

Sustained employee skill development

Commitment

We develop training programs on a global basis. We do this with a market-orientated way of thinking toward the development of marketing professionals who are able to continually transform business in line with needs while inheriting our corporate philosophy. We then utilize these training programs to continually produce talented people.

Specific Approaches

  • Continuously develop and implement training programs at all levels
  • Continue and augment overseas practical training assignments and language immersion assignments
  • Provide various career paths and work experience through regular rotations
  • Foster career awareness in individual employee through personnel assessments, career vision training and an enhanced career counseling program

Success Indicators

  • FYE 2021: annual E&D spending over 1 billion yen
  • Positive response rate of 60% or higher to "education & training" items on the engagement survey
  • FYE 2021: 100% of career-track employees gain business level English skills after 8 years with the company
  • FYE 2021: At least 80% of career-track employees take overseas assignments by eighth year with the company

Structures and Systems

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Talent Management Process

ITOCHU Corporation has been implementing a globally-minded personnel strategy since FYE 2008 with the goal of maximizing the value of our worldwide work force and optimizing this group of employees as a whole. Specifically, in FYE 2011 we established leadership standards, we created a database of organizational leaders worldwide,* and we constructed the Talent Management Process to hire, develop, utilize and promote excellent talent who will expand overseas revenues worldwide by coordinating with division companies and overseas blocs.
We also reflect the philosophy and values we have inherited over the 160 years since the foundation of our company in our recruitment standards and evaluation and training systems. With this, we are recruiting and training people who match the values of ITOCHU on a global basis.

  • We created the ITOCHU Global Classification (IGC), global standards based on positions and duties for positions at all levels worldwide, in FYE 2010, which we use to place, promote and train personnel regardless of nationality.
  • Relevant data:Overseas Bloc Employees by Region

Training System

The ITOCHU Corporation training system consists of company-wide training, along with line training for specific companies and administrative divisions that is tailored to the nature of their industry, specialties and so on. 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 ITOCHU Corporation training system, they develop management talent capable of global success.

Training Results

Time/Cost Allotted for Employee Skills Development Training
  FYE 2016 FYE 2017 FYE 2018 FYE 2019
Total annual training time 193,839 hours 200,195 hours 217,734 hours 160,510 hours
  FYE 2016 FYE 2017 FYE 2018 FYE 2019
Average training/development hours per regular employee* 45.3 hours 46.72 hours 50.81 hours 37.46 hours
Average training/development cost per regular employee 266,000 yen 359,000 yen 334,000 yen 302,000 yen
  • Calculation method: total annual training hours / employees at end of fiscal year
Attendance in Major Training
Training FYE 2016 Attendance FYE 2017 Attendance FYE 2018 Attendance FYE 2019 Attendance
Administrative Intern System 111 115 121 96
Global Development Program 126 128 134 141
Organization Manager Workshop 426 417 403 405
Short-Term Business School Dispatch 41 51 39 31
Junior Chinese/Special Language Dispatch 52 52 61 39
Chinese Lessons 390 469 614 237
Career Vision Support Training (total) 2,097 2,108 2,075 1,885

Key Points for Better Training

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Training in the Global Development Program

First, in FYE 2014 we created a training scheme for talent capable of shouldering administrative responsibilities at Group companies. Specifically, to further acquire fundamental knowledge and risk management techniques related to administration, we introduced the Administrative Intern Program. Also, along with building up a certain period of administrative experience for trainees in the Internal Audit Division or Legal Division, in FYE 2015 we started up a training program for efficiently studying accounting through hands-on practice. This program is mandatory for junior employees. Additionally, we have a replete lineup of Group company employee training so that domestic Group company employees can upgrade their skills and expand their networks within the Group. Next, we conduct training in the Global Development Program and the Short-Term Business School Dispatch to develop global management talent with an overseas perspective. Meanwhile, we were earlier than other companies in introducing a short-term overseas dispatch system in 1999. This program is designed to improve the English language skills of young Japan Headquarters employees and foster an international outlook for them. Currently, Junior Chinese/Special Language Dispatch is a program that sends employees to emerging markets in China and elsewhere. This program is central to our efforts at developing the potential future specialists in each market.

For our training with an emphasis on practical on-the-job skills, we conduct Career Vision Support Training to develop industry professionals with diverse values, along with independent training programs that are based on each company or Headquarters administrative division's talent strategy and tailored for various objectives.
Most recently, we have also been promoting the development of people capable of driving business into the next generation. We do this by 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.

Talent Synergy with CP & CITIC

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The Third Three Companies' Combined Training Program (Thailand) (July 2018)

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 2016, 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. Selected section manager-class ITOCHU Headquarters employees and their counterparts from CPG and CITIC worked to build a robust network of talent between partners by gaining a solid mutual understanding of each other's managerial policy, values, history and main businesses, as well as by engaging in thorough discussions so as to produce business synergies. We plan to hold this combined training seminar for the fourth time in Tokyo in FYE 2020.
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 will continue to build the foundations to further promote the expansion of business in China and the rest of Asia in the future.

  July 2015 March 2016 March 2017 March 2018 March 2019
Certified Chinese speakers 361 430 793 1,043 1,025

ITOCHU Morning Activity Seminar

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An 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 10 times with the participation of 2,786 people in FYE 2019. 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

Major Seminars
Date Title Speaker
August 2018 New Common Sense of Business People!
Strongest Strategy to Overcome Cancer - Japan's Greatest Enemy
Keiichi Nakagawa, Associate Professor in the Radiology Department at The University of Tokyo Hospital
December 2018 Give Life to Technology!
OO × IT
Shunji Sugaya, President of OPTiM Corporation

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 have also created the Competency Assessment. This provides a comprehensive view of an individual employee's competencies, expertise, past career, aspirations and suitability, which we then use to plan assignments and transfers.
In order for these components of the HR Appraisal & Assessment System to function, we believe it critically important that superiors conduct fair and impartial evaluations and meet with their subordinates to provide feedback. 360° feedback* and assessor training 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 efforts to make improvements or upgrade capabilities. We make sure to apply this approach every year.

Overall picture of the personnel evaluation systems

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Management By Objectives (MBO) Flow

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Competency Assessment Flow

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Career Support

Career Counseling

The Career Counseling Center provides wide-ranging counseling and support services for the diverse careers of all employees, from new hires all the way up to organization managers. All the center's counselors are nationally certified career consultants. They discuss a broad array of topics with visitors to address their individual circumstances, including relationships with superiors, subordinates and other colleagues, how to go about one's work, one's future and so on. In addition, as a part of our employee training, we arrange for all young employees to undergo career counseling when they reach certain milestones in their ITOCHU careers. The center meanwhile serves experienced hires and middle-aged and older employees seeking to work beyond retirement age. There are over 500 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 shape their career.

Formal Introduction of the Challenge Career System

We formally introduced the Challenge Career System in FYE 2019 in response to trials we conducted in FYE 2017 and FYE 2018. This will serve as a measure to increase the mobility of career-track employees (excluding organization managers) 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 fostering their career awareness with the provision of career selection opportunities. Six people transferred in FYE 2019 following on from three people in FYE 2017 and two people in FYE 2018.

Challenge Career System Process

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