Employee Training

Policy and Basic Concept

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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

Develop global training programs tailored to the changing times and business needs, and utilize training programs to continuously churn out excellent talent.

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.
In addition, our philosophy and values that we have carried on since our founding 160 years ago are reflected in our hiring standards, appraisals, assessments and training programs so that we can conduct global hiring and training in line with ITOCHU values.

  • 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.

  • GEP: Global Executive Program, GLP: Global Leadership Program, GNP: Global Network Program, NS UTR: National Staff U-turn Rotation Training, GPP: Global Partnership Program for Subsidiary Staff

Training Results

Time/Cost Allotted for Employee Skills Development Training
  FYE 2016 FYE 2017 FYE 2018
Total annual training time 193,839 hours 200,195 hours 217,734 hours
  FYE 2016 FYE 2017 FYE 2018
Average training/development hours per regular employee* 45.3 hours 46.72 hours 50.81 hours
Average training/development cost per regular employee* 266,000 yen 359,000 yen 334,000 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
Administrative Intern System 111 115 121
Global Development Program 126 128 134
Organization Manager Workshop 426 417 403
Short-Term Business School Dispatch 41 51 39
Junior Chinese/Special Language Dispatch 52 52 61
Chinese Lessons 390 469 614
Career Vision Support Training (total) 2,097 2,108 2,075

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 (GEP, GLP, GNP, GPP*) 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.

  • GEP (Global Executive Program): Training conducted as a core program within the Global Talent Development Program to develop global executives.
  • GLP (Global Leadership Program): Training conducted to develop organization managers who can succeed globally.
  • GNP (Global Network Program): Training conducts to foster understanding of ITOCHU's corporate philosophy, history and its business in general, as well as to build networks between participants.
  • GPP (Global Partnership Program): Training conducted for overseas Group company employees to foster understanding of ITOCHU's corporate philosophy, history and its business in general, as well as to build their networks within the ITOCHU Group.

Talent Synergy with CP & CITIC

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Chinese-speaking employees gathered for the "ITOCHU Assembly of 1,000 Chinese Speakers" (Tokyo Headquarters)

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 May 2016, the three companies held their first joint training in Tokyo. Then, in FYE 2018, the event was relocated to Beijing, where CITIC has its main offices, to put on the second joint training. 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. The FYE 2019 event is scheduled to be held in Bangkok, where CPG has its main offices.
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. On April 13, 2018, the "ITOCHU Assembly of 1,000 Chinese Speakers" convened in three locations: Tokyo, Osaka and Shanghai. On that day, Chinese-speaking employees gathered at the venues to celebrate their achievement via a simultaneous video feed between the three sites. The event was also an opportunity to further push for business expansion in China and elsewhere in Asia.

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

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. These ITOCHU Morning Activity Seminars deepen employee knowledge while leading to skills development and greater vitality. During 10 seminars with 1,895 attendees in FYE 2018, topics spanned a wide range, including Chinese business, boosting performance, streamlining operations, cashflow, AI and sleep. The feedback was good. Some attendees said they heard excellent talks before work that put them in a very positive mood, while others complimented it as an ITOCHU-like effort. The seminars will continue to be held on a regular basis.

Morning Activity Seminar Results

Major Seminars
Date Title Speaker
July 2017 Stress Management Taught by a Brain Scientist Mr. Kenichiro Mogi, brain scientist
February 2018 Thinking and Decision-Making in the AI Era
How Should Human Co-exist with Artificial Intelligence?
Mr. Yoshiharu Habu, professional shogi player

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.

Trial Implementation of the Challenge Career System

The Challenge Career System was trialed for two years, in FYE 2017 and FYE 2018, as a way to boost human resources mobility for 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. By providing opportunities for career choices, the system is intended to spur motivation and foster career awareness among employees while strengthening the organization. Three employees used the system to secure transfers in FYE 2017, while two did so in FYE 2018. We are reviewing the results of the two-year trial to determine what action to take next.

Challenge Career System Process

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