Sojitz Corporation


Encouraging Employees to Take on New Challenges

Basic Approach

In order for Sojitz to pursue sustainable value creation, the company must continue to focus on the business strategies set out in the medium-term management plan, approach challenges from a fresh perspective, and take responsibility and lay the groundwork for realizing new and innovative ideas. There are many opportunities for employees to take on new challenges both inside and outside the company, and Sojitz has a deep-rooted company culture of entrusting work to those highly skilled employees who are eager to learn and grow. When employees work in an open and accepting space where they have the freedom to make mistakes and can proactively take on new challenges, each individual is able to achieve growth. We believe that this development will not only lead to growth for the team and organization, but also translates to the overall advancement of the company.

Basic Approach

Initiatives for Supporting Diverse Career Paths and Workstyles

In recent years, the external environment has changed drastically as a result of labor shortages, shifts in career-related values, and the adoption of new working styles in which individuals hold side businesses and jobs. In light of these circumstances, Sojitz aims to ensure that its employees are able to work with a high degree of motivation and experience professional growth by offering employees the option to pursue diverse working styles.

In addition, Sojitz seeks to create greater opportunities for business and open innovation through these new initiatives, which include the formation of an inclusive Sojitz Group network that will create new business opportunities that expand beyond the company’s current business areas.

Initiatives for Supporting Diverse Career Paths and Workstyles

Support for Entrepreneurs and Independent Business (Established April 2021)

Sojitz backs employees who intend to start their own business by providing Sojitz resources—including funding, informational resources, and networks—to promote these business ventures. The company also plans to have members of Sojitz Alumni who are working outside the company offer advice and funding to these start-ups. Each year, Sojitz holds an in-house business contest, the Hassojitz Project, through which ideas developed can now be commercialized and established as independent businesses through this funding initiative.

As a general trading company that continues to create business and develop capable people, Sojitz will support the desired career paths of all employees, including those individuals who seek to become entrepreneurs and establish their own independent businesses. At the same time, Sojitz strives to hire and develop proactive challenge takers with an entrepreneurial spirit to transform the company’s corporate culture.

Sojitz Professional Share (Established March 2021)

Sojitz has established a new company for job-based employment as a career platform that is available to employees over the age of 35 to further their career goals. In order to offer diverse options as part of this job-matching platform, employees are able to choose a new career path without limitations based on retirement age, business hours, or location, allowing them to establish start-ups or take on side businesses. Employees that transfer to this new company are able to apply the skills and experiences they have acquired at Sojitz to businesses outside the company in order provide new value under this framework.

New Possibilities at Sojitz Professional Share

・Take on challenges in a new sphere

Sojitz Professional Share allows employees to exercise the full potential of the skills and experiences they have developed throughout their careers and pursue opportunities of interest beyond Sojitz Group. By securing income through their work at Sojitz Professional Share, employees can use this time as a preparation period to expand their careers by taking on side jobs or laying the groundwork for  a new business.

・Utilize experiences, expertise, and skills

Sojitz Professional Share’s job-based employment system allows employees to gain more in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific field. By adding outside work experience to their skills gained at Sojitz, Professional Share employees can use their unique perspective to bring new ideas to Sojitz Group.

・Stay connected and pursue a meaningful career

Professional Share has a retirement age of 70. This allows employees to continue to contribute to society and gain a sense of satisfaction from their work. Workloads are determined based on individual age and health needs which empowers employees to create new, more engaged plans for their post-retirement years.

・Focus on family

Employees can work the equivalent of two to three days total a week, allowing them to move at their own pace and balance work with priorities in their home life, such as caring for a family member or spending quality time together. Employees can adjust their workstyle to meet their specific family needs, such as by living with elderly parents and working remotely full time.

Sojitz Professional  Share

Sojitz Alumni (Established April 2021)

Sojitz has established “Sojitz Alumni” as a business networking platform to foster connections among Sojitz’s former employees and between current and former members of the company. As a network first proposed by former Sojitz employees, Sojitz Alumni has been approved and authorized as an official Sojitz organization, and Sojitz supports operation of this platform.

Members of Sojitz Alumni are selected to participate in seminars and lectures, provide advice on projects, support business creation, introduce and secure funding sources, participate as judges in Sojitz presentations, engage in regular and individual meetings with Sojitz employees, and provide consultations through an exchange of opinions.

Sojitz Alumni

Related Links:

Developing DX Employees

Sojitz Is Developing DX Employees Who Are Equipped to Operate in a Digital Society

As digital technologies and the use of data become increasingly central to business operations, Sojitz is focused on developing DX employees who are equipped to operate in a digital society, applying digital skills to pursue value creation.

Sojitz encourages all employees, regardless of age, to pass the “IT Passport” exam—a national certificate in Japan that covers the fundamentals of IT literacy (the company covers all examination fees). Sojitz began requiring employees to acquire the certificate in April 2021 and is continuing to encourage all employees to take the exam. As of March 2022, 824 employees have successfully acquired certification, and Sojitz will continue to promote the exam in order to improve company-wide IT literacy.

In addition to IT Passport certification, Sojitz is developing trainings for all employees on the basics of digital technologies in order to raise the overall level of practical utilization of digital tools at Sojitz. By encouraging employees to gain the basic knowledge and skills needed in a digital society, such as IT security and data science, Sojitz aims to cement digital literacy as an essential skill for all its employees.

Sojitz places great importance on employees’ ability to not only add value to existing businesses, but also leverage diverse technologies to realize new business ideas. Sojitz therefore proactively provides opportunities such as the Hassojitz Project, in addition to standard on-the-job training, that allow employees to develop these creative skills.

Sojitz Selected for Digital Transformation Certification

The Digital Transformation Certification Program is based on Japan’s Act on Facilitation of Information Processing. Certification is awarded to companies that demonstrate outstanding efforts to implement the key practices of METI’s digital governance code by integrating IT systems into its corporate management vision and businesses and presenting this information to stakeholders.

Sojitz views digital transformation (DX) as a critical foundation for all businesses and related business processes, and the company sees adapting business models to the changes brought about by the digital revolution and new technologies as essential. Sojitz established the role of Chief Digital Officer in October 2021 and is proactively working to advance DX initiatives.


Related Links:

Page top