Sojitz Corporation conducts a wide variety of businesses through more than 400 Group companies around the world. For our company, continually and systematically developing human resources who can manage our operating companies is an important task.
We are working to develop employees who can oversee the businesses that will constitute Sojitz’s earnings foundation in the future. That means having employees, with their diverse backgrounds, undergo a number of training modules based on Sojitz’s business philosophies and the Sojitz Guiding Principles, as well as giving them opportunities for on-the-job training.
Operating company management
Sojitz’s business departments and corporate departments collaborate to develop successors who can take over management of businesses. The entire company is working together to improve the skillsets of operating company management and provide candidates with new opportunities tailored to their development needs by understanding the pool of candidates, assessing the business side’s needs, and bringing in available employees from outside of the business division as necessary.
Opportunities for corporate department employees to manage Group companies
We are increasing opportunities for key personnel handling corporate functions to be transferred to operating companies where they oversee Sojitz Group’s business. We are also working to give them chances to gain experience as independent directors or audit and supervisory board members at project companies worldwide. In this way, we hope to create a cycle whereby these employees, after leaving the operating company, can use that experience in a management position at Tokyo headquarters.
Among the diverse employees at Tokyo HQ who have repeated this cycle, we select some for special training to develop them to be core management at Group companies in the future, and we conduct 360 surveys as necessary, to continually have managers work to improve their management style.
Training for Select General Managers
Since 2011, we have held “action learning”-based training for select general managers, where they come together to discuss their organization’s business and the issues facing their organization with an external consultant. This helps managers strengthen their ability to strategize and manage their organization. Using the results of the 360 survey and objective pointers from the external consultant, the general managers review their strategy and vision for the organization, thereby refining their ability to strategize, identify root issues, lead teams, and motivate stakeholders. It aims to give them the means of not only etching out a strategic vision, but making those strategies more realistic and attainable. (Approximately half of past participants are now executive officers or business division COOs at Tokyo HQ.)
Sojitz’s HR system assigns ranks based on the individual’s qualities, abilities, and drive, regardless of age or gender. Individuals are then evaluated according to the job grade in question. Since introducing the system, we now even see employees in their 30s taking up the reigns of management at Sojitz Group companies. We will continue to do our best to place every employee in the most appropriate post, so that the employees that possess those qualities and abilities required by the segment or business environment are involved in management of the business at an early stage in their careers.