Sojitz Corporation


A Rewarding Company

Professional Development Program

Sojitz offers various kinds of training to support the professional growth of employees. The core training programs are mandatory courses and professional training. For the mandatory courses, we use lectures and exams (business trading, legal/compliance, accounting, TOEIC IP tests (LR/SW)) conducted in-house, as well as an exam conducted by an outside institution (bookkeeping) so that employees can acquire the basic knowledge and qualities required of trading company employees. Our professional training menu focuses on developing their skills and mindset. In skills training, employees acquire the necessary knowledge and polish the skills they will need as professionals working in various fields. In mindset training, we focus on items such as understanding of the Company, understanding of roles, commitment and ability to accomplish assignments, and strengthen human skills and goal achievement through overnight training. Besides required training, we offer optional training such as MBA study abroad and overseas language training programs, as well as self-study support programs for learning Chinese, Portuguese and other languages. For management-track employees, we provide training for newly appointed managers, classroom-based training and training for selected employees. We thus support the professional growth of employees at every level with training appropriate for the business conditions of a trading company.


On-site Personnel Development

On-the-Job Training

Sojitz has introduced a mentoring program to give new employees the ability to work independently in their departments. Mentors are experienced employees appointed by the head of their department to coach new employees in the same department. Through a year-long on-the-job training program, mentors make new employees aware of the conduct expected of them as members of Sojitz, and instruct them on the etiquette, mindset and basic behavior of a businessperson, as well as the business knowledge needed in their department. Mentors receive mentorship training from the same outside instructors who train new employees and managers. This gives mentors an opportunity to receive advice on how to train and teach new employees in a way particular to Sojitz and exposes them to both sides of the mentormentee relationship. In addition, a “Lunch Salon” is held to provide an opportunity for mentors to talk about the growth of their mentees and share effective teaching methods.

A Look at the Office

Mentor Ferroalloys Section 2, Ferroalloys Department
(Joined the Company in 2008)

Yuta Asai

The first requirement for earning customers’ trust as a partner is sincerity. Mr. Kanaya’s serious attitude gives him a solid foundation for that. In my mentoring, I tried to get him to exercise his own ideas and ingenuity as much as possible within the scope of his work. But sincerity involves more than that; we also need to make sure we have the humility to listen to the people around us. I look forward to seeing him earn the trust of customers around the world and achieve professional growth beyond my expectations.

Mentee Ferroalloys Section 2, Ferroalloys Department
(Joined the Company in 2014)

Ryutaro Kanaya

In my work, I’m reminded every day of the importance of something I learned from Mr. Asai, which is to always think things through without being limited by past practices. I still have a lot to learn from him, such as persistence and how to explain things from another’s perspective, but I hope to eventually catch up with and surpass him, to show him that I’ve reached my goal of becoming someone that people around the world want to work with.

Goal Setting and Evaluations

We have implemented a job grade system to determine each employee’s expected role and corresponding salary, also enabling employees to be promoted early in their career based on their evaluation results. Our goal for this performance-based system is to evaluate the extent to which employees fulfill their commitments, as well as evaluate actions taken to create medium-to long-term, sustainable results.

Regarding evaluations, we use an appraisal system through which employees initially lay out their objectives to evaluators and are informed of competency appraisal categories corresponding to their job rank. The employee and evaluator engage in open dialogue during the initial goal setting stage (setting of individual goals, following the meeting for sharing the goals and strategy of the employee’s assigned organization), mid-term review (checking of employee’s progress and reassessment of goals as needed), and year-end review (confirmation of final degree of goal completion), as well as when feedback is provided on evaluation results, in order to establish mutual understanding between the employee and evaluator as well as connect the results of an employee’s evaluation with his or her growth over the following year. Evaluations are conducted by superiors at multiple levels, and the Human Resources and General Affairs Dept. oversees these discussions. Furthermore, if an employee has doubts about the results of their evaluation, we also have a system in place to mediate from an objective standpoint, determine the final evaluation results, and provide the reasons for and feedback on these results to employees.

Job Rotation and Internal Recruiting Systems

Sojitz has established programs to promote the professional growth of employees and broaden their career path. One example is the job rotation system, which both allows employees to acquire a variety of professional knowledge and skills by experiencing multiple, different career paths, while simultaneously reinvigorating the organization. Other programs include the internal recruiting system that we introduced in 2006 as an opportunity for employees to define who they are and carve their own career path by voluntarily applying for development opportunities.

Extending the Human Resource Strategies to Group Companies

Sojitz provides a variety of training opportunities to Sojitz Group companies. These develop both the skills and mindset employees need to understand the operating environment surrounding Sojitz Group and their role within it. Executives and managers of Sojitz Group companies receive cross-Group training divided by position level, to improve management skills and strategic thinking required at these various levels. All regular employees receive the same basic training and risk management training relating to business skills and the company’s governance policies. Additionally, we are rolling out a number of initiatives to develop talent and create networks within the Sojitz Group, including orientation training for new employees from across Sojitz Group and programs to accept trainees from Group companies for training at Tokyo HQ.

Employee Survey

Sojitz conducts an Employee Survey to grasp the degree of employee engagement and to strive for continuous improvement. The survey is conducted of employees in Japan and overseas, and the FY2017 response rate was approximately 92%. The questions cover employee motivation for achievement and how the workplace environment affects the role of employees. We conduct individual analyses by organization and affiliation, which we use to create action plans for the entire company and for each organization.

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