Highlight from Integrated Report

Based on the idea that people are vital to the success of companies, the Nisshinbo Group is training and enhancing its human resources to support its business operations. We are currently implementing our long-term goals, targeting net sales of ¥1 trillion and ROE of more than 12% in the fiscal year ending March 2026. To achieve those targets, we need to systematically support the development of human resources, particularly the people who manage our business. The key elements of our strategy are: (1) cultivate the next generation of business leaders, (2) promote diversity, (3) radically overhaul personnel systems, and (4) create a shared services model for the Group.

Managing Officer
Human Resources and
Administration Service Department
Diversity Development Department
Makoto Sugiyama

Systematically cultivating the next generation of business leaders

Personnel training starts as soon as new employees join the Company. General training programs are separated into streams that can eventually lead to promotion to mid-Level manager, section head and division head positions. In the fiscal year ended March 2015, we introduced a new specialist program for personnel who are earmarked to become senior managers. Participants in the program are selected based on recommendations from Group companies and must pass a vetting process carried out by the Board of Management. They then undergo 18 months of external training and practical workshops to give them the mindset and presence they need to fill their roles as business leaders. Every year we select around 10 employees to undergo this leadership training program.
As a growing company planning to launch many new businesses in the near future as part of its business strategy, we believe it is vital to ensure we have people who can develop and expand those new businesses. One of the key roles of Nisshinbo Holdings Inc. is to put in place mechanisms that support the systematic development of the Group’s human resources.

Systematic process for cultivating the next generation of business leaders — overview

Systematic process for cultivating the next generation of business leaders — training framework

Promoting diversity

In April 2014, Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation, unveiled an Action Plan on Women’s Active Participation in the Workforce. In line with the goals of this plan, we announced our own voluntary action plan in December 2014 to promote women to leadership positions. Under our plan, which has an end-date of 2020, we aim to (1) promote women to director positions, (2) triple the number of female managers compared with the present level, and (3) increase the recruitment ratio for new female graduates to 40% for clerical positions and to 20% for technical positions. In line with this plan, Group companies have also developed general business action plans based on the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace. Under their plans, Group companies have set concrete targets for the number of female managers and new recruits as part of efforts to actively support women in the workplace. We have already made progress towards our goals. In 2015, we appointed a woman to the Board of Directors and in 2017 we achieved our female recruitment ratio targets for clerical positions. We will continue to implement initiatives, such as tailored training programs for female employees and their line managers, to achieve all our final-year targets before the 2020 end-date.
Amid Japan’s declining birthrate and aging population, older workers are increasingly important for the Group. We need to make it easier for them to continue working for us so that they pass on their wealth of skills and expertise.
Our goal is to ensure that our best employees, regardless of gender, age or other characteristics, continue to work for us as long as possible, helping to contribute to the Group’s ongoing development.

Training our employees to be global business people

The Nisshinbo Group started expanding into overseas markets in the 1970s. Today, the Group has 131 business sites in 24 countries and regions. Due to the international nature of our operations, we are training our employees to give them global business skills. In Japan, we encourage employees aged below 35 to gain experience overseas and improve their language skills. We also hire overseas students who have studied in Japan to fill administrative positions in our domestic operations, and overseas subsidiaries are giving locally hired employees greater responsibility, including senior management positions. To drive Nisshinbo’s development as a global company, we need to step up cooperation between management teams at all our companies to improve the Group’s ability to expand overseas.

Improving communication between businesses

We believe a dynamic organization is vital to drive the Company’s growth. Before we adopted the holding company system in 2009, communication between different departments and divisions was healthy. However, the holding company system led to the creation of separate operating companies, reducing opportunities for the exchange of ideas between employees at mid-Level manager and lower levels. To address that issue, the Business Development Division and the Human Resources and Administration Service Department started running workshops in December 2016 to encourage younger employees at Group companies, aged up to around 30, to develop future business ideas. Group company employees who are selected to take part in the workshops conduct interviews with senior managers and have detailed discussions with other participants, helping them to develop proposals for the Group’s future business portfolio, which they then present to Nisshinbo’s leaders.
We believe this approach has the potential to play a significant role in driving the Group’s growth going forward.

Overhauling personnel systems and introducing shared services

The Nisshinbo Group continues to move away from its legacy business of textiles, transforming itself into an Environment and Energy Company group that contributes to society by harnessing technologies in the electronics and automotive fields. Based on that strategic direction, we need to build a Groupwide framework for personnel systems and performance evaluation in order to drive growth by energizing communication between employees and generating synergies between different businesses. Specifically, we are adjusting seniority-based pay systems and progressively moving to compensation based on job type and ability.
Also, as the Group becomes bigger, business operations are becoming more complex and cumbersome, leading to inefficiencies in some areas. To address that issue, we are now rationalizing back office departments such as human resources, accounting, legal and general affairs, and intellectual property, and shifting to a shared services model to increase management efficiency.