Creating an environment in which diverse individuals can develop their capabilities to the fullest


Work-Life Management Policy

Respect diverse values and lifestyles to help employees lead fulfilling personal lives as a driving force for greater business development. Provide employees with a better work environment where each of them can work with vigor and peace of mind to display their abilities to the fullest.

Sumitomo Corporation launched a corporate-wide Work-Life Balance (WLB) Promotion Project Team in April 2005 to develop and implement various measures. Subsequently in December 2015, we renamed our “Work-Life Balance Policy” to “Work-Life Management (WLM) Policy” to promote lively and flexible work arrangements to help employees separate and manage their work and private life on their own initiative on a medium- to long-term basis. Although the form of WLM differs depending on the value and lifestyle of each employee, it is our belief that fulfillment of various aspects in their overall lives, both private and professional, will generate energy and function as a driving force for creating new value. Based on this belief, we offer various optional programs to support employees in eliminating problems that may hinder their WLM, while also encouraging them to have high-value-added, output-oriented work styles.

Creating an environment in which diverse individuals can develop their capabilities to the fullest

Reducing long working hours
 

  • Organization of Time Management Training sessions
  • Regular holding of labor-management roundtable discussions
  • Implementation of Work Style Kaizen Seminars (held jointly by labor and management)
  • Other awareness raising measures

Encouraging employees to take more holidays

  • Setting of a quantitative target for the number of paid holidays to be taken
  • Launch of “Premium Fridays”
  • Spouse maternity leave, refresher leave and volunteer leave

Promotion of flexible work styles
 

  • Teleworking system
  • Super-flextime system


Sumitomo Corporation has formulated an action plan to speed up its work style reform, specifically to (1) reduce long working hours, (2) encourage employees to take annual paid holidays, and (3) foster flexible work styles, as Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) urges its member companies to do.

Reducing long working hours

Sumitomo Corporation has been fostering the separation of professional and private life, aiming to increase the work efficiency of employees. In this age of diversification and sophistication of businesses, it is not appropriate to manage working hours simply to reduce the hours regardless of the specific business conditions, although longer working hours do not always lead to better business performance. In recognition of this fact, we need to pursue more value-added work styles also from the viewpoint of global competition.

Annual total working hours (average for Sumitomo Corporation)

Annual total working hours (average for Sumitomo Corporation)

Awareness-raising seminars

We hold a range of seminars to raise employees’ awareness and provide them with useful information. The following are some examples.

  • Time Management Training
    Since 2005 we have been providing Class A career-track employees with Time Management Training. We are expanding the targets to include a wider range of employees while continuing to hold the training seminar as part of our awareness-raising effort.
  • Work Style Kaizen Seminar
    Starting in 2008, we have been offering these seminars jointly with the labor union by inviting a range of people as external lecturers, including Mr. Takeru Kaido, Mr. Osamu Hayashi, Mr. Akihiro Nakatani, Mr. Tsuneo Sasaki, Ms. Yoshie Komuro, and Mr. Yoichi Ochiai.

Encouraging employees to take more holidays

Sumitomo Corporation fosters the separation of professional and private life to encourage employees to increase their productivity to achieve greater results within a limited time. To this end, we set a target for the number of paid holidays to be taken by employees in 2016 and launched “Premium Fridays” in 2017.

Number of paid holidays taken by employees

Number of paid holidays taken by employees

In 2016 we set the company-wide quantitative target of “12 or more paid holidays to be taken by each employee,” and achieved this target for 92.7% of all employees. In 2017 we raised the company-wide target to “14 or more paid holidays” and achieved it for 95.7% of all employees. Moreover in 2017 we newly set the target of achieving an average of at least 16 paid holidays for all employees and have attained this target. In 2018, we set the company-wide target, “Ensure that each employee takes 14 or more paid holidays and make efforts to increase the number to 16 or more.”

Premium Fridays

We introduced the following initiatives along with the Premium Friday campaign promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in partnership with the private sector.

プレミアムフライデーズロゴ
  • Encourage employees to take a full or half day (leave work in the afternoon) of paid leave on “Premium Friday,” the last Friday of every month.
  • In cases where it is difficult to take paid leave, encourage employees to take advantage of the flextime system and leave as soon as the core time ends at 3:00 p.m.
  • Encourage employees to take paid leave or leave their workplaces early under the flextime system not only on the last Friday of each month, which the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry dubs “Premium Friday” but also on other Fridays, which we dub “Premium Fridays.”

Fostering flexible work styles

The teleworking and super-flextime systems are designed to provide employees with an environment that enables them to work autonomously and flexibly beyond the conventional framework and thereby promote high-value-added, output-oriented work styles. By working autonomously and flexibly, employees will proactively make more effective use of time to foster their own mental and physical health and increase their own value, which will lead to the maximization of their performance.

Teleworking system

Sumitomo Corporation introduced the teleworking system in November 2018. Under the system, for up to 14.5 hours in total (equivalent to two day’s working hours) per week, employees can work more flexibly from home and from one of the satellite offices established at 100 or more locations mainly in Tokyo and can also do mobile work. All employees are entitled to use this system, not limited to those taking care of their children and other family members and those in special circumstances. We expect this system to promote autonomous and flexible work styles across the board.

Super-flextime system

Sumitomo Corporation updated its conventional flextime system to a super-flextime system in November 2018. Under the previous flextime system, employees must be at work during the “core time” period (11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), but we have done away with the core time under the super-flextime system so that employees can work more flexibly by choosing when to start and end their work within a period of the day from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Under the super-flextime system, individual employees are expected to design and manage their own work style to increase the performance of themselves and the entire organization.

Providing Employees with Workplaces Where They Can Work with Vigor and Peace of Mind

Workplaces with no harassment

Sumitomo Corporation regards all issues related to harassment, including sexual harassment, power abuse, and discrimination against pregnant women and minorities including LGBTQ people, as a serious infringement of human rights and deals with these issues sincerely and strictly.

Specifically, we have implemented the following measures:

  1. Clearly stated in the working rules that any forms of harassment will be subject to disciplinary action.
  2. Clearly prohibited any forms of harassment in the compliance manual.
  3. Made all directors and employees aware of the fact that the company will deal with harassment-related issues strictly by launching a website and providing level-specific training on the issues. Since 2014, the company has also been holding training sessions to help all managers deepen their understanding of sexual harassment and power abuse.
  4. In order to prevent any harassment and solve a harassment issue if it unfortunately happens, established a contact for employees to make complaints about harassment within the departments supervised by the Chief Administration Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.
  5. Using the Speak-up System, also established a system for detectors of harassment to directly inform the Chief Compliance Officer (COO) of the fact.

Supporting employees in balancing work and child-rearing/long-term nursing care

Sumitomo Corporation provides both male and female employees with a range of options so that all employees, including those taking care of their children and other family members, can work with vigor and peace of mind and display their abilities to the fullest at their workplaces.

■Supporting employees in balancing work and child-rearing

Supporting employees in balancing work and child-rearing


■Supporting employees in balancing work and long-term nursing care

Supporting employees in balancing work and long-term nursing care

Organization of various seminars

  • WLB Seminar
    Held once a year since 2007 on themes including “Teamwork improvement based on gender differences in the brain,” “Paternal parenting and child-care leave,” and “Anti-metabolic syndrome practices that you can begin today to get out of the ‘I know, but can’t change’ situation.”

  • Nursing Care Seminar
    Held once or twice a year since 2007 on themes including “Introduction to long-term nursing care insurance,” “How to live a happy old life,” “Final abode and nursing care facilities,” “Saving money by learning about long-term nursing care insurance,” “Tips to give nursing care to family members living separately,” “Preparation for nursing care from the financial aspects” and “Introduction to dementia, which tends to be misunderstood.”
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