Human Resources Management

Creating an Environment for Taking on Challenges and Driving Creation

Mitsui & Co. aims to heighten its overall competitiveness as a company and provide new value to society by creating environments in which individual employees can enhance their productivity and exert their capabilities to the fullest. We are implementing a variety of initiatives to create environments that allow every employee to work energetically and enthusiastically and achieve personal growth in step with the company's growth.

Embodying New Ways of Working at Mitsui & Co. Presented in the Long-term Management Vision — Work-X

In May 2020, Mitsui completed its relocation to the new Head Office building. Under the "Long-term Management Vision 2030" formulated in 2017, we defined our new Head Office building as a place where diverse individuals will create new value through intellectual chemistry with numerous professionals, both at and outside the company, and will create the Mitsui & Co. of the future. We have positioned the relocation to the new Head Office building as not just a simple change of address but as an opportunity to accelerate innovation that will contribute toward the realization of our vision for 2030.

In the summer of 2019, we established Workplace Experience 1.0 ("Work-X") to present a vision for our workplace and measures for realizing it, and have promoted the Work-X initiative as a company-wide project based on the theme of changing the awareness and behavior of employees. The two main themes set out in Work-X are "Agile & Evolving" and "Human Centric".

Since we moved to the new office building, we have continued engaging in initiatives to further enhance our office environment by repeatedly verifying the effects based on various data to further improve productivity.

Measures Implemented on the Office Floors of the New Head Office Building

(1) Group address system:
By designating general areas for each division/department, we have been able to introduce a free address system for each organization to allow people to choose where to work, in line with their objectives. This enables employees to secure the fluidity needed to collaborate with other departments while ensuring the productivity of their own organization, facilitating activity-based working.

(2) Stacking to promote business synergy:
The floor layout of each division/department allows flexible responses and changes in accordance with the management strategy. Organizations that would be expected to mutually create synergy are located immediately above, below, or next to one another.

(3) Communication space (Camp):
On every office floor, we have created shared space (Camp) where people come together in a natural way and hold conversations and come up with ideas. The Camp spaces include interior staircases to link floors vertically, as well as cafe counters. With such a design, we aim to provide opportunities for diverse professionals from within and outside the company to come together, generate opportunities for collaboration, and create new value.

By combining these measures, we aim to increase the productivity of our organizations, while further accelerating our growth by strengthening cross-organizational coordination and collaboration with external partners.

Our Stories: Develop talent leading to value creation

Work-X—Driving a transformation of employees' mindsets and behavior

Work–Style Innovation

Since 2015, Mitsui has been promoting work–style innovation to review existing ways of working and realize flexible and priority-focused work styles that are unconstrained by spatial or temporal restrictions.

Work–Style Innovation Action Plan

Specific KPIs and action plans for work–style innovation have been formulated from three perspectives: (1) the elimination of excessive working hours, (2) encouraging employees to take annual leave, and (3) promotion of flexible work styles. These have also been posted on the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) website.

(1) Elimination of excessive working hours (KPI) We will reduce the number of employees working more than 620 hours of overtime per year (statutory calculation) to zero by the fiscal year ending March 2021 by supporting individual employees' efforts to improve productivity and efficiency through a priority-focused work style.
(2) Encouraging employees to take annual leave (KPI) We will increase the percentage of annual leave taken (including leave taken in half-day and hourly units) to 70% by the fiscal year ending March 2021 by supporting individual employees' efforts to improve productivity and efficiency through a priority-focused work style. We have already achieved this KPI, and aim to continuously maintain the current level (the percentage of annual leave taken was 73.1% for the fiscal year ended March 2020).
(3) Promotion of flexible work styles (KPI) We will increase the percentage of employees giving positive answers to questions on work styles in in-house surveys, such as whether the workplace environment is suitable for the maximization of productivity, and whether there are no obstacles to work in the workplace, to 60-70% of all employees by the fiscal year ending March 2024.

Work-Style Innovation Action Plan (in Japanese only)

Human resources data (Mitsui Engagement Survey)

Average Paid Leave Days Taken and Usage Ratio (Non-consolidated) star

Average paid leave days taken and usage ratio (non-consolidated)

Employees at Tokyo Head Office and branches in Japan (excluding contract employees)


Work–Style Innovation Measures

As measures for realizing work–style innovation, we introduced systems for enabling the taking of annual paid leave in hourly units, mobile work, and selecting staggered working hours for individuals. In April 2019, we launched Mitsui & Co. teleworking (working from home) on a company-wide basis and implemented major changes to the company dress guidelines. In light of major changes in the environment, especially the relocation to the new Head Office building in May 2020, we will accelerate the work–style innovation including the teleworking system.

New measures starting from 2015

Measures Description Benefits, Aims, Etc.
Being able to take paid annual leave in hourly units Employees can take up to the equivalent of five days of their annual paid leave in hourly units. (The same applies to full annual leave for nursing care and family care [10 days each per year]). This measure supports realization of a more prioritized work style by enabling employees to take a necessary leave more conveniently when they need it.
Mobile work scheme Employees can work outside of the office (including working at home outside regular working hours), during hours outside of regular working hours or unscheduled time before and after customer visits. By eliminating unproductive time, such as travel time, this scheme allows employees to work more efficiently and productively.
Staggered working hours for individuals This system allows individual workers to stagger the start of their working day within 90 minutes before or after the normal start time, provided that the required number of working hours is maintained. This system allows individual employees to proactively select their optimum working hours at their own discretion, depending on their job duties and work schedules, realizing a prioritized work style with increased efficiency and productivity.
Company dress guidelines This measure allows individual units to establish their own dress guidelines to reflect industry-related needs and business practices, which vary from organization to organization. The system respects the self-discipline of employees as professionals, improves work productivity and efficiency, and encourages the free flows of ideas.
Mitsui & Co. teleworking This measure makes it possible to work from home during working hours. After carrying out trials over the past two fiscal years, teleworking has been made available to all employees (we have also added the emergency teleworking system).
Partial revision is planned in light of major changes in the environment, especially the relocation to the new Head Office building in May 2020.
This system aims for greater productivity and efficiency of both individuals and organizations by allowing employees to select both "time" and "place" in line with their objectives and to work in a task-oriented way, while retaining the basic approach of face-to-face communication in the office. Given the fact that we relocated to the new Head Office building in May 2020, we are planning to revise this system by keeping our basic approach of carrying out our work at the new Head Office building, which offers various spaces for diverse ways of working, but offering the option of teleworking more flexibly when permitted by the company.

Work–Life Management

Mitsui supports work–life management so that every employee is able to fully meet their life responsibilities while pursuing career development by displaying their potential in the workplace to the fullest. As part of such support, we have introduced various systems that goes beyond statutory requirements to assist our employees in both work and childcare/family care, and other various measures for providing options for realizing better work–life management. These systems and measures are available regardless of gender. Combined with the measures for realizing work–style innovation which apply to all employees, such as the mobile work scheme and the individual-based staggered working hours scheme, these systems and measures have encouraged not only female employees but also male employees to take part in childcare and family care. By introducing these various systems, we are developing an environment in which employees are able to efficiently produce maximum performance, even within a restricted time frame.

Activities to Support Childcare

Measures to Support Childcare

Mitsui has implemented various support systems and measures to enable our employees to achieve the best work–life management between work and childcare at different life stages, such as childbirth and child-rearing, based on their individual approaches and choices.

Systems and Support Measures That Can Be Utilized from Pregnancy through Children's Developmental Stages (Full-time Employees)

Systems and support measures that can be utilized from pregnancy through children's developmental stages (full-time employees)

Pre-Leave Orientation

As part of our efforts to remove concerns about taking maternity leave or childcare leave and support employees taking childcare leave to make a smooth return to the workplace, we launched pre-leave orientations in the fiscal year ended March 2020. The orientation requires the employees take part alongside their line manager, and provides the employee with the opportunity to consider at an earlier stage how to spend their time during the leave, and also how to manage working and childcare after returning to work. Furthermore, it provides the line manager with the opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of the employee and to think about how to build an environment that will support the employee's future career-building and work–life management. This initiative enhances awareness of the individual and deepens understanding in the workplace, and also encourages male employees to take a childcare leave.

Contracted Childcare Facilities

Contracted Childcare Facilities

In addition to partially subsidizing babysitting and extended childcare costs, Mitsui partially covers housekeeping service costs in order to support a flexible childcare system that suits each employee's situation. As part of our efforts to develop support measures that respect each employee's work–life management approach, we have concluded a contract with an external childcare facility located inside the new Head Office building, which opened in May 2020, allowing our employees to use the service on a monthly or temporary basis.

Work–life Management—Childcare Leave for Male Managerial Staff

I took two weeks of childcare leave to support my wife after she gave birth. As well as general housework such as cooking, doing the laundry and cleaning, I took care of changing, feeding, and bathing our newborn. Even before taking the childcare leave, I have been trying to create an environment that would allow the entire organization's performance to be maintained and improved through the use of ICT and other means, to share information and know-how with my team staffs. Taking the childcare leave made me further realize the importance of the need to pay close attention to how individuals work in situations that require diverse and autonomous ways of working.

Nobutaka MochizukiNobutaka Mochizuki
Department GM
Machinery and Infrastructure Legal Dept.,
Legal Div.

Activities to Support Family Care

In addition to developing the family care system, Mitsui has developed various support measures with a focus on providing information about family care and strengthening our consultation systems. We aim to establish the best system for balancing work and family care in accordance with each individual employee's approach to family care and their choices. In addition, we have established "special support leave" as a measure to support balancing work and family care for employees who do not meet the criteria for obtaining family care leave but who have family members with disabilities requiring a certain amount of support.

Systems and Support Measures to Support Work and Family Care (Full-time Employees)

Systems and support measures to support work alongside family care (full-time employees)

Seminars to Support Family Care

We regularly hold family care seminars during lunch breaks for employees to gain information that is necessary for the preparation of or during family care. At the seminars, in addition to cultivating awareness of working alongside family care, we deal with specific topics, including family care insurance systems, family care facilities, and explanations of company systems. In the fiscal year ended March 2020, a total of around 200 employees took part in the seminars. Furthermore, we have established an environment for providing necessary information in a variety of forms, such as posting the "Handbook for Assisting Work alongside Family Care" on the company intranet.

Family Care Consultation Service

As a way of alleviating the concerns and anxiety employees might have in their individual circumstances, we have concluded a contract with an external NPO to provide opportunities for face-to-face individual consultations on family care with family care experts every month, in a meeting room of the Head Office. We have been facilitating teleconferences as well so that employees working at the offices in Japan other than the Head Office and employees overseas can make use of the consultations, and also have set up a system to allow consultations via email or telephone for urgent inquiries. We have also developed an internal consultation system that allows employees to consult directly with the Human Resources & General Affairs Division on such matters as how to use internal systems and support measures and how to realize optimum work–life management.

Recognition from Society for Our Support for Work–Life Management

Policy for Re-employment Due to Spouse's Job Relocation

Out of respect for employees' work–life management approach and their family situations, in 2007 we introduced the re-employment system for employees who had to resign due to the transfer of their spouse in order to help them to respond to the life change. The system offers re-employment opportunities for employees who were forced to resign due to their spouses' job relocation, and many employees have been re-employed using this system. As part of efforts to promote active careers by these employees at Mitsui in the future, the Human Resources & General Affairs Div. provides consultations for the employees before they resign so that they can consider such matters as how to spend their time during their period away from Mitsui and their careers after re-employment.

Re-employment System for Employees Who Had to Resign Due to the Transfer of Their Spouse

Promoting Internal Communication

Diversity Cafe

The 26th session of the Diversity Cafe (June 2019)The 26th session of the Diversity Cafe (June 2019)

Along with changes in the social milieu, such as a greater diversity in people's sense of values, the rising number of dual income households where husbands and wives both hold jobs, and the aging of the population, there has been an increase in the number of employees who seek new kinds of career paths and ways to manage their work and private lives. We started hosting the Diversity Cafe in 2009 as a venue for exchanging information and promoting dialogue beyond barriers of ages and job grades. At the event, participants have the opportunity to share their experiences with one another on topics that interest them, to think together, and to develop new awareness. In the fiscal year ended March 2020, we held the Diversity Cafe a total of four times, including a session for male employees entitled "Food Education for Children and Cooking Lessons" and a session for employees providing family care entitled "How to Successfully Manage Work and Family Care".

Creating Opportunities for Communication

Toward the realization of our goal to "Transform & Grow" set out in the Medium-term Management Plan 2023, we actively provide opportunities for dialogue among employees, and also between management and employees, in order to establish an environment that enables strong individuals to engage in co-creation. We have been holding so-called Active Talk Wednesday (ATW) sessions as employee gatherings on a regular basis, with the aim of stimulating internal communication. In the fiscal year ended March 2020, at the Head Office, three seated-style ATW dinner sessions were hosted with a focus on stimulating communication between the management and employees, and four ATW lunch sessions were held to strengthen networking among employees. In addition, in October 2019, an internal event entitled "Getting to Know Mitsui & Co.—Food", was held, where employees enjoyed casually talking to each other through the introduction of food and drink products handled by Mitsui, and related business schemes. At other offices in Japan, a total of ten ATW dialogue sessions took place, in which employees of affiliated companies also participated.

Furthermore, in the fiscal year ended March 2020, Kurumaza (roundtable meeting), where the President & CEO meets with employees for open discussions, was held on 29 occasions at the Head Office, 5 times at other offices in Japan, and 58 times at overseas offices. By sharing management's thoughts and ideas from a variety of perspectives and bringing together the opinions and thoughts of employees through face-to-face meetings, we endeavor to create an organization with an atmosphere of openness.

As the revitalization of communication is expected more than ever through a variety of new facilities and systems, as well as through our Work-X initiative in the new Head Office building, we will advance various new initiatives aimed at further promoting both internal and external communication in the fiscal year ending March 2021.

Active Talk Lunch (May 2019)Active Talk Lunch (May 2019)
Getting to Know Mitsui & Co. - Food (October 2019)Getting to Know Mitsui & Co. - Food (October 2019)

Joint Efforts with Labor Unions

Basic Policy

We respect the rights to collective bargaining and freedom of association of employees. Mitsui & Co. and the Mitsui Labor Union, which was established in 1962, hold a shared understanding of the societal mission of Mitsui. Both parties respect each other's positions, and work toward the sound development of the company and society and toward the improvement of the social, economic, and cultural status of union members. Accordingly in May 2015, a union shop agreement was concluded. As of March 31, 2020, the number of union members stood at 4,378 (representing an 83.1% participation ratio).

Discussions with the Labor Union

We share various issues with the labor union and actively engage in discussions, with the aim of creating an environment in which every employee can continue working with energy and motivation, and in which both employees and the company achieve continual growth. In the fiscal year ended March 2020, Mitsui engaged in multi-layered discussions with the union on a wide range of topics, including human resource management systems, salaries and bonuses, work–style innovation, training, and occupational health and safety. We introduce those systems and measures on the basis of the labor-management agreement. In determining salaries and bonuses, we comply with the laws and regulations of each country/region where we engage in business, ensure a living wage that exceeds the minimum wage, and promote creation of a good working environment for every employee.

Regarding occupational health and safety, we have revised our targeted overtime hour limit and maximum overtime limit based on special extensions under the Labor Standards Act. In addition, in order to manage overtime work within the targeted overtime limits set by the union and management, we have been working to implement thorough working hours management by sharing data about employees' working hours with union officials. In response to a proposal received from the labor union, during the fiscal year ended March 2020, we held labor-management discussions in relation to the Medium-term Management Plan 2023. We have also held briefings to promote the correct understanding of personnel appraisal systems by those giving and receiving the appraisals, held labor-management discussions to increase the sense of satisfaction with appraisals, and enhanced and reviewed training for newly appointed line managers.

Regarding remuneration, in order to increase the motivation of every employee, enhance a focus on results, and foster a healthy sense of tension, we have revised our remuneration system that ensures appropriate assessments of individuals' displays of skills and levels of contribution to their organization and reflects such assessments in their bonuses.

FY2018 June: Expanded working team-level negotiations (union proposals for training systems)
September: Collective bargaining (introduction of the union's newly appointed executives)
April/November: Working team-level negotiations (discussions about the working environment in the new Head Office building)
FY2019 April: Collective bargaining (salary negotiation for the fiscal year ended March 2019)
June: Expanded working team-level negotiations (revisions to human resource management systems)
December: Collective bargaining (revision of the agreement on overtime and holiday work)
February: Expanded working team-level negotiations (the bonus formula for the fiscal year ended March 2020, and partial revisions to human resource management systems)
FY2020 May: Collective bargaining (human resource-related matters)
September: Collective bargaining (introduction of the union's newly appointed executives), Labor-Management Discussions (appraisals)
January: Labor-Management Discussions (new Medium-term Management Plan)

Dialogue between Management Executives and the Labor Union

We are working to maintain healthy relationships and to deal with various issues through labor-management cooperation. For example, we actively create opportunities within each unit for dialogue with management executives and discussions with the COO and general manager of each unit regarding business overviews and policies, the administration of human resource management systems, and human resource development (in total 19 such meetings were held in the fiscal year ended March 2020).

June 2019 COO of Performance Materials Business Unit, COO of Iron & Steel Products Business Unit, COO of Mobility Business Unit I, COO of Retail Business Unit, COO of IT & Communication Business Unit, COO of Nutrition & Agriculture Business Unit, COO of Corporate Development Business Unit, COO of Food Business Unit, GM of Legal Division, COO of Energy Business Unit I
July 2019 COO of Mobility Business Unit II, GM of CFO Planning & Administrative Division, COO of Healthcare & Service Business Unit, COO of Infrastructure Projects Business Unit, COO of Mineral & Metal Resources Business Unit, COO of Energy Business Unit II, COO of Basic Materials Business Unit, President & CEO