Human Resources Management
Human Resources Development and Allocation
Recruitment of Human Resources
Mitsui & Co. is committed to fair recruitment practices. We select individuals on the basis of their abilities and personal qualities. For example, we offer people to apply globally for positions without regard to nationality, gender, age, or other attributes, such as the universities from which they graduated. Our selection processes, including entry sheets and interviews, include no questions that are irrelevant to applicants' abilities or suitability, such as religion or registered place of domicile. Furthermore, staff who conduct interviews receive training to ensure fair employment screening processes for applicants. We accept applications both from new graduates and mid-career applicants, regardless of their previous work experience.
Specific Policies on Employment Screening and Job Advertisements
Since the fiscal year ended March 2018, Mitsui has run a two-day recruitment camp to ensure that selections are based on a proper understanding of the company and its business operations. Seven people were selected under this system in the fiscal year ended March 2018, and in the fiscal year ended March 2019 the number was increased to 17, and to 22 in 2020. The system gives applicants opportunities to gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of Mitsui's business, and enables them to gain a clear understanding of the company through communication with employees. It also allows us to make decisions based on a better recognition of each individual's abilities and personal qualities, so that we can assign them to appropriate positions after they join the company.
In addition, we have been providing a wide range of application opportunities as part of our efforts to recruit diverse individuals capable of working successfully in a global arena. We hold corporate information sessions and selection screening programs in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and France, as well as web seminars so that people throughout the world can learn about our business and company system. We also actively recruit mid-career workers and recruit about 50 people in this category each year, which is equivalent to about 25% of total appointments. Various methods, such as round-table meetings with employees, are used to give applicants pportunities to learn more about our business operations.
Moreover, we actively disseminate group recruitment information with the aim of attracting talented people to work for the Mitsui & Co. group by holding joint corporate information sessions with group companies, and through other means.
Career Education Programs
Mitsui offers various career education programs designed to foster career awareness in students and provide work experience opportunities. A particular priority in this category is internship. We accepted 110 interns in the fiscal year ended March 2017, 311 in 2018, and 190 in 2019. (The internship program was postponed due to COVID-19 in 2020.) In the fiscal year ended March 2019, we launched a three-day residential program and a one-day session, through which participants were able to engage in various activities with employees, including collaboratively creating proposals on new projects.
Throughout the year, we hold "Challenge and Innovation Experience" seminars. There are several versions of these seminars covering different aspects of our work, such as business investment, trading, and overseas infrastructure projects. We held 27 seminars in various parts of Japan in the fiscal year ended March 2018, 49 in the fiscal year ended March 2019, and 64 in the fiscal year ended March 2020.
Human Resources Development
Our Approach to Human Resources Development
The main source of competitiveness for the Mitsui & Co. global group is its human resources. The Mitsui & Co. global group respects diverse individuality and aims to foster human resources that will create new value and take on a central role in global group management.
Throughout its long tradition, Mitsui & Co. has always focused on human resources. Our approach to human resources development is represented in the company's saying, "The individual builds the business, and the business cultivates the individual." As the words signify, the company's priority mission is to develop strong individuals who can create new value through business activities based on their expertise and broad knowledge. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to say that this is the company's ultimate raison d'etre. For this reason, we regard on-the-job training (OJT) as the cornerstone of human resources development. We also implement comprehensive off-the-job-training programs in various forms to support and supplement human resources development through OJT. Furthermore, by offering the combination of on-site training, online training, and e-learning, we pursue an optimal training system that is less restricted by time and location.
Human Resources Development Programs
Grade-Based Training and Business Skills Training
To achieve the goal of fostering growth in human resources capable of driving "Transform & Grow" and taking on a central role in global group management, we have designated necessary qualifications and roles by job grade, from new employees to management-level employees, and have been implementing a wide variety of human resources development programs, including grade-based training programs, optional programs, and programs for selected individuals.
Human Resources Development Program (Abridged Edition)
Global Training Programs
The Mitsui & Co. global group has numerous global training programs that are designed to enable employees to manage business on a global basis.
At the Mitsui Head Office, we offer the Overseas Developmental Dispatch Program for Young Employees, which includes the Foreign Language & Business Culture Trainee program (FLBCT) for developing regional specialists by learning about local societies, cultures, and languages completely away from work for a year, and the Overseas Trainee Program (OTP) designed to enhance expertise. We also provide the Business School Program for mid-level employees, and the Administrative Staff Overseas Training Program.
In addition, with the aim of fostering leaders who will take on a central role in next-generation global business management, we launched a unique program called the Harvard Business School Global Management Academy Program (GMA) in 2011, in partnership with Harvard Business School. Through its hands-on, case study-oriented lectures, diverse participants, which include not only Mitsui & Co. global group employees but also employees of our overseas business partners, learn about leadership and innovation by competing with and helping each other to improve.
For management-level employees, we also offer Executive Education, which is a short-term business school program conducted at first-class business schools in Europe and the U.S.
Number of Participants in the Global Training Programs (in the Fiscal Year Ended March 2020) 159 Trainees in 32 Countries
Human Resources Training Programs in Japan and the Number of Participants/Dispatched Employees
Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.
|Category||Training Programs||Outline||Number of participants FY2020|
|Grade-based Training Programs||Management Training Program, New Line Manager Program, Leadership Program, Administrative Staff Training, Female Business Staff Program, New Hire Induction Training, Mid-career Hire Induction Training||The aim of these programs is to foster human resources capable of global group management. Participants acquire knowledge that includes our management philosophy, business skills, and business mindset||1,349|
|Bussan Academy Program||Marketing, Management Strategy, Finance, Logical Thinking, Mindset, Communication, Organizational Behaviors and Leadership||Professional training programs with the aim of increasing participants' specialist knowledge in various fields||1,480|
|Objective-based Programs for Senior Employees||Career Design Program, Retirement Life Plan Program||Training programs for senior employees, which are designed to support them in autonomously devising the direction of their career and to adapt to the change of environment and their roles||457|
|Grade or Objective-based Training Programs||Project Manager Development Program, Inter-industry Exchange Training Programs, MOC (Mitsui Open College), GM One-on-One Training at Head Office and offices in Japan||Programs aimed at acquiring specific skills and mindsets, expanding horizons through interactions with other industries, and building personal connections||2,616|
Development of Human Resources Capable of Global Group Management
We focus on the development of human resources capable of taking responsibility for global group management, which is a key pillar of Mitsui's consolidated management.
In order to provide support for human resources development at each group company in Japan, and to build human networks, we provide grade-based training through such courses as the General Manager Training Program, Department Manager Training Program, and New Hire Induction Training Program, as well as optional training programs, such as the Bussan Academy programs.
In addition to the various training programs held at overseas offices, we offer employees of our overseas subsidiaries well-developed programs of both short-term and medium- to long-term training at the Mitsui Head Office. Short-term programs include the JTP (Japan Trainee Program), which is offered in the first few years after joining the company, and GMP (Global Managers Program), which is an optional training focused on leadership for employees in management positions. Medium- to long-term programs are held for a period of one to three years, and include the LBP (Japan Language and Business Program), which provides Japanese language lessons and practical business training, and the BIP (Business Integration Program), which provides practical business training.
Furthermore, we launched the Change Leader Program (CLP) to identify talented staff on a global basis and develop them into leaders who will actively take on challenges and lead the realization of innovations.
Mitsui and its group companies encourage employees to take on new challenges, help them enhance their individual capabilities, and inspire them to work with a high level of motivation and enthusiasm, through personnel appraisals. The objectives of conducting the appraisal process are not limited to enhancing employee understanding of Mitsui's management philosophy, or to providing input for setting compensation or assigning new positions, but also include promoting talent development through the appraisal process. Appraisal meetings, such as one-on-one meetings, are held periodically between employees and their managers, and employees receive comprehensive feedback on their performance and specific contributions. These meetings create an effective framework for human resources/personal ability development.
The appraisal system for staff hired in Japan consists of two types of appraisal criteria: "Individual Competency Appraisal," and "Contribution Appraisal." For the "Individual Competency Appraisal," an appraiser performs a comparative assessment of the competency of an employee in relation to other employees in the same appraisal group; this appraisal is used for and reflected in decisions regarding employee promotion, job assignments, salary, and so on, in accordance with the cumulative points in the employee's individual competency appraisals over the most recent three years. Having cumulative points from appraisals for three years, rather than a single-year appraisal result, avoids a one-time effect and enables appropriate appraisals as to how an employee has been developing during the three-year period, and for considering promotions. For the "Contribution Appraisal," setting out appropriate targets is the premise for an appropriate appraisal. As such, employees and their managers must engage in in-depth discussions in order to share a common understanding of the established targets, so that the targets will be challenging and acceptable to both parties. An appraiser assesses the value added to, and the degree of contribution made to the company by an employee, as well as the degree to which the employee has taken on challenges to achieve a target. We also have a mechanism whereby the results of these appraisals are linked to the performance of the company, and reflected in the bonus. In the fiscal year ended March 2019, we revised these appraisal systems. We have incorporated a mechanism to allow both promotion and demotion in order to facilitate the early promotion of employees who produce outstanding results and demonstrate strong capabilities, and to give them roles with greater responsibility, while also carrying out finely-tuned assessments with the aim of fostering a healthy sense of urgency. Furthermore, we have introduced the President's bonus to reward employees who make a noteworthy contribution to or who produce outstanding results toward strengthening Mitsui's earnings base, or who take on difficult challenges aspiring to new heights.
Interactive Communications between Line Managers and Team Staff
In order to realize more highly motivated workplaces through support for cultivating a strong relationship of trust among employees and for improving their performance, we encourage one-on-one meetings between line managers and their team staff at least once a month. We have launched the One-on-One Program for departmental GMs in the Head Office and offices in Japan to help them with these one-on-one meetings. Through this program, GMs can secure time to regularly communicate with their team staffs, which increases communication time and enhances the quality of communication. As a result, GMs participating in this program gain a deeper understanding of their team staffs. As a measure for supporting staff to grow into strong individuals, about 90% of the departmental GM participants gave positive feedback.
Mitsui Management Review (MMR)
In the fiscal year ended March 2006, we introduced the Mitsui Management Review (MMR) for line managers responsible for handling global consolidated management in Japan and overseas, as well as at affiliated companies, as an opportunity for them to gain insights by reflecting on their own management and leadership capabilities. Members of the organization working under each manager rate him or her, providing an opportunity for the manager to reflect on his or her own performance based on the results, and to implement management style improvements. In recent years, the MMR is carried out once every two years, and in the fiscal year ended March 2019, the program was held for 1,176 managers. In addition, workplace meetings are held to give direct feedback to members of the organizations about the insights. By sharing the views of both managers and their team staffs, it helps to clarify the challenges they need to tackle in the workplace. As such, the MMR is leading toward the creation of more open and communicative workplaces where discussions contributing to the improvement of management are actively carried out, and the enhancement of bidirectional communication between line managers and team staffs.
On the other hand, in the past 15 years since the launch of this program, required conduct, capabilities, and qualifications for managers and leaders have changed. For example, they now need to manage more diverse and competent human resources, and cope with changing work environments. Organizational management capabilities required of line managers are also becoming more and more sophisticated. As such, proper evaluation of leader adequacy and stepped-up efforts to foster talented leaders are becoming important challenges more than ever. In order to be adaptive to various challenges, we are considering revising the MMR. The plan is to include line manager candidates to its participants, and use the results of the new MMR program as a reference when promoting them to line managers. Also, by including line managers and colleagues to those who provide objective perspectives in evaluations, the MMR can have multi-layered, 360° viewpoints, which result in upgrading the evaluation approach to be more transparent, objective, and convincing. Through such operational improvements among others, we will enhance our human resource development.
Mitsui has been maintaining employee dormitories for many years. Not just to offer secure, comfortable living environments to young employees, we also hope to achieve various synergies through having employees live together.
When dormitory residents learn from their seniors/juniors and colleagues, and compete with each other, autonomous growth is encouraged. We believe that personal networks beyond organizational boundaries built at dormitories and a sense of community, as well as everyday life itself at dormitories, will become invaluable assets for their future, and we encourage new graduates hired by the company, in particular, to make use of our dormitories.
At present, almost 360 employees, mostly young employees who have been with Mitsui for up to three years, reside in four dormitories located in the suburbs of Tokyo. Inter-dormitory sports competitions and other events as well as everyday life at each dormitory help to deepen communication among employees along vertical, horizontal, and diagonal axes.
Because dormitory residents include regionally hired staff who stay in Japan for long periods to participate in training programs at the Tokyo Head Office, the dormitories are also widely used for global networking among employees.
Appropriate Appointment and Allocation of Personnel
Policy of Placing the Right People in the Right Positions
People are the most important assets for the Mitsui & Co. global group. We aim to create a cycle in which our human resources can grow through opportunities to have diverse experiences, while deepening their human networks, thereby creating opportunities for even better experiences.
Deployment of Talent and Human Resource Mobilization
In order to maximize the potential of our diverse, talented professionals and organizational competitiveness, we focus on placing the right people in the right positions.
Every year, employees are given the opportunity to have dialogue with their line managers on the basis of the prescribed career development survey. Based on the individual employee's characteristics, expertise, operational capabilities, areas of specialty, and experience, we formulate a plan for the development and utilization of our human resources and implement appropriate and optimized personnel assignments. Also, in order for our valuable human resources to fully exert their individual capabilities, we have introduced the following human resource mobilization measures, which facilitate assignments beyond organizational boundaries.
Strategic Allocation of Human Resources
Human resources are vital but finite management resources. Taking into account the external environment and the balance between our business portfolios and profits, we agilely transfer and position our human resources to growth domains that we have defined as targets under our management policies. We are continually implementing human resource allocation measures such as the ones listed below to accelerate our business offensives, which has resulted in the promotion of business by diverse, talented professionals.
Through the fiscal years ended March 2016 and 2020, we allocated 36 people from resource business into non-resource growth business, such as healthcare and nutrition & agriculture. During the fiscal years ended March 2018 and 2020, we have embodied our policy of growth-driven shift by transferring 107 people from corporate units to the frontlines of business, with the aim of streamlining corporate units and strengthening business frontline units.
From the fiscal year ending March 2021 and onward, we plan to further accelerate personnel transfers to priority areas with our policy of "placing the right people in the right positions" in mind.
Human Resources Bulletin Board System
This system encourages employees to take up the challenge of assignments of their choice that are beyond interorganizational boundaries. We have introduced this system to facilitate the autonomous career formation of employees and realize our policy of "placing the right people in the right positions" by matching human resource needs across business domains. If an employee wants to use his or her capabilities, skills and specialist knowledge in a business area other than the one to which he or she is currently assigned, and if it is judged that the transfer would be beneficial for both the employee concerned and the company, and would enhance the competitiveness of our human resources and organization, then a transfer will be implemented. In the fiscal year ended March 2020, 31 employees were transferred under this system, which gave a cumulative total of 439 employees transferred since the commencement of this system in the fiscal year ended March 2000.