Initiatives to Nurture Human Resources

Human Resource Development

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

The Sumitomo Rubber Group has positioned talent management as a priority measure in terms of the strategic and organizational development of human resources. Accordingly, we have expanded the scope of talent management to include a wider range of human resources.

We have clarified the requirements for human resources in each position and help establish skill enhancement goals for individual employees. In line with these goals, we implement necessary measures, including training programs, personnel transfer and personnel relocation in addition to assigning employees to particular projects and otherwise providing them with opportunities to broaden their range of job experience. By doing so, we promote the development of human resources over the medium to long term. At the same time, we have incorporated career design education into grade-specific training programs to help each employee envision their future careers. Career design education and talent management thus constitute the two key components of our human resource development initiatives. To help employees realize their skill enhancement goals and future career visions, we provide them with abundant opportunities for spontaneous learning, for example, optional skill enhancement training, e-learning and correspondence courses.

A training session held in 2023 for new recruits

Striving for the Entrenchment of “Our Philosophy,” a New Corporate Philosophy Structure

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

Having established “Our Philosophy” in November 2020, we have since engaged in across-the-board efforts to disseminate it among employees.

To this end, we have implemented various measures designed to accommodate differing circumstances at administrative divisions, factory-based technical divisions, overseas bases, domestic affiliates and other worksites, with the aim of nurturing human resources capable of embodying Our Philosophy.

Holding Our Philosophy Seminars

Since fiscal 2021, we have hosted annual online seminars for employees ranging from staff members and managers at administrative and development divisions to factory employees (foremen or higher positions). These seminars involve workshops focused on encouraging participants to think for themselves to help them develop a sense of ownership regarding Our Philosophy and practice it. We also host seminars for technicians at domestic factories on a face-to-face basis as well as workshops for employees at domestic affiliates in a phased manner.

Our Philosophy Entrenchment Survey

Once a year, we conduct an Our Philosophy Entrenchment Survey to gauge the degree of Our Philosophy’s entrenchment among the workforce.

Activities to Disseminate “Our Philosophy” via Web-Based In-House Newsletters

We also utilize web-based in-house newsletters. These newsletters feature interviews with officers and plant managers while showcasing “Our Philosophy” dissemination activities undertaken by each department. Furthermore, we internally disclose the results of the entrenchment survey to raise awareness among employees.

Enhancing Our Organizational Culture

Since 2019, we have striven to enhance our organizational culture by promoting a project that implements four essential policies, namely, “developing an environment supportive of those who take on challenges,” “creating an open-minded workplace free of boundaries between departments and grades,” “enabling each individual to exercise leadership” and “pursuing highly productive operations aligned with Groupwide strategies.”

We also strive to periodically assess the status of our entire organization by, for example, conducting Organizational Health Surveys. In these ways, we implement various measures to transform our organizational culture.

Measures to Facilitate Autonomous Career Development—Career Development Training and Career Consulting

Since 2016, we have implemented initiatives aimed at encouraging young employees to proactively develop their career visions and take on the challenge of realizing said visions. In 2020, we launched a Career Matching System that allows employees to register their desired career paths as well as an Open Calls for Project Participants System that allows employees to join other departments on a project basis. Through these measures, we support those who strive to realize their career visions and take on challenges to this end.

Looking ahead, we will provide middle-aged or older employees with career development training while enhancing the content of career counseling offered by professional career consultants. We will thus introduce a robust framework for supporting lifelong autonomous career development, with the aim of simultaneously realizing employee happiness and corporate growth.

Nurturing Leaders and Top Management Members of the Next Generation

Each year, we provide 360-degree feedback sessions and seminars to all employees in assistant manager or higher positions, including officers, to help them objectively reflect on their leadership styles. Furthermore, every officer is given executive coaching to enhance their ability to exercise leadership as senior executives.

In addition, the scope of employees eligible for leadership development training has now been expanded to include employees below assistant manager positions. As such, we provide each employee with opportunities to learn about leadership regardless of their year of service or position.

Developing Human Resources Capable of Manufacturing

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

In line with a policy of constantly upgrading the front lines of operations and realizing a sustainable mode of manufacturing, Sumitomo Rubber Industries is focused on educating employees tasked with actual manufacturing operations.

We place particular emphasis on helping these employees enhance their techniques and skills through a curriculum designed to provide hands-on training and enable them to achieve robust outputs or otherwise contribute to upholding our strong track record on the front lines of manufacturing.

Nurturing Young Employees and Mid-Level Employees

At the Sumitomo Rubber Group, employees are not expected to merely complete the tasks they are assigned but also to be always mindful of achieving some degree of improvement. Therefore, we provide individuals in this employee group with on-the-job training (OJT) aimed at helping them acquire a broader range of skills for operations even as they pursue personal growth and a sense of job fulfillment by making constant improvement. To facilitate improvement, they are encouraged to be sensitive and open in order to detect any issues and thereby identify challenges confronting their workplaces to proactively implement team activities aimed at correcting the current situation and achieve more robust results.

Nurturing Managers and Supervisors

We educate individuals in this employee group on safety, quality, production, facilities, cost awareness, labor issues and the environment, all of which are major on-site management items, through both classroom lectures and hands-on training. We also implement management skill education focused on instilling communication and leadership capabilities as these are deeply relevant to workplace management. Furthermore, we provide selected candidates with special education to secure future senior managers. Through these initiatives, we strive to enable employees to raise their capabilities to identify and resolve problems while helping them envision ideals for their workplaces and gain executional skills. By doing so, we nurture human resources capable of taking the lead in the enhancement of on-site capabilities.

Skill Olympics

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

We have been holding the biannual “Skill Olympics” since 2009 with the objective of passing down technical heritage to young employees and motivating them to attain an even higher technical standard. This event brings together selected young technicians, including those in charge of manufacturing, facility engineering and production line maintenance from factories at home and abroad so that they pit their techniques against their peers. To date, the Skill Olympics has greatly contributed to the enhancement of techniques used by employees at 12 factories around the globe, helping to ensure their technical heritage is stably passed down to younger generations. In recent years, we have also seen technicians from overseas factories win the championship. This suggests that the event resulted in improvement in technical standards held by Group employees on a global basis while giving them extra motivation.

Human Resource Development Initiatives Undertaken by Overseas Bases

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

The Sumitomo Rubber Group now maintains a number of bases across the world. With this in mind, we are strengthening human resource development efforts overseas, aiming to ensure identical product quality irrespective of the factory in which manufacturing takes place, so that all employees are able to grow and to feel job satisfaction.

In recent years, we have not only provided overseas employees with instructions and support offered by Head Office in Japan but also striven to implement even more robust human resource development measures aligned with the business characteristics and needs of local workforces.

A training session held in 2019 for new recruits (Changshu Factory, China)

Initiatives to Nurture Local Employees Capable of Passing Down On-Site Techniques Independently

As we aim to ensure identical product quality irrespective of the factory in which manufacturing takes place, we are also focused on enhancing the content of quality control education based on “Our Philosophy.” Specifically, our factories implement grade-specific training for employees in key on-site positions, such as chargehands and foremen, while each base nurtures internal auditors and provides quality control education in accordance with various international standards. Furthermore, in order to promote the measures described above, we deem it essential to train Japanese employees stationed at overseas bases and provide support for human resource development. We will continue to focus on nurturing and training managers and supervisors at factories overseas as well as Japanese employees who provide support to these bases and other expatriates operating in countries abroad, with the aim of ensuring that our technical heritage is passed down to younger generations on a global basis.

Initiatives Related to Global Education

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

In response to the progressing globalization of our business operations, we proactively provide employees with education aimed at enhancing their English proficiency and helping them understand different cultures.

For new recruits, we provide training designed to instill a globalized mindset, including having them attend a series of lectures in English over several days upon joining the workforce. By doing so, we help them gain a deeper understanding of their peers around the globe while stimulating their motivation to study English. We also provide employees about to depart on overseas assignment with training focused on multi-cultural communications as part of initiatives to nurture globally capable human resources.

Furthermore, employees in general are given access to online English lessons. As such, we assist employees in their ongoing efforts to improve their linguistic capabilities.

In-house English language lecturers