Yuko Nagashima General Affairs Group, Tatebayashi Plant DIC Corporation
“As a general affairs professional, I try to help keep everything running smoothly for all plant employees.”
Through her work in the General Affairs Group, Yuko Nagashima endeavors to create a positive work environment at the Tatebayashi Plant. She works to address issues both inside and outside the facility to ensure the comfort of plant employees both when they are working and during breaks. “I look after a variety of tasks,” she explains, “from handling the mail to inspecting fire extinguishers, with the goal of helping ensure safe and comfortable spaces for everyone.”
Ms. Nagashima and her General Affairs Group colleagues also work to provide support to ensure that all employees can work with confidence. As someone who has a disability herself, she also looks to obtain certification as a vocational consultant for disabled individuals. Ms. Nagashima is vital to the Tatebayashi Plant and to the DIC Group as a whole, which aims to be an organization that attracts diverse individuals and empowers all employees to reach their full potential.
“I want to help ensure this is a warm, inviting workplace.”
Ms. Nagashima has aphasia. Her workplace has taken a range of steps to accommodate her disability so that[ it] is not an impediment to her work. “For us, it’s natural to help each other out,” comments Hiroyuki Nagayasu, her supervisor. “It has nothing to do with whether someone has a disability.”
Ms. Nagashima says that, “For me, this is an easy place to work. Everyone is always very helpful, so I want to return the favor by helping ensure it is a warm, inviting workplace for others as well.”
“My dream was to have a job that allowed me to work with confidence.”
Ms. Nagashima suffered a stroke in the winter of 2016. She recovered, but unfortunately lost her job. “I had to find a new job as soon as possible,” she says. “It was hard to find a place that would enable me to work with confidence, but I didn’t want to give up on my dream of a job in which I could to fully exercise my capabilities. That’s when I learned about DIC.”
“In this job, I have responsibilities that only I can handle,” she continues. “I am also empowered to take on new challenges.” “She is talented and a quick study,” says her colleague, Tsutomu Kobori. “She picks things up very quickly.” Mr. Nagayasu concurs, “I want her to take on whatever challenges interest her, and will provide whatever support is needed so that she can grow at her own pace.”
“It’s always lovely when someone says ‘thank you.’”
The General Affairs Group is commonly the first port of call for employees seeking advice. “I try to make it easier for people who come to me with inquiries by smiling and hearing them out,” says Ms. Nagashima. The kaizen sheets she prepares reflect the compassion she feels for her colleagues.
While her work is largely directed toward ensuring a comfortable, positive work environment, given the behind-the-scenes nature of the General Affairs Group it is natural that her efforts fly under the radar. “That said,” she notes, “someone once thanked me personally for fixing a sticky locker room door. I don’t seek acknowledgement, of course, but it’s always really lovely when someone says ‘thank you.’”
“If I had to use a color to describe how I see my role, it would be beige!”
“I see myself as something like beige—unassuming but nonetheless useful,” says Ms. Nagashima, choosing the color “Walnut” in the DIC Color Guide to describe her role. “I love Walnut because it’s not flashy. It’s warm and goes well with other colors.” She continues, “My disability means there are some things I’m not great at, but I always do my best at whatever I take on.” Her goal is to manage a wide range of tasks by herself in the future, the same as the senior colleagues who have supported her to date. She concludes by reiterating her sincere commitment to fulfilling her current responsibilities while at the same time taking on new challenges.
What sort of a place is the Tatebayashi Plant?
The Tatebayashi Plant commenced operations in 1993 as the prime production site for DIC’s plastic colorants business. Today, the facility focuses on manufacturing functional compounds, which provide high added value to plastics, as well as plastic molded products such as containers and helmets.
The plant factors safety and the environment into everything it does, including a variety of new initiatives. It has also recently begun using drones to take publicity photos with a view to eventual deployment in maintenance and inspections for buildings and solar panels. DIC has installed a megasolar power system on the site that currently accounts for approximately 20% of power used by the plant, helping reduce its annual emissions of carbon dioxide(CO2).
We are a small facility, with a staff of just under 80 people including administrative personnel. We have a positive, open work environment thanks to upbeat, sociable employees like Ms. Nagashima, and we work hard to maintain a warm, caring atmosphere.