Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives
Foster and endorse the advancement of local staff overseas with the aim of advancing global management.
|Goals for fiscal year 2020||
|Achievements in fiscal year 2020||
|Goals for fiscal year 2021||
|Goals for fiscal year 2020||
|Achievements in fiscal year 2020||
|Goals for fiscal year 2021||Consider building a framework for optimizing the allocation of executives with a view to shifting to a global management system.|
|Goals for fiscal year 2020||
|Achievements in fiscal year 2020||Two individuals participated in the GCD Program or practical training.|
|Goals for fiscal year 2021||Increase the number of individuals par ticipating in the GCD Program or practical training to 10.|
Encourage women in the workplace with the aim of securing a diverse labor force and supporting diverse work styles.
|Goals for fiscal year 2020||
|Achievements in fiscal year 2020||
|Goals for fiscal year 2021||
Promote the hiring of individuals with disabilities with the aim of securing a diverse labor force and supporting diverse work styles.
|Goals for fiscal year 2020||
|Achievements in fiscal year 2020||
|Goals for fiscal year 2021||
Enhance labor productivity by promoting various measures to provide support for the physical and mental health of employees and the creation of comfortable workplaces.
|Goals for fiscal year 2020||
|Achievements in fiscal year 2020||
|Goals for fiscal year 2021||
- Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress.
Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work
Basic Approach to Human Resources Management
With the aim of being an organization that empowers all employees to reach their full potential, the DIC Group is committed to respecting human rights and eliminating all forms of discrimination and to creating a work environment that embraces diversity. The Group also strives to support a healthy work–life balance for each employee and create a work environment conducive to job satisfaction, as well as to foster human resources in markets around the world, which it recognizes as essential to ensuring sustainable corporate growth under its current medium-term management plan.
Strategies for a Stronger Management Infrastructure
In line with The DIC WAY, which represents its fundamental management policy, the DIC Group has established a global human resources management framework under which Group companies in Japan, the PRC and the Asia–Pacific region are overseen by DIC, while those in North America, Europe, Central and South America, and Africa are overseen by Sun Chemical of the United States. The DIC111 medium-term management plan, which was introduced in February 2019, sets forth a strategy dubbed WING that is designed to rally the Group’s diverse human resources as a source of its competitiveness as a global organization. WING centers on four core themes, summarized as “work style reform,” “HR infrastructure reform,” “next management selection” and “global talent development.”
Progress in Fiscal Year 2019
Work style reform
- Introduced leave for employees to accompany spouses overseas and short-term paid leave programs and implemented initiatives to promote telework system and awareness of flexible working options
HR infrastructure reform
- Built human resources database for management-level and higher employees in Japan, the PRC and the Asia–Pacific region
- Created global unified assessment system for employees in key positions
Next management selection
- Reinforced approach to selecting new management candidates by enhancing training for such candidates and expanded scope of human resources assessments
Global talent development
- Augmented existing development programs for global human resources by considering a method of assessing language ability, including conversational prowess
Respect for Human Rights
The DIC Group actively supports global codes governing human rights*1, in line with which in fiscal year 2018 it formulated the DIC Group Human Rights Policy and began promoting related initiatives. The DIC Group Code of Business Conduct, which outlines standards that DIC Group employees are expected to observe, lays down provisions prohibiting human rights violations and requiring respect for diversity, two philosophies that are the foundation of the Group’s corporate activities. DIC Group employees are obliged to understand and provide written pledges to abide by the code.
In fiscal year 2010, DIC became a signatory to the UNGC, pledging its support for the Ten Principles of the UNGC, which includes tenets regarding human rights and labor. The Company continues to implement related initiatives in all areas of its corporate activities to reinforce respect for human rights in the human resources management practices of all Group companies and prevent the occurrence of violations.
In response to the Modern Slavery Act 2015*2, DIC is reinforcing training regarding human rights due diligence*3, cognizant of the issue of human trafficking and the risks it poses to companies with operations in the United Kingdom. The Company also promotes awareness among DIC Group company executives and enhances corporate headquarters’ inspection and monitoring structure as part of an ongoing effort to bolster Group management capabilities.
- The International Bill of Human Rights, comprising the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights (the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights); the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles of Rights at Work; the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; and the Ten Principles of the UNGC.
- Under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, companies with operations in the United Kingdom must report on the existence/nonexistence of slavery, human trafficking or other critical violations of human rights in their supply chains, related risks and steps they are taking to address such practices. “Modern slavery” encompasses debt bondage, forced labor and servitude; human trafficking; and exploitation (including sexual exploitation and forced organ donation).
- Human rights due diligence is an ongoing risk management process that a company needs to follow in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how it addresses its adverse human rights impacts.
Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2020
A total of 58 DIC Group companies in Japan and overseas implement voluntary human rights and labor practices inspections. In fiscal year 2020, initiatives focused on promoting awareness of the DIC Group Human Rights Policy across the Group, as well as analyzing and verifying the results of voluntary inspections carried out in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, conducting supplementary surveys in priority areas, providing guidance as necessary on surveys methods and improvements, and promoting efforts to raise awareness. In fiscal year 2020, the Group conducted human rights due diligence at three Group companies in Indonesia. This confirmed the absence of issues and enabled the Group to provide guidance on points to consider in order to curb the manifestation of risks.
The DIC Group Human Rights Policy
As a member of society that recognizes the importance of respect for human rights and respects the basic human rights of all stakeholders, including its customers, suppliers and employees, the DIC Group is currently formulating a human rights policy, a draft of which is provided below. Based on this policy, DIC will work to increase the human rights awareness of its executives and employees and to conduct its business activities in a manner that shows respect for human rights.
This policy, which is in accordance with global human rights codes, articulates DIC’s fundamental stance on respect for human rights.
Scope of application
This policy applies to all executives and employees of the DIC Group. The Company shall also encourage its business partners and suppliers to adhere to this policy and cooperate with them to advance respect for human rights.
Responsibility to respect human rights
The Company shall strive to fulfill its responsibility to respect human rights by ensuring that its business activities do not result in violations of the human rights of stakeholders, as well as by preventing human rights abuses in the course of its business. In the event that its business partners or suppliers cause adverse human rights impacts through their businesses, products and services, the Company—while not directly complicit—shall use its influence to encourage the responsible parties to cease the practices responsible for such impacts.
Human rights due diligence
To fulfill its responsibility in regard to respect for human rights, the Company has created a human rights due diligence system, which it shall employ on an ongoing basis to identify and address human rights risks.
Should the Company cause adverse human rights impacts or should it become evident that it has been complicit in causing such impacts, the Company shall take appropriate corrective/remedial actions in response.
Compliance with applicable laws
The Company shall comply with applicable laws in the countries and territories in which it operates. The Company shall also respect international human rights principles and work actively to promote these principles.
Disclosure and education/training
The Company shall periodically report publicly on the progress of initiatives implemented in line with this policy. To ensure the effectiveness of this policy, the Company shall also provide appropriate training to its executives and employees.
Dialogue and discussion
The Company shall engage with stakeholders regarding initiatives implemented in line with this policy by creating opportunities for dialogue and promoting discussion in good faith.
Identifying principal human rights challenges
The Company has separately identified principal human rights challenges. In line with this policy, the Company shall use due diligence as appropriate. Recognizing this as an ongoing process, the Company shall also continue to revise and amend these challenges to reflect social change, business trends and other factors.
Principal Human Rights Challenges Facing the DIC Group
Based on key global standards regarding human rights, the DIC Group has identified the following as the principal human rights challenges it faces and promotes appropriate due diligence in accordance with its human rights policy. The Group will review these challenges on a regular basis, taking into consideration factors such as social change and business trends.
The DIC Group prohibits all types of discrimination, harassment and other practices that undermine the dignity of any individual.
Prevent child labor and forced labor
The DIC Group prohibits the use of child labor, forced labor, slave labor and labor resulting from any form of human trafficking.
Respect basic labor rights
The DIC Group respects basic labor rights, including freedom of association and employees’ rights to organize and to engage in collective bargaining.
Address the issue of conflict minerals
The DIC Group prohibits the use of conflict minerals. Should any raw materials purchased from third-party suppliers be found to contain conflict minerals, the Group will respond by, among others, immediately terminating the procurement thereof.
The DIC Group’s Human Rights Due Diligence System
The DIC Group has created a human rights due diligence system, which it employs on an ongoing basis.
Due Diligence Initiatives to Address Principal Human Rights Challenges
Promotion of supply chain due diligence by the Purchasing Department
To ensure that its extended supply chain functions in a socially responsible manner, the Company established the DIC Group Universal Purchasing Policy in 2008, based on which it also formulated purchasing management regulations, and the DIC Group CSR Procurement Guidelines—later renamed the DIC Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines—which clarify issues it expects suppliers to address, in 2009. Using the policy and guidelines, the Company promotes sustainable procurement by ensuring that all suppliers implement improvements and initiatives necessary to ensure sustainable procurement, as well as advances respect for human rights and takes comprehensive steps to address human rights risks such as conflict minerals, across its supply chain.
Initiatives to help realize a sound, viable mica mining industry in India
Mica has a broad range of industrial applications, including coatings, cosmetics, electronics materials and cutting fluids and is mined around the world. The use of child labor in the mining of mica in India, a leading producer, has been identified as a critical issue for users.
DIC Group company Sun Chemical, which oversees the Group’s printing inks, resins and pigments for cosmetics operations in the Americas and Europe, is a founding member of the Responsible Mica Initiative, a unique global collaboration established in February 2017 to eradicate child labor in the mica mines of India. Through participation in this initiative, materials producers and cosmetics companies around the world are working to contribute to the realization of a sound, viable mica mining industry.
Establishment of whistle-blowing hotlines and corrective measures by the compliance team
The Company’s compliance team has created a channel for Group employees to report to whistle-blowing hotlines. In fiscal year 2019, the Company received 17 human rights–related reports through this system. However, internal investigations revealed no serious violations. Appropriate corrective measures were implemented in the receipt of reports.
Contact procedures and responses to comments and complaints
The Company has established procedures for suppliers, customers, local communities and other stakeholders to report issues by telephone or through its corporate website and strives to respond swiftly when comments or complaints are received. No complaints pertaining to human rights issues were received in fiscal year 2019.
Building Trust with the DIC Employees’ Union
DIC’s management and representatives of its employees’ union meet regularly with the goal of ensuring healthy industrial relations based on mutual trust. In addition, through labor–management councils and casual management conferences, DIC shares management information and its vision for the future with union representatives and encourages the frank exchange of opinions. A total of 72.0% of parent company employees belong to the DIC Employees’ Union (99.3% of eligible employees).
Diversity Promotion and Work Style Reform
The DIC Group actively pursues diversity by employing a broad spectrum of individuals without regard to such considerations as gender, nationality, physical limitation or age. The Group works to foster a corporate culture that draws on its understanding and respect for diversity to produce creative ideas and to incorporate the concept of diversity into management, thereby creating workplaces that enhance job satisfaction for employees. The Group’s president and CEO has said, “It is important to recognize that marshaling the diversity of the individuals that make up our labor force will enable us to respond to social imperatives or even to change DIC itself.” To this end, DIC has identified introducing alternative working arrangements that leverage digital tools, including telework and flextime; shifting the focus of evaluations from quantity to quality; and providing support for employees who have childcare or nursing care responsibilities or suffer illness as the key themes of the human rights strategy set forth in its DIC111 medium-term management plan. DIC is also promoting ESG management to strengthen its management infrastructure, with initiatives in Japan emphasizing increasing the percentage of the Company’s management positions occupied by female employees, the percentage of its overall labor force accounted for by foreign nationals, and the number of female employees and foreign nationals on its management team.
01Hiring Diverse Human Resources
With the objective of securing talented individuals with advanced specialized capabilities, global perspectives and language capabilities, DIC actively promotes the hiring of international students completing undergraduate or graduate studies at Japanese universities; Japanese and foreign nationals completing undergraduate or graduate studies at overseas universities; and experienced mid-career candidates with extensive experience and expertise. At present, approximately 50 foreign nationals are employed in various capacities at DIC.
DIC is a company that evolves constantly to respond to the needs of the times.
DIC is a company that is bold in its pursuit of dreams and innovations and evolves constantly to ensure its ability to respond to the needs of the times. In recent years, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of female managers and employees who are foreign nationals, both of which are the result of practical efforts to promote diversity. Employees with diverse backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses work together to create comprehensive teams that can adapt to whatever challenging business scenarios may arise in the future. I am impressed with DIC’s commitment to diversity in all its forms, which is one factor that makes it stand out among companies that have been in business for more than a century. I am proud to be a member of the DIC family.
SC Project, Kashima Plant, DIC Corporation Siong Wan Foo
DIC’s flexible work environment enables employees to accommodate work plans.
As a new graduate, I wanted to find a job with a company that would help me grow as a citizen of the world. As an organization with bases around the world, DIC was the ideal choice. The group I was assigned to is tasked with developing PPS compounds, which are key engineering plastics used widely in automotive components. Because DIC produces PPS compounds at five sites worldwide, including in Japan, we interact frequently with colleagues and customers from overseas. Several members of our team have experience working in other countries, which makes for a lot of unique personalities. DIC has introduced a variety of working arrangements, including flextime and working at home. This creates a work environment that enables employees to, for example, adjust work hours to accommodate work plans, or use earphones at their desk when they need to concentrate, making it much more flexible than most Japanese companies. It is encouraging to see the idea of not being constrained by preconceived notions—something those of us in technical positions often hear—is gradually finding its way into efforts to reform work styles at my own workplace.
Polymer Processing Technical Group 2, DIC Corporation Sia-Er Tan
Thanks to the support of my supervisors and colleagues, I learned to really love my work.
I met a number of DIC employees at an academic conference when I was in graduate school and was really impressed by their positive attitude and broad expertise, so when I started looking for a job after graduation DIC was my first choice. My first assignment was in a department involved in developing LC products, which is completely different from my area of specialization in university and something I really did not know much about. Thanks to the support of my supervisors and colleagues, I was able to overcome any difficulties I faced and play a key role in developing products and learned to really love my work. To me, DIC’s true appeal is its willingness to entrust important tasks to young employees and the fact that I have so many colleagues I can talk to about anything, whether work-related or personal. In April of this year, I was transferred to a department involved in gravure inks development, so I am once again working hard to learn new things with the aim of quickly becoming a useful part of my new team.
Dispersion Technical Group 1, Tokyo Plant Keumhee Jang
When I began hunting for a job as I was getting ready to graduate, DIC held a recruitment event at my university. I was really impressed by the pleasant atmosphere and by the impression they gave of being emphatically open to hiring foreign nationals. So even though I am not Japanese, there was no uncomfortable pressure on me because of that when I entered the company. My job is in the area of PPS product development and the provision of technical services to customers. My responsibilities currently involve performing comparisons with materials produced by competitors and identifying the causes of quality problems. When I first joined the company, I could read and comprehend the content of various forms and documentation I dealt with, but my spoken Japanese was not so great, so many minute nuances went over my head and I found verbal communication a challenge. My on-the-job training supervisor was so kind and always responded patiently no matter how many questions I asked! Everyone in my department is friendly, too, so I really enjoy working here. I look forward to increasing not only my language skills but also my product knowledge and to playing a useful role in PPS product development.
Polymer Processing Technical Group 2, Polymer Processing Technical Division, Chiba Plant Jia Ying
I want to use my ability to understand local thinking to serve as a bridge between Japan and overseas markets.
When I joined DIC I had just graduated university in the PRC, spoke no Japanese and didn’t really know anything about Japanese companies. I was nervous and uncertain in the beginning, but the workplace atmosphere was great and my superiors and colleagues were kind and patient in teaching me everything I needed to know, so I really enjoyed my job. I am always impressed by my Japanese colleagues Eindustrious nature and meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of their work, as well as by the corporate culture of Japanese companies, which emphasizes the diligent observation of rules and the creation and provision of safe, high-quality products. In the future, I want to use my ability to understand local thinking to serve as a bridge between Japan and overseas markets with the aim of reinforcing relations and contributing to the success of our LCs business in the PRC and Taiwan.
Fine Synthesis Technical Group 6, Saitama Plant Wei Wu
DIC Executives Participate in Diversity Roundtable Discussion
President and CEO Kaoru Ino and other DIC executive officers based in Japan took part in a roundtable discussion on the theme of diversity at corporate headquarters in Japan. Designed to enable participants to share information on initiatives in various departments with the aim of improving the effectiveness of initiatives going forward, the discussion was moderated by managing executive officer Masaya Nakafuji and focused on efforts to promote career opportunities for female employees and activities conducted in line with the Company’s diversity road map. During the discussion, interview seminars for female employees held by production departments and other specific initiatives were presented as case studies to illustrate the importance of creating work environments that are conducive to diverse human resources, as well as to encourage collaboration and foster a sense of solidarity among diverse employees.
02Expanding Career Opportunities for Women
In line with its commitment to promoting diversity, DIC implements a variety of initiatives to expand career opportunities for female employees. Having established a full-scale program to support employees in balancing the demands of a career and childcare in 2007, since fiscal year 2016 the Company has pushed ahead with measures to transform employee mindsets and its corporate culture, as well as to provide training designed to encourage the drive and determination of female employees and broaden the range of jobs open to women.
Creating a Framework for Initiatives
In fiscal year 2017, DIC established the position of diversity officer in each of its business units to create a framework for initiatives in each business unit that reflects the actual situation on the ground. The individual in charge of diversity for the Group and the business unit diversity officers meet periodically to exchange information, among others, with the aim of raising the standard of initiatives implemented Companywide.
Transforming Employee Mindsets and the DIC Corporate Culture
In October 2016, DIC held the Women in DIC Forum, which addressed the issue of career opportunities for female employees and welcomed female executives from multiple DIC Group companies, at its corporate headquarters in Tokyo. Approximately 800 employees—split evenly between female employees and male management-level employees—participated in the forum. In the first session, four female executives from overseas Group companies gave presentations, while in the second session three female employees in senior positions in Japan joined the four speakers in a panel discussion on pursing a rewarding career as a way to enrich one’s life. The discussion was broadcast to 14 Group sites across Japan.
As part of its efforts to change the mindsets of management-level employees, in May 2017 DIC held a conference for approximately 300 line supervisors on the meaning of diversity. The following month, the Company held a roundtable discussion that included an outside director who is board chair of an NPO and as such is well versed in diversity management.
In May 2018, DIC staged a diversity-related event for executives and managers overseeing female employees at its corporate headquarters in Tokyo. The event, which was attended by approximately 300 individuals from 16 sites across Japan, was divided into two parts. The first was a lecture titled “Diversity Is a Strategy,” which was given by Yosuke Yagi, CEO of People First, Ltd., whose career includes stints as a human resources manager for General Electric Japan Ltd. and executive officer and executive vice president of LIXIL Group Corporation. Mr. Yagi’s lecture touched on a variety of points, including tips for bringing out the best from people and organizations that he actually put into practice at LIXIL and about unconscious biases that impede the careers of female employees. The second part of the event was a discussion between Mr. Yagi and DIC president and CEO Kaoru Ino titled “Diversity at DIC: The Next Challenge,” which was moderated by Yukio Ishizuka of Nikkei Inc. In addition to an exchange of views on the results of DIC’s diversity awareness survey, the participants looked at the direction of efforts to promote diversity at DIC by examining employees’ understanding and gaps in awareness between female and male employees, and introducing case studies from other companies.
President and CEO Kaoru Ino and W-LDP Participants Hold Lunchtime Roundtable Discussion
In May 2019, DIC president and CEO Kaoru Ino participated in DIC’s Woman Leader Development Program (W-LDP) lunchtime roundtable discussion. In addition to a presentation by Mr. Ino on DIC’s efforts to promote diversity, the event featured a discussion that covered a variety of matters, including modifying work environments to accommodate aging societies with declining birthrates and an increasing number of two-income households, approaches to helping the next generation of employees balance childcare and their career, and what is lacking in DIC’s current efforts to promote diversity. Participants reacted positively, commenting that the event had been a valuable opportunity to learn what senior management is thinking and to gain a proper understanding of the Company’s diversity promotion program.
DIC Recognized as Nadeshiko Brand for Fiscal Year 2020, Earning Selection for the Third Consecutive Year
In recognition of its superb achievement in expanding career opportunities for women, DIC was selected as a Nadeshiko Brand for fiscal year 2020, the third time it was honored under this program, which is sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
The Nadeshiko Brand initiative aims to introduce TSE-listed companies judged to be outstanding in terms of efforts to empower women in the workplace as attractive stocks for investors who emphasize medium- to long-term improvements in corporate value with the objective of accelerating such efforts. The initiative assesses approximately 3,600 companies across all TSE sections based on what they do to promote diversity-conscious management and on their disclosure of related information, and selects Nadeshiko brands in each industry category. In fiscal year 2020, 45 companies were selected for this honor, including four from the chemicals sector.
What I learned through participation in a J-Win program designed to advance career opportunities for women.
I participated in a 23-person working group organized on the theme of collaboration among companies with the goal of group members fortifying knowledge and experience through a variety of activities, including document studies, visits to various companies and the examination of case studies. To me, the most exhausting part was the discussing of matters until every member was satisfied. As individuals with nothing in common other than the fact that we are female and businesspeople, I think we all found team building and the alignment of goals difficult. The opportunity to share information with people from different companies and systems was stimulating and provided an opportunity to reflect on one’s own company. Participation in this working group also enabled me to build a network of contacts that I will always value. Going forward, the challenge will be to transform this important experience and the connections I made into something that effectively benefits DIC.
Publicity Manager, PR Group, Corporate Communications Department Yukie Yano
03Advancing the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities
DIC is committed to creating inclusive work environments that help individuals with disabilities enjoy active and fulfilling careers. One initiative is an internship program, organized in collaboration with special needs schools, that is designed to transition into full-time employment. In fiscal year 2020, both regular hiring in April as well as needs-based hiring at individual sites met with success. As of December 31, 2020, individuals with disabilities accounted for 2.65% of DIC’s total labor force, noticeably above Japan’s legally mandated quota of 2.2%.
Going forward, DIC will continue working with the Japanese government’s Hello Work public employment offices, as well as with special needs schools and organizations that promote the hiring of individuals with disabilities, and will take further steps to enhance work environments to increase workplace accessibility.
Words of gratitude from colleagues are a great encouragement and give me a sense of satisfaction.
I joined DIC Estate on April 3, 2017, and was assigned to the mail room, which is part of the Business Support Department. My responsibilities include collecting and delivering mail, coordinating courier services and maintaining employee-use tea dispensers. Each requires paying close attention to key priorities. When collecting and delivering interoffice and regular mail, we need to ensure that each item is delivered to the appropriate department not only correctly but also safely. In coordinating courier services, we must ensure packages can be carried safely by keeping a close eye on weight and number. When maintaining tea dispensers, it is important not to miss water droplets and dirt so that the machines are always pristine.
Words of gratitude from colleagues when I am at work are a great encouragement and give me a sense of satisfaction in doing a good job. My goal is to be like the mail room team leaders, that is, someone who can discern what needs to be done and act swiftly and who is thoughtful and considerate of everyone around them.
Business Support Department, DIC Estate Co., Ltd. Ryo Nakagawa
The kind voices of other employees and DIC executives give me a sense of pride in my job.
I joined DIC Estate in February 2017. My responsibilities are primarily the preparation and serving of tea to guests and the maintenance of employee-use tea dispensers situated on each floor of the DIC Building in Nihonbashi. Maintenance of the tea dispensers includes cleaning the drip trays and filters and replenishing supplies of tea and sugar. I prepare and serve tea to guests in the executive reception room on the third floor and clean up after the guests have left. Other employees always thank me for keeping the employee-use tea dispensers clean. DIC executives tell me that guests compliment my proper tea serving etiquette. Compliments like these give me a sense of pride in my job. I will continue working to keep the tea dispensers in tip-top shape for my colleagues, as well as to further improve my ability to prepare and serve delicious tea that pleases guests.
Business Support Department, DIC Estate Co., Ltd. Akari Tanaka
04Reemployment after Retirement and Support for Retirement Planning
DIC has deployed a system that facilitates the reemployment until age 65 of individuals reaching retirement age (60) and wishing to remain with the organization. With available options including full-time work, short-time work and work sharing, this system enables reemployed individuals to maximize their experience and make full use of their accumulated technological capabilities and specialized expertise, thereby contributing to sustainable growth for the DIC Group and the training of subsequent generations.
DIC also offers classes for employees within a year of retirement that helps them prepare for life after their careers. These classes provide assistance with retirement planning and education regarding the national pension system, as well as offer retirement lifestyle simulations.
Work Style Reform Initiatives that Support a Healthy Work–Life Balance
DIC views a healthy work–life balance as essential to both self-realization and sustainable corporate growth. Accordingly, from the standpoint of corporate health management*, the Company continues to expand systems intended to facilitate such a balance.
In response to falling birthrates and lengthening life spans, the Japanese government has launched a drive to promote work style reforms, in line with its belief that positive workplaces lead to higher productivity, with the aim of helping individuals balance the demands of a career and childcare or nursing care and improving productivity. Since well before this, DIC has promoted initiatives aimed at enabling all employees to realize both a satisfying work life and a fulfilling life outside work.
- An approach to employee health management that emphasizes a corporate management perspective and the implementation of strategic measures.
01Enhancing Programs that Help Employees Balance the 1 Demands of Work and Home
In 1986, DIC blazed a trail for chemicals manufacturers in Japan by implementing a childcare leave program. Since establishing a program to support employees in balancing the demands of a career and childcare in 2007, the Company has continued promoting measures that make it easier for employees to make use thereof. In fiscal year 2008, DIC acquired the Kurumin Mark, which recognizes companies that promote initiatives designed to assist employees in raising children. The Company has also deployed a system that gives regular employees the option to accept or refuse transfers requiring relocation and, since 2012, a system that allows management-level employees to limit the locations to which they will accept transfers, making it easier for individuals who are unable to accept transfers that involve relocation because of childbirth, childcare, nursing care or other responsibilities.
Promoting Measures to Retain Employees with Nursing Care Responsibilities
In Japan, one of the social ramifications of falling birthrates and lengthening life spans is an increase in the number of people requiring nursing care, as a result of which more people find themselves having to leave their jobs to take care of family members.
Steps taken by the government to help address these issues include revising the Child Care and Family Care Law in 2016 to make it easier for individuals to take leave or time off and increasing benefits for temporary absences from work. To encourage use and promote knowledge of its related leave programs, in June 2017 DIC began distributing the Childcare and Nursing Care Handbook. DIC has also revised the rules of these programs, including making it possible to break up nursing care leave, as well as to extend the period over which they may shorten their workday from one year to three years, thereby making them easier for employees to use.
Major Expansion of the Flextime System
To facilitate flexible work styles, in fiscal year 2017 DIC resolved to significantly expand its flextime system and in April 2018 made the system applicable to all areas of operations other than production floors. The system makes it possible for employees to determine the time at which they end their working day to the extent that it does not hinder business efficiency, as well as to simultaneously make use of telework, with the goal of promoting the independent execution of duties and enhancing self-management capabilities.
In fiscal year 2016, DIC began exploring the potential of telework, a flexible work arrangement that enables employees to work from home or another remote location using information and communications technologies (ICT), thus eliminating the time and location constraints of traditional work arrangements. The following year, employees and management conducted extensive talks to iron out details. After analyzing and evaluating the results of a trial involving 57 employees, in January 2018 the Company launched the DIC Telework System, which is available to all employees regardless of position or workplace.
In response to the emergence of COVID-19 in January 2020, the DIC Telework System’s limit of two days per week was abolished and telework implemented in principle for the entire DIC Group in Japan to help prevent the further spread of the virus. When the country’s first state of emergency was declared in April, more than 90% of Group office workers, centering on those in sales and management-related departments, were able to continue performing their jobs without commuting to their normal place of work. This was maintained even after the state of emergency was lifted, in recognition of the reality of COVID-19 as a permanent part of life.
Looking ahead, DIC will continue to create systems that make it possible for employees to choose a work style that suits the type of work they do, as well as their own personal needs, with the aim of helping encourage a healthy work–life balance. The Company will also further promote the independent execution of duties to reinforce self-management capabilities, thereby accelerating efforts to galvanize employees and encouraging them to give full play to their creativity.
Thanks to the new telecommuting system, both my professional and private life are more fulfilling.
The way salespeople work has changed from back in the day and responsibilities other than visiting customers continue to increase. In addition to dealing with internal paperwork, I have to deal with environmental and legal/regulatory inquiries, so one or two days each week are taken up with deskwork. More than a few of these tasks are conducive to telecommuting. Like most other salespeople, I also work when I have a free moment between business trips and when I’m out of the office. Telecommuting allows me focus before I leave for a business trip or when I get home, so I’m able to be much more efficient. I look forward making further use of the telecommuting system to achieve a work–life balance that suits me and helps ensure a more fulfilling professional and private life.
Manager, Tokyo EP Sales Group, Composite Material Products Division Takuro Mikami
Establishment of a System to Help Employees Balance Medical Treatment and Work
In January 2020, DIC introduced a system to support employees undergoing medical treatment who wish to continue working. To guarantee this system functions effectively, the Company formulated guidelines to ensure employees making use of this system receive the ongoing support necessary to balance medical treatment and work through jobrelated accommodations and considerations.
Programs that Help Employees Balance the Demands of Work and Home
|Childcare Leave Program||The maximum length of leave is until the child reaches the age of 2 years and 6 months, which is one year longer than the legally mandated leave period.|
|Leave to Assist with Parenting Program||Male employees can take five days’ paid leave during the eight weeks following their child’s birth to assist with parenting.|
|Childcare While Working Program||Employees can shorten their workday by up to three hours until the end of a child’s third year of elementary school. Employees can also stagger their working hours to accommodate childcare schedules.|
|Economic support system||This system enables employees on unpaid childcare leave to borrow a portion of their bonuses in advance to pay for, among others, fertility treatment or infant care facility fees.|
|Return to previous (or equivalent) position||Employees returning from childcare leave must be allowed to return to their previous position or to a position equivalent thereto.|
|Information sharing to promote program participation||DIC’s views on support for work and childcare balance, as well as a guide to its various available systems and how to make use of them, are posted on the Company’s website and intranet.|
|Nursing care leave system||Employees can take such leave for up to one year, exceeding the statutory maximum of 93 days. As of January 2018, employees may also break up leave without restriction.|
|Nursing Care While Working Program||Employees not wishing to take leave while providing nursing care can shorten their workday by up to two hours for a maximum period of three years. As of January 2018, employees may also request to be excused from doing overtime without restriction.|
|Leave to accompany spouse overseas||Employees can take leave in the form of a temporary overseas assignment to accompany a spouse who is scheduled to be abroad for more than one year. The period of the leave must be more than one year, with a maximum length of three years. Employees may make use of this system once during their careers.|
|Relocation limitation system||Management-level employees may limit the locations to which they will accept transfers that involve relocating because of childbirth, childcare, nursing care or other responsibilities.|
|System to help employees balance medical treatment and work||Employees undergoing medical treatment who wish to keep working can access necessary support in the form of job-related accommodations and considerations.|
|Hourly annual paid leave system||Employees may take up to five days of annual paid leave in one-hour units|
|Saved paid leave system||Expiring annual paid leave can be saved for up to 30 days and used for a variety of purposes, including nursing care for a family member, care for a sick child and fertility treatment|
Use of the Childcare Leave and Leave to Assist with Parenting Programs
Owing to the introduction of various programs to help employees in balancing the demands of work and home and the creation of an environment that encourages employees to take advantage of such thereof, the percentage of DIC employees who return to work after making use of the Childcare Leave Program is currently 100%. In addition, the number of individuals using the Leave to Assist with Parenting Program, which enables male employees to take time off in the weeks after the birth of a child to assist their partner, has risen.
Thanks to efforts to enhance these systems, the average years of employment for female employees has increased and continues to exceed the average for male employees.
Balancing a career and childcare is a challenge, but I feel happy and fulfilled.
When I first joined DIC as a salesperson, I was a bit taken aback by the attention given to the fact that I am a woman, but it was never uncomfortable in any way. The biggest test came after I became pregnant, had my baby and then returned to work after taking maternity leave and childcare leave. First, there were all the unexpected and bewildering changes that come with pregnancy. Then I was up to my ears looking after a new baby, a situation that was compounded by anxiousness about being away from work for so long. Since coming back to work, the limits of being a working mother have been a source of some pressure, but everyone in my department and family has been really encouraging. Balancing a career and childcare is certainly a challenge, but it’s one I took on readily and I feel happy and fulfilled in both roles. I’m really grateful to have such support, and I will continue to do my very best both at work and at home.
Advanced Technology Marketing Dept. Naoko Nakajima
02Reducing Extreme Overwork and Encouraging Employees to Take Annual Paid Leave
DIC has deployed an electronic system to manage on-site hours, working hours and approved overtime hours. As a measure to prevent extreme overwork, if an employee appears likely to exceed the agreed-upon overtime limit (70 hours/month), his or her supervisor and the senior executive in charge are automatically notified. The supervisor is required to submit a report outlining the employee’s work responsibilities and factors behind the excessive hours and presenting specific measures to ameliorate the situation, which is also shared with the DIC Employees’ Union, a process designed to curb and reduce excessively long working hours.
In addition, the Company has instituted a mandatory Groupwide “no overtime day” every Wednesday and on payday, which in Japan is once a month at month-end, in a bid to encourage efficient work practices and further bolster productivity. (Sites can change these days as appropriate.) Employees are also encouraged to take annual paid leave, with sites recommending appropriate timing for leave and having employees plan dates for such leave.
Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Between February 17 and December 31, 2020, a total of 20 internal notifications were sent under the heading “Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” Efforts ranged from promoting internal initiatives to prevent infection to detailed instructions regarding individual employee behavior.
Human Resources Infrastructure Reform
With the rapid expansion of its global operations, DIC recognizes that securing and fostering human resources around the world and creating an environment that encourages cross-border career advancement and mobility is essential to increasing corporate value. To these ends, since fiscal year 2015 the Company has sought to develop harmonized promotion, personnel evaluation and remuneration systems, the cornerstone of the global human resources management framework for overseas DIC Group companies under its jurisdiction. In January 2018, DIC and DIC Graphics unified qualification standards for its approximately 1,300 management-level (i.e., manager and above) employees, replacing traditional ability-based standards with role-based standards. As a consequence, consistent duty- and role-based standards are now used for the majority of such employees in the Americas, Europe, the Asia–Pacific region, the PRC and Japan.
The Group has also integrated its evaluation systems for Group company presidents and other executives in Japan and overseas with the goal of encouraging management approaches that are optimal for the Group as a whole from both a medium- and a long-term perspective. In addition, the Group has integrated its global personnel policies to ensure that remuneration is in keeping with local market levels and individual job responsibilities.
Under DIC111, in fiscal year 2019 the Group began advancing efforts to consolidate employee qualification systems worldwide, unify assessment standards and formats for management-level employees, and develop an IT system to facilitate the construction of a global human resources platform. Through such efforts, the Company will strive to realize consistent Groupwide global human resources and personnel management systems.
Securing and Fostering Human Resources
01Ensuring Fair and Consistent Treatment
To ensure that the efforts and achievements of all employees are reflected appropriately in their treatment, DIC has consolidated its numerous employee qualification systems irrespective of job classification and educational credentials. The selection of employees to recommend for qualification is done through screening based on objective standards, thereby guaranteeing equal opportunities for promotion to all motivated, capable employees.
Remuneration and personnel evaluation systems designed to enhance job satisfaction and ensure that individual employees’ abilities and achievements are assessed appropriately and reflected in a timely manner. Of note, the Company has introduced MBO—a goalsetting management tool that promotes both corporate growth and employee development—into its personnel evaluation system. Results of individual evaluations are fed back in full to employees, including reasoning behind determination, in a transparent process that ensures employees are largely satisfied with evaluation results.
02Establishment of the Next Management Selection Process
In line with a strategy outlined in DIC111 to establish a process for selecting the next management team, in fiscal year 2018 the Company embarked on a trial aimed at realizing the mechanism for such a system. The Human Resources Strategy Department, created in January 2019, works to clarify qualifications for key positions, as well as to explore processes for selecting and monitoring promising human resources and for the Talent Management Committee to match candidates to positions.
03New Human Resources Development Policies and a Dramatic Overhaul of the Human Resources Development Programs
Having resolved to dramatically revamp its overall personnel configuration, looking at 10 or even 20 years into the future, in fiscal year 2020 DIC discontinued its human resources development programs, with the exception of new employee training, global talent development and new manager training. The Company then commenced a process of verifying the effectiveness of its existing approach to human resources development, formulating new basic policies and creating new programs.
New Human Resources Development Policies
DIC recognizes that a critical prerequisite for sustainable growth going forward is having employees—the source of its competitiveness—who demonstrate strong leadership and continuously create new value while responding proactively to changes in the operating environment. Accordingly, the Company has formulated four new basic policies for human resources development, around which it structured its new human resources development programs.
The first policy is to build a systematic leadership pipeline. This will enable DIC to identify future management candidates and young prospective leaders and to make focused investments in the training of such individuals. The second is to promote the global standardization of job skills. The Company will devise an online learning platform designed to equip individual employees around the world with the specific specialized skills and expertise required to expertly perform a diverse range of jobs. This platform will facilitate the formulation of an individually optimized learning environment that enables employees to take as many courses as they need. The third policy is to support individual career realization, whereby DIC will work with employees to help them visualize their own careers and provide crucial related support, including by ensuring the right people are in the right places. The fourth is to cultivate self-sufficient employees who are capable of acting on their own and driving change, which the Company aims to do by nurturing individuals in various positions who understand what is expected of them and are able to routinize responsibilities, and by empowering them to make changes.
Training to Enhance Proposal Development Capabilities
Since fiscal year 2013, DIC has offered a series of courses that focus on cultivating prowess in the area of proposal development, in line with its goal of reinforcing front-line capabilities. In the advanced course, which primarily targets senior manager–level employees, groups of five or six individuals from sales and technical departments form cross-department project teams, which select practical customer-centered themes, and work to formulate solutions to pertinent hypothetical issues and further hone their ability to prepare and present proposals. The course, which lasts nine months, encompasses approaches to development of innovative proposal themes and angles, problem solving and persuasive presentations, among others, with professional business consultants offering advice and guidance at each stage.
Course work is in addition to regular responsibilities, so participants have a lot on their plates, but they find that they are able to apply newly acquired skills almost immediately, greatly improving front-line capabilities. Participants have also used their selected themes to make proposals to actual customers, many of which have reached the verification stage.
Global Talent Development
DIC has positioned the fostering of global human resources as a key theme of DIC111. Accordingly, the Company is taking steps to, among others, define the level of and set requirements for global human resources, as well as to systematize training (English-language ability, competency and work experience) programs.
Offering the Overseas Trainee and GCD Programs
The goal of DIC’s Overseas Trainee Program is to foster global human resources by dispatching selected employees from Japan to work at a DIC Group company in another country for a specified period, thereby helping them develop a more international mindset, improve their skills and build networks with their colleagues overseas. As of the end of fiscal year 2019, nine individuals were participating in this program.
Under the GCD Program, employees from overseas Group companies are sent to work at DIC Group companies in Japan. Positioned as part of the Group’s effort to foster global human resources and promote diversity, this program gives future business leaders a chance to learn Offering the Overseas Trainee and GCD Programs new skills and Japanese business techniques and to network with Group colleagues, as well as to deepen their understanding of Japan’s culture and commercial practices. This program also brings domestic employees in contact with other cultures and provides an opportunity for them to polish their English-language skills and acquire a global perspective. In fiscal year 2019, Group companies in three countries sent nine GCD Program participants to spend between three months and one year at sites in Japan. Through the Overseas Trainee and GCD programs, DIC seeks to advance the globalization of the overall DIC Group, as well as to encourage smooth cooperation between Group companies in Japan and their counterparts overseas.
Encouraging Understanding of Islamic Culture
Fostering an understanding of religion-based differences in everyday lifestyles is an important aspect of DIC’s efforts to promote diversity. In February 2017, prior to the arrival of GCD Program participants from Indonesia, managers and assistant managers at the Kashima Plant, in Ibaraki Prefecture, attended a lecture designed to give them a basic knowledge of Islamic culture, during which they learned about practices that have developed around the religion of Islam, which is the religion of 80% of Indonesians, including praying five times a day, eating halal food (food that conforms with Islamic dietary laws) and fasting during the month of Ramadan. The lecture helped the plant make necessary preparations for its visitors, including setting aside a space for prayer during the day and giving consideration to working hours, food choices and other factors after they arrived. Despite a certain amount of initial bewilderment on the part of both plant employees and program participants, earnest efforts to communicate helped enhance understanding of each other’s cultures and customs. In March 2018, the two Indonesian employees completed their assignment and returned home. Information on the Indonesian employees’ experiences at the Kashima Plant were shared with other Group production facilities in Japan, helping ensure a welcoming environment for new recruits from Malaysia who joined DIC in fiscal year 2018.
Redesigned Remote-Format Global Human Resources Training
Since fiscal year 2017, DIC has offered the Next Global Human Resources Development Program for the DIC Group’s future business leaders that ranges from global standard English-language training to business model creation and design thinking. The third edition of the program, which lasts approximately one year, was originally scheduled to run from May 2019 through April 2020, but owing to COVID-19 the training in March and April 2020 was postponed until May and June. Training during the final two months shifted to a remote format. Final team presentations were also taken online, rather than being given before a live audience in a large conference room. Virtual presentations require different skills than those given in person, including the ability to speak to a camera and the use of effective body language. Team members also found having to present from different remote locations challenging, but program participants agreed that the 2020 final presentations brought an extra layer of passion.
This is what I learned as a participant in the second round of the Next Global Human Resources Development Program.
Ever since I joined DIC, I have felt a need for English in my work and wanted to do something about my poor English skills, but before I realized it 20 years had passed! When I was given the opportunity to participate in the second round of the Next Global Human Resources Development Program, I saw it as my last chance to study English seriously.
About 80% of the 11-month program was conducted in English, so it was tough going and I spent a lot of time feeling puzzled and stressed, but under the guidance of the program’s knowledgeable, experienced and passionate instructors I not only improved my English, but also acquired key skills necessary to function in a global business environment. I found the three global communication skills assessment sessions particularly useful as they helped strengthen my English-language presentation, negotiating and communication skills. I’m proud to say that I was definitely among the most enthusiastic and studious participants!
The benefits of the Next Global Human Resources Development Program were not limited to improved skills. The extremely challenging nature of training encouraged participants to commiserate. As a result, we all got to know colleagues from other departments, creating a network of program participants that will surely be a valuable asset going forward. I will continue to build on what I learned in this program, as well as to polish my English so that I am ready when the opportunity to work overseas arises.
General Manager, Performance Material CS Group, Performance Material Products Group Kengo Sakamoto
Taking part in this program expanded my horizons and reinforced m VOICE y professional drive.
As a participant in the Overseas Trainee Program, I spent fiscal year 2017 at DIC (Guangzhou). While I had been to the PRC numerous times on business, taking up a post there gave me a better understanding of how Chinese people think, as well as an appreciation of historical and cultural context, which has enabled me to communicate on a deeper level in business situations. One thing I did while I was in Guangzhou was to plan a variety of cross-department recreational activities involving both local staff and staff from Japan. This activity helped me build strong professional and personal relationships with my colleagues, as a result of which I really enjoyed working together. On my days off, I also participated in get-togethers organized to help Japanese expats in Guangzhou get to know each other. There are a lot of us in the area under similar circumstances and I found the opportunity to socialize with compatriots in various businesses, industries and positions—people I would likely never have met if we were all in Japan—extremely valuable, and it encouraged me to reflect again on myself and on the Company I represent. I really believe in the value of the Overseas Trainee Program as an initiative that expands one’s horizons. I hope that many employees are able to take advantage of this challenging and rewarding opportunity in the years ahead.
High Performance Chemicals Sales Department 1, Polymers Product Division Keisuke Saji
Diversity: What I learned in India
As a participant in the Overseas Trainee Program, I spent a year working at DIC India Ltd. At first I was taken aback by the many differences between India and Japan, including the relentless 40ºC-plus temperatures every day and the crazy traffic conditions, with six cars abreast across three lanes! Perhaps the biggest hurdles I faced on the work front were how fast Indian people speak English and the basically top-down approach. It was also difficult to get local employees—who have different assumptions when it comes to the work environment—to understand the thinking behind a Japanese-style human resources system. No matter how many times I explained the system, my colleagues would dismiss it as "not up to global standards." Roadblocks such as this were understandably frustrating. I eventually realized that the only way to promote understanding of each other was through discussion, and so I started working to improve my ability to function in English, build trust and learn to argue logically. I also tried to become more tenacious, recognizing this as crucial to earning assent because Indian people love to debate! I still have a ways to go, but after a year here I feel that I have improved in all of these areas. My experience here has also taught me that respecting diversity means not judging business practices and customs as "good" or "bad," but rather having the ability to accept differences and fill in any gaps. It is also the ability to talk to people and bring them around to your point of view on issues you simply cannot concede. I also learned anew that the old adage "no man is an island" really is true. Given the top-down approach in India, the help of your superior is essential to getting things done. Today, my colleagues and I are working as a team with the goal of identifying efficient ways to work. I really believe in the value of DIC’s Overseas Trainee Program as an initiative that will expand the horizons of young employees and contribute to the further globalization of the DIC Group. Looking ahead, I hope that many employees are able to take advantage of this challenging opportunity.
In charge of Global HR Planning, General Affairs and HR Department Yuto Fujisawa
There is more to English than speaking, listening comprehension and reading!
My job involves a fair amount of business travel overseas, so I took the Target Global Program, the goal of which is to enhance English-language communications skills. I think that people are inclined to think that English speaking, listening comprehension and reading abilities are all you need to do business overseas. This program, which focused on assertiveness, negotiating techniques and how to conduct meetings to motivate people to generate ideas and reach conclusions, taught me what is really important. Training sessions were conducted entirely in English, but the relevance of what I learned is certainly not limited to the English-speaking world. I am confidentthat these skills will stand me in good stead and I look forward to applying them in the field
Functional Coatings Sales Department, Liquid Compounds Product Division Masayuki Aota
Being an overseas trainee gave me a chance to refect on myself.
As a participant in the Overseas Trainee Program, in 2015 I was sent to work at DIC (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. While I found the language barrier and the cultural and religious differences challenging, I really enjoyed building personal relationships and working together with my new colleagues. Being in Malaysia and having the opportunity to be involved in global operations both changed my worldview and gave me a better overview of the DIC Group. It is a bit embarrassing to say so, but I think the experience helped me to mature as a person. I have since applied for an overseas posting and am working to improve my English.
Sales Department 3, DIC Graphics Corporation Takuya Morishita
In line with its Health Management Declaration, the DIC Group works actively to support the physical and mental health of its employees, as well as to create a work environment conducive to job satisfaction. Looking ahead, the Group will continue to promote imaginative and original health management measures, recognizing that the health of its employees is essential to the realization of sustainable growth.
Framework for Promoting Health Management
The DIC Group in Japan promotes health management through a framework that is based on collaboration with the DIC Health Insurance Society and under the supervision of the president and CEO. Going forward, the Group will step up efforts to work with related organizations and promote effective initiatives across the DIC Group.
Promoting Mental Health Care
DIC takes steps to create environments in which employees feel physically and mentally supported and works to ensure that its labor management practices comply with relevant laws. The Company places a high priority on caring for psychological and emotional well-being and has established a comprehensive mental health program, highlights of which include engaging an in-house occupational psychologist, promoting initiatives aimed at warding off mental health problems and extending support to ensure a smooth return to work for employees taking leave. In particular, access to counseling provided by an occupational psychologist has had a considerably positive impact in terms of ensuring employees get treatment and are able to return to work as quickly as possible.
DIC has also offered voluntary stress checks since fiscal year 2013 and promotes active, systematic efforts with the aim of preventing mental health disorders in accordance with related legislation passed in Japan in fiscal year 2016. DIC also conducts seminars led by an in-house physician at sites that have scored above a certain level in stress checks and providsd counseling aimed at helping employees improve communications with supervisors, colleagues and family members. In December 2020, online self-care training was provided by specialists to help employees deal with anxiety and uncertainty caused by restraints on social lives and changes in work styles arising from the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to strengthen the prevention and early detection of mental health disorders. DIC will pursue the continued systematic promotion of these initiatives going forward.
DIC Earns White 500 Certification
DIC earned certification in the large enterprise category of the 2020 Health & Productivity Outstanding Entities Recognition Program (dubbed the “White 500”), which is organized by METI and Nippon Kenko Kaigi*1. This is the forth consecutive year the Company has been certified under this program, which seeks to shine a spotlight on outstanding enterprises working to advance health and productivity management, creating an environment that ensures such enterprises gain enhanced public recognition—i.e., from employees, jobseekers, related companies and financial institutions—as organizations that approach employee health and productivity from a management perspective and promote strategic initiatives.
In addition to looking at whether enterprises stipulate health management in their corporate mission and disclose pertinent information, the White 500 program assesses performance based on three criteria, namely, grasp of employee health-related issues and consideration of actions, establishment of a foundation for the practical implementation of health and productivity management measures and work engagement*2, and promotion of efforts to help ensure the physical and mental health of employees. In each of the three years it has been certified, DIC received scores significantly above the industry average for each of these criteria, finishing in the top 20% with a five-star rating.
DIC will continue to implement measures designed to promote physical and mental health as a part of its commitment to creating work environments that empower employees to reach their full potential.
- Nippon Kenko Kaigi (“Japan Health Council”) is an organization that liaises with private companies, with the full backing of the government, to put effective measures in place to prolong the healthy life expectancy of citizens and to ensure sound medical services in Japan.
- A concept used to measure employees’ mental health, work engagement is described as a positive, fulfilling work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption. “Vigor” is taking pride and experiencing a sense of satisfaction in one’s work, “dedication” is feeling strongly involved in and focused on one’s work and “absorption” is being actively engrossed in one’s work.
Initiatives to Support Employee Health
DIC analyzes the results of employees’ annual physicals and provides assistance to employees for whom lifestyle improvements have been recommended by providing introductions to hospitals and clinics, and individual guidance on lifestyle improvements. With the aim of promoting healthy eating, the employee cafeteria at DIC corporate headquarters in Tokyo has introduced a new healthy cafeteria menu dubbed “DIC Irodori Care+” (“DIC Colorful Care+”). DIC’s General Affairs and HR Department, the Healthcare Office and the company responsible for the operation of the cafeteria collaborated to develop this menu based on the health needs of employees, as well as to devise innovative ways of presentation, including producing distinctive signage that encourages recognition and devising names that clearly communicate the health benefits of menu selections, such as reduced calories or low cholesterol. DIC Irodori Care+ also makes use of familiar meal components such as kobachi (small bowl) side dishes, transformed into a nutrient-packed “Supplement Bowl,” to promote greater awareness of food’s role in improving overall health.
The corporate headquarters’ employee cafeteria also uses Spirulina—a noted superfood* manufactured by a DIC Group company—as a core cooking ingredient.
DIC will continue implementing measures designed to help ensure the physical and mental health of its employees as part of its commitment to creating a work environment in which all employees can fully exercise their abilities.
- The term “superfood” is used to describe standard foods with an excellent balance of nutrients that provide health benefits and foods c ontaining specific nutrients and/or ingredients good for human health.
COVID-19 Countermeasures Implemented by the Corporate Headquarters’ Employee Cafeteria
The employee cafeteria at corporate headquarters in Tokyo took a variety of steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure peace of mind for users.
DIC Gives Presentation at Conference of Specific Meal Service Facilities
With the aim of improving the nutritional management capabilities of specific meal service facilities (defined as cafeterias or restaurants with a seating capacity of 250 people), the Tokyo metropolitan government stages a conference introducing case studies of such facilities. DIC, which received a fiscal year 2019 Tokyo Metropolitan Governor’s Award for Nutritional Improvement at Specific Meal Service Facilities, gave a presentation on its initiatives at thc February 2020 conference, held at Tomin Hall in Shinjuku, representing the 10 fiscal year 2019 award winners. DIC’s presentation, titled “Helping Improve the Health of Employees,” focused on the DIC Irodori Care+ menu introduced at the corporate headquarters’ employee cafeteria and the development of innovative healthy menu items such as “Supplement Bowl.”
The corporate headquarters’ employee cafeteria has taken a variety of steps during the COVID-19 pandemic to improve operations and prevent the spread of infection.
Our company has operated the employee cafeteria at DIC’s corporate headquarters since the opening of the new DIC Building in 2015. So far, our menu has been well received and as of February 2020 we welcomed approximately 900 guests a day and offered seven daily menu selections, including one “healthy set” option. However, with the emergence of COVID-19 and society’s general shift to teleworking, the number of guests at the end of March was half that of the previous month. When the first state of emergency was declared in Tokyo, the number dropped to roughly 50 a day.
Given these massive changes, we had no choice but to also cut cafeteria staff by about half. This of course was a difficult decision, but insofar as we have been given the responsibility of running this place, we did not have a choice. But when I see our remaining staff going about their work with a smile, I am encouraged.
Despite the harsh environment, after multiple meetings with the people responsible on the DIC side, the decision was made to keep the cafeteria open— a nod to its importance to the health and energy of DIC employees. We were also able to agree on a reduced menu of four choices, which changed daily. In addition, we implemented a number of decisive measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Accurately predicting the number of meals that will be needed every day has become difficult using conventional metrics, but we are working to adjust flexibly on a daily basis by asking the company to let us know each morning how many employees are on-site to that day. This has helped us reduce food loss and unnecessary processes as much as possible.
hanks to t he understanding and c ooperation of many p eople, we succeeded in adjusting t he f ormat of t he headquarters’ employee c afeteria. We w ill continue to increase measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to ensure employees are able to dine safely and with peace of mind. We will also continue exploring new offerings that will ensure a delicious and enjoyable dining experience even with the current limited menu.
Manager, Aim Services Co., Ltd. Emi Ota
DIC Group Site Employee Cafeterias Earn Smart Meal Certification
The employee cafeterias at DIC’s corporate headquarters, Osaka Branch Office and Sakai Plant earned certification in the “Meal Program” category of the fiscal year 2018 Smart Meal Program, earning the highest possible rating of three stars. The Smart Meal Program, which is administered by a consortium of 13 academic associations, including the Japanese Society of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Japanese Society of Nutrition and Food Service Management, was established to recognize restaurants, corporate facilities and other establishments that promote the continuous provision of nutritionally balanced menu options—i.e., “smart meals”—in healthy eating environments.
Under the Smart Meal Program, restaurants, corporate sites and other establishments that satisfy essential requirements, which include a menu that meets Smart Meal standards and the creation of an appropriate management system and easy-to-understand efforts to communicate benefits, and 10 or more optional conditions related to the promotion of healthy diets and eating environments, earn certification with a three-star rating.
Smart Meal Program certification is divided into two classes: “Wholesome” (450–650 kcal) and “Hearty” (650–850 kcal). DIC’s corporate headquarters was certified in both classifications, while the Osaka Branch Office and the Sakai Plant were certified in the “Wholesome” class. At corporate headquarters, these efforts focus on developing menus that take into account the results of annual employee health checkups. At the Osaka Branch Office, the focus is on promoting health consciousness by providing clear, age-specific information on energy consumption, while at the Sakai Plant the emphasis is on creating menus that reflect the results of employee polls and make use of regional ingredients.
DIC Earns Tokyo Metropolitan Governor’s Award for Nutritional Improvement and Specific Meal Service Facilities
In fiscal year 2019, DIC was pleased to accept a 2019 Tokyo Metropolitan Governor’s Award for Nutritional Improvement and Specific Meal Service Facilities from governor Yuriko Koike. Each year, this program evaluates the implementation of dietary guidelines and application thereof to menu items, as well as the status of efforts to enhance nutritional management, at specified meal service facilities across Tokyo and presents governor’s awards (certificates of appreciation) to those that have contributed to improved nutrition. In most years, approximately 10 such facilities are so recognized, with hospitals and care homes dominating. Business establishments received none of the 11 awards conferred in fiscal year 2018, but accounted for three of the 10 given in fiscal year 2019. DIC’s award reflected high marks given the DIC Irodori Care+ (“DIC Colorful Care+”) menu offered at the Irodori Café on the 12th floor of the Company’s corporate headquarters, and the contribution of healthy menu items such as the nutrient-rich “Supplement Bowl” and “Colorful Deli®,” developed with attention to the color of ingredients, which prompted the Chuo-ku public health department to recommend the café for an award.
I look forward to continuing to devise distinctively DIC menu options and provide meals that support employee health.
The employee cafeteria at DIC’s corporate headquarters offers Smart Meal–standard, DIC Irodori Care+, Supplement Bowl and other healthy, nutrient-rich menu options. Our efforts to contribute to employee health also include making cafeteria meals more enjoyable by introducing new choices and organizing a variety of events. In October 2019, for example, we held a blood vessel age calculation clinic, which attracted quite a few participants. This provided an opportunity for employees to think about the importance of not only diet but also awareness of one’s own body.
I look forward to continuing to support employee health by devising attractive menu options and organizing events, as well as by promoting new initiatives.
Registered dietitian, Aim Services Co., Ltd. Makoto Sanpei
We sought to develop a uniquely DIC program of everyday meals that would contribute to the health of employees.
Individual DIC sites promote a variety of menu alternatives that encourage employees to be more conscious of the relationship between their health and what they eat. At corporate headquarters, we planned a menu of colorful vegetable-rich deli-style options and nutritious side dishes, which we dubbed “Irodori Care +” (“DIC Colorful Care +”). The response has been extremely positive, underscoring general support for food that is both enjoyable and contributes to good physical health.
We were pleased to see Irodori Care + earn certification under the Smart Meal Program and will work to further enhance the quality of the menu. I look forward to continuing to work with our Healthcare Office and the company responsible for operation of the corporate headquarters’ employee cafeteria to help ensure the health of employees.
General Affairs and HR Department Naoko Ogawa
Ties with Employees
The DIC Group promotes a variety of initiatives to facilitate active communication with its employees around the world.
DIC and wholly owned subsidiary Sun Chemical, based in the United States, have established a global communications committee with the goal of configuring a framework for communication with stakeholders worldwide. In fiscal year 2019, the DIC Group implemented a variety of initiatives to expand global communication. Of note, the Group promoted further awareness of The DIC WAY, which underpins the branding initiatives of DIC Group employees worldwide, and introduced a method for evaluating brand value designed to accelerate efforts to promote brand recognition. In addition, DIC revamped the DIC Group corporate website, which can be viewed in Japanese, English and Chinese.
Caravan Sustainability and Branding Workshop
In fiscal year 2019, the Sustainability Department and Corporate Communications Department collaborated to stage a workshop, designed to encourage awareness of the DIC Group’s sustainability and branding initiatives, at the Central Research Laboratories; the Saitama, Kashima, Chiba, Sakai, Komaki and Yokkaichi plants; and the Osaka and Nagoya branch offices. The workshop, which included a variety of meaningful educational activities, facilitated an active exchange of views, with participants expressing an understanding of the importance of sustainability initiatives and a desire for an increased focus on communications within the DIC Group. Overseas, the departments explained procedures for implementing this initiative to Group companies with a view to expanding implementation to include overseas sites in the future.
The DIC Group publishes a quarterly internal newsletter, DIC Plaza, with the aim of enhancing communication with DIC Group employees around the world and fostering solidarity. DIC Plaza has earned high marks for its content, which seeks to advance awareness of management policies and showcase DIC Group technologies, products, businesses, people and corporate culture, as well as for its vibrant design and use of color. The Group’s intranet is another way for DIC to share information on the activities of employees worldwide, with more than 100 such items posted annually.