Management Approach

Human Resources Management


The SMM Group believes that the growth of each individual employee is linked to the continual growth of the Group overall.


Along with carrying forward the Sumitomo Business Spirit, our Group is giving all employees opportunities to boost their skills as we put effort into developing human resources and promoting diversity to deal with new business models and adapt to a changing business environment.


As we work to achieve our Vision for 2030, we are identifying specific targets and KPIs, and also providing employees with opportunities to boost their skills, with our focus categories including the fostering of the next generation of management, project leaders, and global human resources. We aim to strengthen the management base and execute a solid growth strategy by promoting training in line with the talent required at the SMM Group. The human resources development program is composed of three components—on-the-job training (OJT) is the base, augmented by off-the-job training (OFF-JT), and self-development—and works to develop human resources by utilizing a training cycle that involves selection --> training --> assignment --> practical application --> evaluation.


Development of Human Resources

Human resources development, which has OJT by one’s supervisor or senior colleagues as the foundation, is not simply the acquisition of job knowledge and skills, but also promotes growth as a person through work. In order to augment OJT, we have established abundant training programs intended to boost skill levels. Also, in order to help stimulate employees’ motivation for personal growth by having them interact with people outside the Company, we send employees to management training seminars run by external organizations. We have established an environment conducive to autonomous learning for employees by enhancing our menu of courses for independent education. These courses include e-learning, correspondence classes, foreign language lessons, and the like.
Educational efforts to produce SMM’s next generation of managerial human resources focus on three keywords: Cognition, the ability to understand the essence of matters and make correct judgments; Conceptualization, the ability to systematically consider, organize, and summarize matters; and Action, the ability to create and execute plans. Also, educational efforts are under way to select management candidates for leadership training at each stage.

Officers’ Coaching Schools

We launched the Officers’ Coaching Schools in 2014 as a program that allows Company officers and school students to mutually inspire one another and consider self-development. With a director, deputy director, and 8 to 10 students, each self-regulated school makes a report once a year (typically at the June Executive Officers’ Meeting). In total, there are five schools divided into the broad categories of: project promotion, sales, corporate operations, management and accounting, and manufacturing and development technology. Every year, each school separately determines the themes they will address and endeavors to foster skills for thoroughly thinking problems through, learning cooperatively, and putting strategies into practice in the workplace.

Working Style Reform, Health and Productivity Management

Efforts to promote working style reforms began in FY2017. We strove to achieve our announced goal of having, by FY2019, an average of 1,900 hours or less per year for total hours worked. However, due to certain items being newly included in the total of work hours, the actual number came to 1,960 hours.

The purpose of the reform is not merely the shortening of working hours, but also the associated creation of new value. Our aim is to recreate a free and open corporate culture in which all employees can use their limited time effectively and engage in work with motivation. We believe that this reform is also extremely important in the development of the next generation of managerial human resources.
Furthermore, as one initiative for improving the workplace environment, we adopted a new, Company-wide work management system in FY2019. This new system allows more fine-tuned administration of working hours and greatly simplifies procedures for applying for time off and changing one’s work schedule. Also, as one part of supporting flexible workstyles, we opened satellite offices and introduced a work-from-home system.
With regard to responding to COVID-19, we are prioritizing employee safety and health while implementing measures to prevent infection. To the extent possible for each business site, we are trying to continue operations, and, in order to stop the spread of infection, we adopted a work-from-home policy (in principle), mainly at offices including the SMM Head Office and the Osaka Branch, for the duration of the nationwide state of emergency declaration.

Promotion of Diversity

FY2019 diversity promotion activities adopted a broader perspective than activities to date, which had focused on female employees and employees with disabilities. We strove to become an organization that is better able to mutually recognize different values due to different generations, nationalities, and sexual orientations, as well as different values due to limitations such as childcare, family nursing care, disabilities, and treatments for disease. The objective of this commitment to diversity promotion is to translate these efforts into greater innovation by allowing a diverse workforce to fundamentally reassess conventional workstyles and ways of thinking.
We held a female employee Career Coaching School intended to transform the awareness of female normal-track employees. And we fully revised educational materials to instill the thought of normalization of employees with disabilities, to support their retention, and facilitate understanding of reasonable accommodation of them.
With regard to child rearing, our approach is one of supporting efforts to raise the next generation. We held seminars promoting the participation of fathers in child rearing and also had sessions explaining our programs supporting child rearing that includes the participation of males and females both. As for nursing care, we conducted a survey with a questionnaire on the subject in order to assess families’ current situations and to help with designing future measures. Furthermore, based on the idea of promoting diversity, there are no distinctions or differences due to sex, nationality, or age in our Group's compensation system.

Initiatives to Take on Issues and Provide Improvements

In order to enhance internal communication, we are fostering in-house instructors with training on coaching, while also embracing measures to draw out the enthusiasm and potential of every employee though stronger relationships between supervisors and subordinates. In terms of human resources development, we are refining our system of selective training and also strengthening cultivation of our next generation of managerial human resources. Additionally, we are providing self-development opportunities suited to the needs of employees as we support them in the pursuit of self-initiated learning.