Development of our human resources
Strengthening the organizational capabilities essential to innovation
In these increasingly uncertain times of what has been described as the “VUCA World” of volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous conditions, the Kirin Group is entering a new stage in its drive to fulfill the long-term management vision, Kirin Group Vision 2027 (KV2027) of creating value in business domains spanning from Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals. The organizational ability to support continuous innovation that contributes to solving social issues is essential, but the greatest resource of our corporate competitiveness is our personnel. Marketing, technology, and ICT provide a foundation for innovation, and it is our people who elevate them to their full power.
Promoting diversity is a key focus of our human resources strategy. Diversity is essential to creating value and is one of “One KIRIN” values that we seek to instill in all Group employees. Catalyzing the capabilities of employees with different attributes, perspectives, sensibilities, skills, and experiences is the driving force for creating new value. The Kirin Group is actively seeking human resources with various specializations and is focusing on expanding employee perspectives through internal and external transfers and exchanges. Another key element in our HR strategy is the continuous and methodical development and strengthening of Group management personnel.
We also seek to provide a work environment and foster a corporate culture that encourages employees to take on challenges and seek to fulfill their personal potential. We believe providing a dynamic organization enhances our ability to generate innovation.
Realize innovations through the combination of diverse values, ways of thinking, skills and experience
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion
Stronger business through a variety of perspectives, abilities, and experience
The Kirin Group promotes diversity in human resources in two main ways.
The first is by bringing together a diverse workforce. We are widening our net beyond recent college graduates to actively pursue mid-career professionals with abundant knowledge and high degrees of expertise. We aim to increase hiring of mid-career professionals to above 30%. We have found that placing experienced professionals in middle management positions with certain levels of authority is stimulating positive changes in areas such as how decisions are made and how we develop employees.
The other way we promote diversity is by encouraging each employee to widen their horizons by providing ample opportunities to gain experience through personnel exchanges with companies both inside and outside the Group. The experiences greatly benefit younger employees, but also strengthen our management level staff. We plan to actively participate in personnel exchanges in the new Health Science domain because we believe cultivating employees with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences will be especially advantageous for strengthening its business foundation. Other initiatives to broaden employee perspectives include dispatching staff to other companies, supporting dual employment and secondary occupations, and expanding the system for employing retired individuals.
Bolstering our cadre of female leaders is another area we are focusing on to bring in diverse perspectives. We are taking the approach of “advanced career formation” by enabling employees to accumulate as much work experience as possible prior to life events like marriage, childbirth, or childrearing. We offer workshops and mentoring programs aimed at fostering career awareness, the Kirin Women’s College for developing leadership and strategy-building abilities, and a program to nurture leaders through external training assignments providing opportunities for mutual training and network building in other industries. In 2019, the Kirin Group had raised the percentage of female leaders to 8.4% and aims to increase the percentage to 12%, or three times the 2013 percentage, in 2021.
Special subsidiary employing people with disabilities
The Kirin Group established the Kirin Group Charter for Hiring People with Disabilities in January 2011, and actively employs and seeks to provide work environments for people with disabilities.
In July 2019, Kirin Office Service was established with the objective of providing employment opportunities to individuals with mental and intellectual disabilities.
The company has been approved as a special subsidiary company system for the Group based on the Act on Employment Promotion of Persons with Disabilities. Kirin Office Service supports a wide variety of operations at the Group’s Head Office and contributes to the promotion of workstyle reform.
Cultivating Group Management Personnel
Systematically developing human resources to lead our growth strategies
Our human resources management system develops management personnel that will play central roles in each Group business and advance the Group’s growth strategies. The system begins by visualizing the expertise and skills required for a specific position, and then taking inventory of the current status of those attributes. We then systematically and steadily cultivate the human resources necessary to lead our business strategies to success by providing work designed to accelerate employee development and training programs to enhance employee capabilities.
Individuals showing particular promise are provided opportunities early in their careers to gain experiences through new or difficult jobs and assignments matched to their talents and abilities. Other measures to quickly cultivate their Group management skills include promotions from middle manager positions to high-level positions in Group companies, and Kirin Brewery appointing individuals regardless of their seniority to president and manager positions at their branch operations.
Kirin Brewery President Fuse personally conducts manager development sessions
Kirin Brewery President Fuse has been holding personal training sessions for developing management personnel since 2018. These “Fuse Classes” are designed to strengthen the leader mindset and leadership abilities and to provide first-hand exposure for full-time employees in their late 20s to early 30s from which individuals with motivation and high potential will be selected.
The classes provide rare opportunities to discuss with the president and to join in deep discussions about the current status and future direction of the company. The learning and insight that participants gain from the sessions fuels motivation and encourages them to take the initiative to actively change and develop. Over 70 young employees from various departments have attended the half-year classes in the past two years and many are now actively pursuing clear goals toward fulfilling their visions for the future.
Fostering a Corporate Culture of Taking on Challenges
Creating an environment for proactive employees
A corporate culture that encourages all employees to proactively take on challenges without fearing repercussions from failing is essential to realizing the full potential of a workforce of individuals with diverse capabilities.
We seek to foster the leadership capabilities of employees in leadership positions by regularly informing them of the results of questionnaires about the actual growth of their junior employees and their performance in interviews. In addition, for the top leaders in Kirin Holdings and the core operating companies, we introduced a Leadership Strengthening Program in 2017 and provide coaching through the 360° Survey and external coaching to heighten a training mindset for transforming the organizational culture.
At the same time, we are creating an environment working life of individuals raising children or providing care for someone. The program gives employees a chance to consider the type of workstyle that would be the most appropriate for their situation. We are also enabling telework to facilitate autonomous and creative work styles, and are using the latest technology to improve work processes and create comfortable working environments. Our health management support for employees focuses mainly on lifestyle related diseases, mental health, and the responsible consumption of alcohol. We are currently recommending more rigorous follow-up health checkups and actively conducting stress checks and employee satisfaction surveys to promote employee health, and encouraging employees to follow our “Slow Drink®” approach for responsible alcohol consumption.
Innovative work balance simulation program “Nari-Kirin Mom/Dad Training” is improving work efficiency
“Nari-Kirin Mom/Dad Training” is our unique program enabling employees to experience what it might be like to work while raising children, providing nursing care, or caring for a partner who is sick was the brainchild of women in our sales department. An employee chooses one of the three situations and then for one month participates in a simulated experience where they must balance work with home responsibilities such dealing with time constraints and when a child suddenly develops a fever.
The main purpose of this training is to deepen understanding of various work styles and to give employees a chance to consider their work from the perspectives of organizational and personal needs so they can improve their work efficiency. Employees who participate in the program reduce their overtime work by an average of over 60% from the year before. Initially offered at the Head Office and some business sites, in 2019 the program was introduced in the 33 offices in Japan, representing over 35% of the offices of Kirin Holdings, Kirin Brewery, Kirin Beverage, and Mercian. The Kirin Group aims to offer the program at all of its business sites by 2021.
Supporting each employee’s individual challenges
KV2027 is a major challenge for the Kirin Group, and I believe how we face the changing environment will play a major role in shaping the careers of all of our employees.
We are entering a new age that values diversity. Kirin Holdings and our operating companies in Japan must move beyond the homogeneity of hiring and providing lifetime employment to individuals from the latest college graduating class, and welcome the diversity provided by bringing in mid-career professionals and previously retired workers. In this major change to the employment environment, employees will have to change their mindset from adapting to changes in the company to taking control of their careers and, in positive way, actively pursue challenges that will enable them to further their careers.
The Kirin Group will seek to provide ample opportunities to individuals taking the initiative to advance their careers. I believe people have unlimited potential and can grow through their work.
The Kirin Group will continue actively investing to strengthen the non-financial assets that are its human resources and organization as we seek to generate sustaining growth.