We believe that our employees are the most important resource for creating value around the world. Based on the concept of “PEOPLE FIRST,” we are increasing our investment in human resource development. By bolstering the strengths of individuals and maximizing the power of people, we strive to enhance our organizational capabilities and build a strong foundation that is highly competitive.
Companies can drive the creation of new value by bringing together a wide range of people with diverse values, differing backgrounds, and varied experiences, and then encouraging these people to mutually support and challenge each other. As the interests and preferences of people around the world continue to diversify, companies must also take steps to bolster their own diversity. Shiseido is focused on global growth, and we believe that we need to promote diversity in a wide range of areas, including gender, nationality, age, work experience, and other factors.
Encouraging the Promotion of Female Employees
Female empowerment is an important social issue, especially in Japan. Shiseido employs a large number of women, while the Company’s ratio of female leaders in Japan has been 30% since January 2017. Moving forward, we plan to increase this ratio to 40% by 2020. Among Japanese companies, we are making comparatively solid progress, but for a global company this is still a low level. We recognize that we need to implement additional initiatives in this area centered on Japan. To promote the appointment of female leaders, we are advancing individual development initiatives. We encourage female employees with management potential to take on challenges through their work experience such as addressing higher level business issues. As a result, candidates learn the basics of management while generating actual results.
Implementing an English Mandate and Bolstering English Capabilities
Since October 2018, Shiseido has been using English as its official in-house language. The objective of this initiative is to enhance communication among the employees in our workforce, which transcends national boundaries. We believe that the use of English will enable everyone to communicate directly with each other, and to promote this, Shiseido offers opportunities to study at the Company’s expense. In particular, these initiatives are centered on headquarters employees who need English for their work. In 2018, approximately 3,000 people took advantage of this opportunity.
Advancing Mid-Career Hires
Shiseido believes that mid-career hires are another important way of investing in human resources. We are currently recruiting people with high levels of expertise from outside the Company in order to reinforce areas in which our in-house capabilities are insufficient. Mid-career hires not only strengthen the specialized skills of the entire organization but also promote the generation of new ideas and the creation of value through interactions with employees who are already working at the Company. We have been stepping up mid-career hires at our headquarters since 2016. In addition, we are also increasing the employment of people who have skills that are needed at each regional headquarters.
Strengthening the capabilities of each individual employee is an important part of corporate growth. Shiseido is providing educational opportunities to employees who are motivated to continue to learn and grow. At the same time, we are creating opportunities and environments in which employees can demonstrate their capabilities. In addition, we expect employees to acquire at least one of the following abilities: the ability to demonstrate leadership on a global scale, the ability to acquire a high level of expertise, and the ability to respond to change and lead reforms. Creating an environment in which employees can significantly enhance their intrinsic capabilities and potential is an important corporate mission. Through a variety of human resource development initiatives, Shiseido is working to maximize the capabilities of its people.
Developing Next-Generation Leaders
To develop people who will lead the next generation, we are investing aggressively in leadership development. In particular, we are taking a Company-wide approach at the global level. We have also taken steps to provide educational opportunities to employees who are motivated to study. For example, we have resumed our overseas MBA program, and we support participation in training programs beyond in-house training. We are also working to rebuild leadership education and are already moving forward with the development of a program for employees in leadership positions.
Furthermore, in January 2019 we established the first World Learning Center in Singapore, which serves as a venue to support the mutual enhancement of skills on a global basis. By providing an environment in which employees from Japan, China, and other Asian markets study together and help each other to learn, we are developing global employees who are capable of making active contributions in global settings and leading the Company’s future growth. Going forward, we plan to gradually establish similar learning centers in Europe and the Americas.
Operational experience is the key driver in the development of competence. Shiseido has introduced a framework for performance enhancement that fosters the development of higher-level abilities by having each individual employee take on challenges while striving for higher targets. Together with the coaching and feedback of supervisors, employees will achieve further individual growth by cultivating new knowledge and skills in order to reach their targets.
Promoting Full-Time Employment
For fixed-term contract employees who have specialized skills and knowledge and display a strong work ethic, Shiseido is providing opportunities to become full-time employees. In this manner, we will strive to increase the number of highly motivated and energetic employees. We are advancing this initiative for employees working in a variety of fields, including beauty consultants who interact directly with consumers in stores, as well as employees who work in production-related areas at factories.