Activities at Workplaces
The Kuraray Group consists of employees from various nationalities and backgrounds, and the active participation of all diverse members is crucial to the long-term and sustainable improvement of corporate value.
Based on the Kuraray Group Global Human Resource (HR) Policy, the Kuraray Group is making efforts to develop its organizational system regarding the promotion of diversity, cultivation of human resources, and just and fair evaluation of performance, as well as fostering a healthy corporate culture and creating new employment opportunities, so that each employee can grow personally through work.
The Kuraray Group carried out its first global engagement survey in 2022, called Our Voice. We will use the survey results to heighten employee engagement and give impetus to the goals of innovation and transformation of people set out in “PASSION 2026.”
The Kuraray Group Global HR Policy
1) We will respect human rights of individuals.
Based upon our Philosophy, “Respect for Individuals”, we will respect the individual and the human rights of all people working in the Group. Any abuse of human rights, such as sexual harassment, bullying, child labor, forced labor and so on, will not be tolerated. We will also strive to prevent any direct or indirect complicity in or turning blind eyes to the conducts that may infringe on human rights.
2) We will abolish discrimination and respect diversity and individuality.
In all aspects of HR activities, including hiring, treatment, personnel development, assignment and evaluation, no discrimination based upon individual attributes such as race, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, shall be allowed. We will esteem and promote diversity that accepts the personal traits, culture and worldview of people from various nations.
3) We will comply with applicable laws and regulations. We will create and carry out HR systems that uphold equality, fairness and transparency.
We will strictly comply with applicable laws and regulations of each country. Based upon our Philosophy, “Respect for Individuals”, we will give full consideration to equality, fairness and transparency in creating and carrying out HR policies and practices.
4) We will promote dialogues with all people working in the Kuraray Group to build constructive relations.
We respect the freedom of association and expression, and will build good relationships with people working for the Kuraray Group through direct and indirect dialogues to create an open workplace culture and environment.
5) We will strive to improve the environment of workplaces.
From the perspective of occupational health and safety, we will strive to maintain working environments that enable people to work safely and with regard for their physical and mental health.
6) We will employ personnel who are able to contribute to the development of the Kuraray Group.
We will employ people who possess a sound sense of morals and ethics, as well as the desire, skill and knowledge to make significant contributions to the development of the Kuraray Group.
7) We will place the right person in the right job.
We will place each individual in its right job, in due consideration of capabilities, knowledge, suitability and skill development, with an aim to maximizing operational contributions and job satisfaction.
8) We will maintain an evaluation and benefits systems that is fair and transparent.
We will maintain an evaluation and benefits system that is fair and transparent to employees, with a focus on job content, contribution, performance and attitude through dialogue with evaluators.
9) We will support professional development.
We will provide an appropriate level of support for job skill and personal career development through performance of individual works.
10)We will maintain appropriate levels of disclosure of business information and protect privacy.
We will provide appropriate levels of disclosure of business information so that all Kuraray Group personnel can perform their duty proactively with a sense of unity. We will comply with all relevant laws and regulations regarding the handling of personal information and strive to prevent the loss or leakage of information.
Number of Employees As of December 31, 2022
|Kuraray Group as a whole||11,703||9,438||2,265|
Employee Turnover Rate (Kuraray Co., Ltd.) FY2022
|Number of Employee Turnover||Turnover rate|
The Kuraray Group operates a training scheme at each Group site in accordance with its global personnel policy. The program is designed to support acquisition of the knowledge and skills required for jobs and career-building efforts by employees themselves.
The Kuraray Group also operates a Global Talent Development Program aimed at continuously cultivating global talent for Group employees in and outside Japan.
In Japan, Kuraray Group plants and companies plan and implement their own talent development programs and provide their employees with finely tuned support for skill development and career-building. Training is open to regular as well as part-time and contract-based employees.
We also have an incentive system under which we furnish grants for acquisition of certain public qualifications by employees for their own self-improvement.
In 2020, we launched the talent development project Kuraray PRIDE as a mechanism to strengthen our business creation capabilities. The project includes workshops to think about new business creation, training exchanges with other companies, and classes in which employees introduce Group divisions, various lectures by outside speakers, and among other content. Some lectures are filmed and translated into English for sharing with the entire Group.
Kuraray Company-wide Training System
|Hierarchical training||New employee/young employee training
・New hire training for career-track / general-track employees
・Basic production training for general-track employees
（Year 1, 2, and 5 ）
・Year 2 follow-up training for career-track employees
|New employee/young employee follow-up system
・New Adviser system
|Training for promoted personnel|
|Selective training||Executive and manager candidate development program|
|Global talent development program|
|Production field leader training (Basic)
Production field leader training (Specialist)
Production field master training
|DX Talent (Gold Class) Development Project|
|Business skill/Mindset training||
"Kuraray PRIDE" to strengthen business creation capability
|Interpersonal communication skills training|
|Education on digital transformation skills|
|Education on compliance|
|Education on labor management|
|Education on intellectual property|
|Program per job type|
Autonomous Learning Program for Achieving Career Development (ALPACA)
|Language training programs|
|Education by correspondence, e-Learning|
|MBA scholarship programs|
|Career support training||
Training for career design by self
|Career advisor system|
Mechanism to Support Autonomous Career Development
The Kuraray Group has a mechanism to support career self-development. Its aim is to create an organization in which individual employees actively tackle their career development and engage in work enthusiastically. Part of the scheme involves training for employees on designing a career. The training, Designing Your Own Career, is providing for four levels of employees; Freshers who joined the Company three years prior, Early Middle in their thirty five years old, Middle in their forty two years old, and Senior employees in their fifties.
Since the program was launched in 2015, 800 people have received the training.
After the training, trainees are interviewed by an in-house career advisor and their supervisor. Later on, they receive support to attain their career goals.
Global Talent Development Program
The Kuraray Group launched a Global Talent Development Program starting in 2007, to foster personnel who can actively play a part on the global stage, both locally and internationally. Over 1,000 persons globally have attended in the 15 years up to 2022.
Global Team Training (GTT) is a prominent example of our training, aimed at developing global leadership among section manager class personnel, and has been held 20 times with approximately 390 attendees. The network of training alumni offers significant contributions toward promoting group-wide communication that goes beyond national borders.
Our trainee program is another successful example, where we send young employees between Japanese and overseas companies for a three-month period. More than 100 people have participated, and many of them have been engaging in achievements as global talent later, such as being stationed abroad.
Time Spent on Competence Development
The chart below shows the time our employees have spent in competence development each year (Kuraray Co., Ltd.).
|1) Total hours employees spent in competence development||283,142||299,920||278,538||259,525||318,303|
|・Global talent development program||9,754||11,678||5,402||7,358||8,975|
|・Business skill / Mindset training||65,705||60,443||50,648||45,077||47,656|
|・Career support training||4,904||6,364||3,136||3,696||6,232|
|・Trainings in divisions||146,006||148,599||137,726||133,764||139,456|
|2) Average hours spent per employee||58.2||60.0||55.3||51.9||61.5|
|3) Average days spent per employee||7.5||7.7||7.1||6.7||7.9|
We believe the ability to provide appropriate opportunities in a fair and systematic manner so that people working in the Kuraray Group can fully demonstrate their diverse capabilities will lead to the growth of both individuals and the company. To this end, we are preparing a plan to cultivate successors. Concretely, we are working to visualize the capabilities required for job positions and the capabilities of individual employees, and to develop specific training and other support geared to cultivate the requisite capabilities identified in that process.
Establishing a Consistent Talent Infrastructure across the Group
We are working to develop a consistent talent management infrastructure for the Kuraray Group. Our aim is to optimize talent utilization globally so that both individuals and the organization can reach their full potential.
Introducing a Shared Global Personnel and Talent Information System
To put fair, effective HR measures in place across the Group worldwide, it is essential to build an HR platform that includes a common global personnel system and personnel database.
In 2022, our first step toward aligning job grades globally involved revising conditions for positions above a certain level. Regarding compensation, we integrated the process for determining the rate of salary raises and established rules for the performance indicators affecting bonuses.
In 2023, we will establish a global standard for job grades across all management levels. As for the personnel database, we will expand the pool of personnel to be included, enhance career training information, and take other steps to create a framework that can be used for HR development and the recruitment of diverse human resources.
A Fair and Equal HR System
Kuraray and its Group companies have instituted a personnel evaluation system in which elements such as improvement of job execution capabilities, performances, roles, and the spirit to tackle demanding targets (as opposed to seniority or personal factors) are reflected in remuneration. We have adopted a target management system in which supervisors and subordinates meet to set targets for job responsibilities and skill development and evaluate performance. We also provide ongoing training for evaluators.
In addition the Kuraray Group seeks to foster an organizational culture where employees take on challenges without fear of failure, without settling for the status quo, adopting a forward-thinking attitude and embracing new perspectives. To this end, we recommend setting “challenge goals” for individual employees, and evaluating employees not only by results but also in light of the processes and actions they take to achieve their goals. Moreover, to spur the creation of business value for the Group as a whole, we encourage active participation in collaborative activities that transcend organizational barriers.
We will continue to review wages, allowances, bonuses, and work systems to further enhance people’s understanding of the employee treatment system.
Diversity and Inclusion
In our Medium-Term Management Plan “PASSION 2026,” we set a diversity and inclusion goal of becoming “a company where each employee in a diverse workforce works enthusiastically and tackles challenges without fear of failure, generating a succession of innovations while responding to change and continuing to grow.” The Group provides support through the development of various policies and systems and by promoting a change in awareness to enable diverse personnel to maximize their abilities and contribute to their own growth and the growth of the Group.
・Establishing Basic Principles of Diversity and Inclusion
In 2021, we formulated Basic Principles for Diversity and Inclusion shared globally across the Group.
The principles define equality, diversity, and inclusion for the Group. They also stipulate the prevention of discrimination and outline the roles of the company, human resources, and employees in creating a vibrant workplace and culture. We will implement specific actions to instill these principles and promote diversity.
・Supporting Women’s Career Advancement
In Japan, in particular, we recognize the career advancement of women as a priority area of diversity and inclusion. Our ongoing efforts focus on three areas: hiring more female employees, expanding their scope of work, and supporting their further active participation. In 2020, we launched career training for female head office employees and roundtable discussions with female managers of other companies. In 2021, we held a program of exchanges between female employees working at our plants. A community was also established where women working at the head office can casually discuss concerns and questions unique to women as members.
・Developing a Childcare and Family Care Leave System
Kuraray has a framework in place to help employees provide childcare and family care. Considering the time required to enroll children in a day-care center, employees are able to take the childcare leave until the child’s second birthday if necessary. We recommend that male employees take childcare leave to encourage fathers’ greater involvement in child rearing. To help employees balance work and family care, in addition to establishing a family care leave system, we also provide employees with basic knowledge about caring for family members.
|year||Childcare||（of which, male employees）||Family care|
・System Allowing Employees to Take Temporary Leave from Duty to Live Abroad with Spouse Assigned to Overseas Post
A system has been established and implemented allowing employees to take a temporary leave from the duty to accompany their spouse who is assigned to an overseas post or in a similar circumstance. Those employees who take a temporary leave from the duty are allowed to return to their posts in the Kuraray Group when the overseas assignment of their spouse terminates or when the similar circumstance ends.
・“Come-back" Rehiring System
In addition to the system to rehire employees after family care leave and the system to rehire employees who retired for personal reasons for those who wish to work at Kuraray again, we newly launched the “Come-back” rehiring system through the Kuraray Alumni Network and other channels in 2019. Our doors are wide open to employees so they can thrive at Kuraray again by drawing on their experience outside the Company on top of their career at Kuraray.
・Efforts to Support LGBT employees
In the Basic Principles of Diversity and Inclusion, the Kuraray Group declares that it will not discriminate against any employee on the basis of sexual orientation, and that we will create a working environment in which all employees cooperate. To achieve this, we hold seminars for HR personnel to learn about responding appropriate to diverse employees and establish a comfortable workplace. In harassment training for managers, we call for the prohibition of discrimination or harassment due to sexual orientation.
・Employment of Persons with Disabilities
We continue to meet the statutory employment rate for persons with disabilities: The rate for Kuraray in June 2022 was 2.39%. We are also working to improve and share knowledge about persons with disabilities. We have set up facilities to employ people with intellectual disabilities in collaboration with local social welfare facilities at four plants in Japan, and hold seminars and information exchange meetings for facility supervisors.
Initiatives for Work-style Reform
Kuraray is promoting work-style reform to establish a working environment where each and every employee can work in good physical and mental health while striking a balance between work and private life and in turn, deliver results.
In an aim to enhance productivity and achieve work-life balance, Kuraray introduced a telework program in 2018, a conventional flextime system in 2019, and an hourly flextime system in 2020. In 2022, Kuraray expanded the scope of employees eligible for these systems, as well as introducing other measures such as a coreless work schedule that allows employees not to work during core hours under certain conditions. In this way, we revised our system to improve convenience.
・Efforts to Curb Long Working Hours
Kuraray has established and operates the work-interval guidelines that states employees must take more than a certain number of hours as an interval (10 hours or more) between the end of the previous work day and the beginning of the next work day.
Going forward, as a result of taking into consideration the work-life balance of employees in the context of the revised Child Care and Family Care Leave Act (for male employees taking childcare leave) and other factors, since it is possible that we will face personnel shortages in some areas, we will provide necessary personnel backup.
In addition, we will secure personnel by calculating the appropriate number of employees in each department, so that workplaces can operate without disruption within appropriate working hours. We will also build a framework that allows sufficient time for cultivating human resources and transferring skills from employees who are approaching retirement.
・Appropriate Working Hour Management
Kuraray is developing the infrastructure for a work attendance management system. The system is used for appropriate work hour management by enabling employees to register working hours accurately so that we can identify any discrepancies with the uptime of PCs of all employees who use a PC including managers. The system will flag any departments with overtime work exceeding a certain number of hours so they can work on reducing overtime work by preparing a working hour improvement plan to mitigate long work hours in addition to health support such as having industrial physicians and other professionals interview the personnel whose overtime work exceeded the set standard.
・Efforts to Promote Paid Holidays
As a result of efforts to improve the rate of taking annual paid holidays, targeting 80% or more, we achieved a rate of 93.7% in 2022. Kuraray will continue its efforts to maintain and improve the rate in 2023 onward.
Also at Kuraray’s overseas bases, efforts are being made to carefully manage working hours and secure employees’ private time based on the laws of each country. In addition, amid growing international collaboration across regions, we established the Kuraray Group – Guidelines for International Remote Meetings in 2022, which stipulates the establishment of core time zones for meetings and other criteria.
Scheme for Management of Healthy Minds and Bodies
・Basic Policy for Occupational Health
Based on the Kuraray Group Human Resource (HR) Policy, Kuraray has stipulated the Occupational Health Action Policy to promote occupational health promotion activities. The Director responsible for Administrative Unit, who is in charge of occupational health activities, attends the Central Council on Occupational Safety held every year, where attendees from both labor and management discuss the current situation and issues in occupational health activities, which are to be reflected in next year’s activities.
<Occupational Health Action Policy>
- Kuraray shall develop internal mechanisms and systems to maintain and improve employees’ health and support employees so that each and every employee raises his/her awareness and take action regarding health.
- Kuraray shall provide a safe, reliable and comfortable work environment for employees, secure their health and will always be considerate of the health condition of employees.
- Kuraray shall ensure that it handles and manages the personal information including health information appropriately and promote health management in compliance with laws and regulations.
The Troisdorf site of Kuraray Europe GmbH and the Legnago and Rho sites of Chemviron Italia S.r.l. have been certified ISO45001, which is an international standard for the Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
Moreover, Kuraray Co.,Ltd. was accredited by the Health and Productivity Management Organization in March 2023.
・Mental Health Care Schemes
Kuraray has four care schemes including schemes for self-care and line care in an effort to reduce mental disorders. Kuraray has implemented and is promoting a stress check, training for the prevention of mental or physical disorders, a consulting system such as counseling, and a work attendance system allowing employees in a rehabilitation program to work on a time schedule suiting their rehabilitation programs when they return to their workplaces.
・Schemes to Prevent Harassment
Kuraray is striving to ensure employees’ mental health and improve the working environment through schemes to prevent many forms of harassment, with a focus on power harassment (abuse of authority) and sexual harassment. Kuraray promotes measures including training sessions to prevent incidents of harassment, activities to utilize the results of stress checks and other tests, and work to reinforce our counseling desk system. Anti-harassment training is held at Kuraray Group companies inside and outside Japan, and all managers, supervisors and general employees have taken the course at Kuraray Co., Ltd. The anti-harassment training includes the topic of discrimination. In addition, in 2022, training was conducted for contact persons started in order to strengthen their ability to respond.
・Support for Health Improvement
Enhancement of health awareness of employees is promoted through personal guidance on health, promotion of health improvement campaigns and other means. “Health Improvement Operation” is carried out companywide urging employees to voluntarily work on improving their lifestyles as countermeasures against metabolic syndrome. In addition to requiring employees to set targets for exercising, they are provided specific health guidance as individual measures. The ratio of employees who received specific health guidance is 37.1% (2021). Health checkups featuring checkup items surpassing those required by laws are provided so that we can find employees at an early stage who need to improve their health.
In 2022, we provided online exercise instruction to all employees in the Group nationwide in Japan as a countermeasure to the lack of going out and exercising due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Moreover, with the aim of improving the quality of life and physical and mental health, we are launching a new initiative to improve sleep from 2023.