Home > About Us > Corporate Social Responsibility > Sustainability Report > Sustainability Report 2014 > Creating a Pleasant Work Environment for Employees

Creating a Pleasant Work Environment for Employees

Kobe Steel’s human resources programs and human resources development policies respect the personality and individuality of company employees while creating a lively and attractive working environment.

We also work with Group companies in various ways to achieve one of the principles of the Kobe Steel Group Corporate Philosophy: "We support each employee in developing his or her abilities, while respecting mutual cooperation."

Supporting Work-Life Balance

Kurumin Mark

Kurumin Mark

Kobe Steel actively creates a work environment that supports both the jobs and the personal lives of employees. In recognition of our efforts to date, we acquired the Kurumin Mark, certification of our commitment to developing the next generation, in November 2012. The Kurumin Mark is awarded by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to companies that meet certain standards for work-life balance.

  • Formulated and implemented an action plan for private companies as stipulated under the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children.
  • Promoted the reduction of total working hours by increasing the ratio of employees taking annual paid leave, raising productivity and other initiatives
  • Expanded support for childcare and nursing beyond that stipulated by law.

Recent Major Initiatives

  • Extending parental leave (until the child reaches the age of three)
  • Expanding flexibility in working hours for childrearing (until the child graduates from elementary school)
  • Extending leave for home care (to a maximum of three years)
  • Introducing paid nursing care leave for children and family members
  • Scheme to enable employees to work from home on selected days for the purpose of childcare or nursing care
  • Affiliated childcare and nursing care services
  • Point-based discounts on the welfare and benefits systems childcare menu
  • Workplace inspections

Among Kobe Steel employees, around 25% of all households consist of couples raising children on their own, with no support from their parents or other family members. As such, childcare is accounting for an increasingly large proportion of employees’ lives. Accordingly, we are committed to creating an environment, by introducing new schemes and promoting existing schemes, in which male employees as well as female employees can play an active role in raising their children.

Respect for Human Rights

At the Kobe Steel Group we are committed to creating a pleasant work environment that is free of discrimination.

In addition to complying with unbiased recruitment laws and regulations relating to human rights, such as the Gender Equality In Employment Act, we also make every effort to raise awareness of human rights and disseminate policies on human rights initiatives through training on human rights for different management levels in each Group company, including human resources personnel, new hires, and new managers.

Preventing Harassment

Sexual Harassment Prevention Manual

Sexual Harassment Prevention

The Kobe Steel Group does not tolerate sexual harassment, power harassment, or any other form of harassment or bullying. We have put in place a framework for preventing harassment, including producing and publicizing a Sexual Harassment Prevention Manual and operating a harassment consultation service.

We proactively implement training for managers and directors on the creation of workplaces where harassment is not likely to occur. We also develop Groupwide education, training and other protocols to prevent harassment from occurring.

Helping Women Succeed in the Workplace

As we have been hiring more female employees in recent years, we are committed to creating an environment in which women can give full play to their abilities. We provide active support for both work and life, including career and skills counseling (including personal and mental counseling). In June 2014 we set up an organization within the company to support diversity, and are expanding initiatives geared toward helping female employees be more successful in the workplace.

Employing People with Disabilities

The Kobe Steel Group actively promotes the employment of people with disabilities. We also strive to create working environments in which individual employees can work comfortably and make the most of their abilities.

In fiscal 2013, people with disabilities accounted for 2.02% of Kobe Steel’s workforce, exceeding the 2.0% required by law. We will nonetheless continue our efforts to increase this percentage in the future.

Employment Rate of People with Disabilities (Kobe Steel)

Employment Rate of People with Disabilities (Kobe Steel)

Employing Older People

At Kobe Steel, we operate a reemployment scheme for experienced older workers to enable us to rehire employees after they reach retirement age. We also reemploy older workers from group companies and other organizations, so that we can continue to benefit from the techniques and skills possessed by veteran employees. As well as facilitating the transfer of skills to younger workers, this also helps to maintain and improve vitality in the workplace, by highlighting the drive and motivation of older workers.

Other companies in the Kobe Steel Group have introduced similar systems.

Percentage of Retired Employees Entering Reemployment (Kobe Steel)

Percentage of Retired Employees Entering Reemployment (Kobe Steel)

Health and Safety Management

Health and Safety Management Policy

At Kobe Steel, we believe that health and safety are fundamental to business management and take priority over all business activities. In keeping with this principle, we take various steps to create a vital workplace where employees can safely pursue their careers with peace of mind.

Goals of Health and Safety Management Plans

  • Correctly understanding all relevant laws, regulations, and company rules, and building a consistently compliant organization and structure.
  • Quickly responding to all changes occurring in areas such as production, quality, personnel, company organization, and the environment.
  • Creating a corporate culture in which all employees work to protect not only their own health and safety, but also those of their fellow workers.

Safety Management

In 1979, Kobe Steel started a drive to reduce occupational accidents over the medium to long term, resulting in a reduction in the number of accidents and the maintenance of a low frequency of occurrence. We will keep focusing on this issue in fiscal 2014, as we recognize that protecting the lives and health of our employees is one of our most important corporate social responsibilities. As such, the Kobe Steel Group and its partner companies will make a united effort to step up health and safety activities.

Frequency of Accidents Resulting in Absence From Work

Frequency of Accidents Resulting in Absence From Work

Health Management

We are enhancing our health management system in terms of both mental and physical health and putting an even greater emphasis on prevention, with the goal of creating a working environment that promotes employee health.

With respect to mental health, we continue to improve our system of consultation offices, where employees can discuss any matter of concern with occupational counselors and specialized physicians, while promoting mental health education for all employees.

In terms of physical health, we are constantly responding to changes in the work environment and make every effort to prevent work-related illnesses. More than that however, we are also working to prevent the onset of lifestyle-related illnesses, by ensuring that all employees attend regular health check-ups and follow-up sessions.

In response to the threat of influenza, we continue to take thorough preventive measures and to implement measures to deal with new strains of influenza, so as to safeguard our employees and ensure peace of mind.

Human Resources Development

Transferring Skills that Underpin Monozukuri-ryoku and Quality Control Circle Activities

The transfer of skills from veterans to younger workers is an essential task that underpins monozukuri-ryoku, or manufacturing capabilities, on the production floor. Our aim is raise the skill level of younger workers at each plant in the Group through both on the job training (OJT) and off the job training (OFF-JT) at skill training centers. To help make training more systematic, we also utilize skill maps that show who has mastered which skills and to what level.

The Kobe Steel Group also carries out on-site improvement activities (quality control circle activities), believing that manufacturing capability is the wellspring behind global competitiveness.

We hold a KOBELCO QC Circle Convention once per year that aims to share information and raise the level of improvements through Groupwide cooperation.

Programs for Human Resources Development

One of the purposes of HR development at Kobe Steel is to ensure that employees feel a sense of pride and worth in their work. To that end it is important that all employees have their own concrete goals that they can use to grow on a daily basis. We support the unflagging growth for all our employees.

Specifically, we create opportunities for managers and their employees to discuss business objectives and future career plans. We provide training through job rotation, with consideration of the employee’s aspiration and the company’s current needs. We also operate a personnel recruitment system that is designed to encourage independent career development.

Regarding skill development, we also compliment OJT with offline training. We have recently strengthened support for self-development through a fuller selection of elective training. We have also strengthened core training for young employees, and are working to bolster problem-solving skills and specialist knowledge for mid-career employees.