Human Resources Development

We believe that the growth of each and every employee is a driving force behind the sustainable growth of our businesses. For this reason, we recognize that human resources development is a critical aspect of management. We have established a policy on human resources development and actively offer education so that employees can take action toward their own personal and professional growth. The Responsible Care Committee monitors and reviews these initiatives.

The type of personnel we look for

Our company seeks to hire and foster people who will share and commit to our Basic Policy (Company Philosophy)—“Our company places prime importance on trust and sureness, and shall commit itself to contributing to the progress of society and enhancement of people’s welfare and livelihood through its business activities.” Furthermore, we need people who will embrace the Company’s mission to become an excellent global enterprise that helps enhance customer value through its products and services, creating plastics with more sophisticated functions, and can achieve sustainable growth in the advanced chemical-products sector.
Specifically we seek personnel with the four characteristics listed on the right.

Key characteristics of the autonomously motivated personnel the Company seeks

  • 1. People who are growth-oriented and have the drive to acquire new skills and knowledge necessary for their jobs;
  • 2. People with a pro-reform stance who are not satisfied with the status quo, but are always looking for ways to do a better job;
  • 3. People with a team-oriented approach who can combine their individual strengths with the strengths of those around them to deliver better results; and
  • 4. People with professionalism who possess outstanding skills and know-how and can produce results through their work anywhere in the world

The Group’s in-house training institute, “SB School”

In September 2007, our Group opened the Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. School (SB School) as an in-house training institute.

The aim of SB School is to provide lifelong education and training courses that help our Group achieve sustainable growth of business operations while maximizing corporate value. The school offers courses for all grades of employees from all departments. These include “all-employee education” courses that confirm and reinforce employees’ awareness of the Company’s Business Philosophy as well as fundamental knowledge about such issues as enhancement of CS, compliance, human rights, occupational safety, quality, and environmental protection. The school also systematically plans and implements various other kinds of educational and training courses needed by employees.

During fiscal 2021, many of the educational programs were conducted in remote formats due to the impact of COVID-19. During the year April 2021 through March 2022, the cumulative participation in SB School courses was about 28,000 employees, and the number of hours of education provided was approximately 42,000. We will plan and implement an increasingly wide range of programs to develop the capabilities of all employees—the Company’s most precious management resource.

SB School and Human Resource Developmen

SB School Course Participation (fiscal 2021)

(Unit: Persons)
Type of course Number of participants Educational aims
Education for line managers (basic) 14 An educational program to develop managers who can serve as links connecting top management goals to the front-line workplace, and voluntarily chart the direction for their own organization
MG1 education (advanced) 29 An educational program for experienced MG1 personnel, designed to systematically organize and deepen their understanding of management principles
MG1 education (basic) 54 An educational program for employees promoted to MG1, to encourage them to think about the role expected of management employees and to change their awareness and behavior
Education for mid-career employees 43 An educational program enabling younger personnel to reflect on themselves and gain new insights as they enter the stage in which they drive the company forward as young to mid-career employees
Education for employees in their third year in the company 29 An educational program for looking back on the previous two years, sharing experiences to date, and gaining insights for making the third and subsequent years with the company more fulfilling
Follow-up education for new recruits 31 An educational program enabling new employees to reconfirm their own strengths and weaknesses through a review of their first year, and to promote further growth in their second year and beyond
Education for new recruits 31 An educational program to create a foundation for new employees to become active members of the workplace after they are assigned jobs
Life plan education 68 An educational program enabling employees approaching retirement to examine what they need to be aware of in order to further enhance their careers and learn to plan for life after retirement
Total 299
  • * All programs were conducted remotely.
Education for employees in their third year in the company (screenshot)

Education for employees in their third year in the company (screenshot)

[TOPIC]Manufacturing-oriented SBPS Education

SBPS activities originally began as an offshoot of on-site kaizen (improvement) activities but are now implemented throughout the Company in order to generate the values demanded by customers and society.

The activities are aimed at securing the revenue and safety (personnel, facilities, environmental, and quality) that our company requires to achieve sustainable development. The activities involve setting specific targets (financial, quantitative, and delivery), planning who needs to achieve each of these targets by when, and implementing these plans without delay, meaning the activities are just the same as the daily work tasks carried out by employees.

We believe that, through the ages, technical capabilities, knowledge, experience, and tireless effort to improve that each individual has who promotes these activities will always bring about our required results. Based on this idea, we have organized education programs targeting each employee grade and level as part of the SB School system. The planning and operation of the education is in principle carried out by employees themselves. Attendees are required to submit reports, and the emphasis is placed on putting what they have learned into practice in their own departments. Regular followups are carried out to track their progress. Our training course for foremen is one example of our employee grade-based education. We began offering courses designed to foster future workplace leaders back in 2017. In fiscal 2021, the course was conducted online due to the spread of COVID-19, and attended by eight participants.


Training course for foremen (trainees at the Amagazaki course)

R&D and Tech Day Held

In November 2021 we held “R&D and Tech Day 2021” to share information about technology across the boundaries of the various departments and businesses that we operate with the aim of enhancing our overall Group-wide technological capabilities. Due to the impact of the spread of COVID-19 infections, this year we continued from last year in using a hybrid of online and in-person formats. The event was spread out over four days, and more than 300 staff members from Japan and overseas participated, primarily from research departments, manufacturing-related departments, marketing, and sales. Total viewership amounted to 1,300 employees.

The same type of format is also planned for the 2022 event.
Honoring departments that received the Award for Excellence on R&D and Tech Day 2021

Honoring departments that received the Award for Excellence on R&D and Tech Day 2021

‘Gemba Kaizen’ Activity Presentation Meeting Held

Due to the impact of the spread of COVID-19 infections, ‘Gemba Kaizen’ Activity Presentation 2021, a venue held in May for presenting successful outcomes of daily improvements at each business location, was conducted online. Nearly 400 employees attended, mostly from domestic and international production divisions.

Sumitomo Bakelite (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. employees receive Award for Excellence.

Sumitomo Bakelite (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. employees receive Award for Excellence.

Quality Control Skill Enhancement

We offer 30 quality-training programs at our SB School to increase our employees’ awareness of quality, to prevent quality problems, and to improve quality techniques. November every year is designated as “quality month,” and quality education via e-learning is provided for all employees.

We provide education for second-year employees in the engineering track through the Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. educational system by offering lectures and practical training in areas such as the company’s quality policy and approach to quality assurance, regulations, quality management systems, problem-solving methods (FTA, FMEA, Why-Why Analysis, and Further Investigation), and statistical methods from the early stages of the careers of employees assigned to the research and production engineering departments. Administrative employees were also included in the eligible group for receiving education in areas such as quality in general, regulations, and management systems.

In the current era of VUCA, which is highly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, we have enhanced the curriculum of the Quality Control Manager Training Course with the aim of developing human resources capable of making appropriate judgments at in each emergent situation that cannot be handled by experience alone. We put effort into securing personnel who will be immediately effective as quality control managers.

Environmental Education

Our laboratories and plants handle a wide range of chemical substances. We conduct periodic group education programs for employees, including new employees, with the objective of protecting the environment in the vicinity of our business sites and ensuring that employees work in safety. These programs are designed to enhance employees’ understanding of the properties of chemical substances and the content of relevant laws and regulations, thus enabling them to handle chemical substances appropriately.

In addition to group education programs, environmental education by e-learning is conducted every year for all employees in June, a month dedicated to enhancement of environmental protection.

These days, more and more companies with global operations are disseminating information centered on sustainability. After learning about and outlining the relationships between sustainability and SDGs, CSR, Responsible Care/ESG, etc., students learn about and deepen their understanding of the various environmental and safety-related activities that we are involved in.

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