Based on a fair and reasonable human resource system, we are working to create an environment where employees can develop and harness their capabilities to the full. Suntory Group has been engaging in development of human resources in the belief that growth of companies originates from human resources. With the current changes in the surrounding environment, we have given a collective name Suntory University for all Group-wide human resource development and training activities, in order to further strengthen them.
Build Human Resource System to Develop and Harness Capabilities
The Suntory Group’s human resource system focuses on developing and harnessing the capabilities of each and every employee. Our philosophy is to offer fair and reasonable compensation in accordance with the employee’s stage of capability development, and the results shown from harnessing those capabilities. The following three themes are central to this basic philosophy.
- Each employee takes on increasingly difficult targets and challenges with a spirit of improvement
- The company offers employees opportunities for skill and career development, and supports their self-actualization
- Compensation is fair, and clearly reflects the employee’s role and results
Ability Qualification System and Qualification and Role System
The platform of Suntory Group's human resource system is Ability Qualification System and Qualification and Role System.
Ability Qualification System is a system which ranks the employees according to their ability to do work. This system is applied to member level employees that are in the process of becoming a professional in business. By clarifying which abilities are required according to the ability qualification level, everyone can be evaluated and treated justly and raise aspiration and raise awareness of achieving a target.
Qualification and Role System is a system which ranks the employees according to their ability to do work and roles they must fulfill. This system is applied to manager level employees that exhibit their experience and ability.
Fair and Reasonable Evaluations
It is required to evaluate individual employees in fair and reasonable manner according to their roles and achievements to establish a corporate culture that is based on performance. Thus, Suntory Group holds interviews between superiors and subordinates four times a year to provide evaluations that each and every employee can agree with.
Member level employees that Ability Qualification System is applied to create "work plan" during the setting interview at the beginning of the year and are evaluated through reflecting back their performance and process against that plan and discussing with their superior at review interview. Feedback interviews with their superiors that follow the evaluations are used to pass on the results, discuss expectations and areas for improvement in detail, and encourage understanding of both the evaluation and further development and growth in their capabilities.
For manager level positions that have subordinates are evaluated by their superiors and also evaluation from their subordinates are referenced to evaluate how much of their role required were performed from multiple perspectives. We believe that operating a system that employees can agree to will establish a corporate culture based on performance and create an environment where everyone has spirit of improvement.
Introduction of Challenge Targets
From 2013, Challenge Targets was implemented for member level employees. Challenge Targets is a system which the employees set ambitious targets that are more difficult than everyday work of their own and its results are added to performance evaluation. By setting their own challenging target without the fear of failing allows for them to take prudent actions, which strengthen the culture of "Yatte Minahare" in Suntory Group's DNA.
Establishment of the "Walk the Walk-Yatte Minahare Prize"
From 2015, the "Walk the Walk - Yatte Minahare Prize" was established for all Suntory Group employees. This award recognizes teams that embody the "Yatte Minahare" spirit through the undertaking of original activities that challenge the preconceptions of conventional methods. In 2020, the sixth year, 365 teams and 4,000 names from all over the world entered. The Suntory Group is continually pursuing the creation of new value on a global basis by working hard and having big dreams.
We are working to cultivate a climate allowing employees to take on challenges in-line with the “challenging targets” that were described previously.
Implementing Evaluation System in Cooperation with Labor Union
The labor union conducts a questionnaire for their members about the above mentioned four interviews a year. It surveys how each union member is in agreement through checking if "interview with the superior was sufficient" or "did you understand the result of the evaluation."
The results of the surveys are communicated to executive management, and are used to manage and revise the human resources system. Additionally, if any shortfalls in the interviews were seen, management questions the superior who conducted the evaluation and provides guidance.
Wage System that is Connected with the Evaluation
Suntory Group's evaluation index is based on the "results" of how much of the "work plan" was achieved and prudent actions set in the code of conduct for each qualification for the member level employees. These two indexes are connected to the raise and bonus in our wage system. For the manager level employees, in addition to their qualification, roles they have taken and achievements made in that role is used is considered in the wage system.
In addition, company's performance is made clear according to a set rule and is directly connected business performance as business performance-based bonus and retirement benefit pension system for long term stable pension are also available.
Introduction of "Career Vision"
The Suntory Group has been operating a system for employees to report the status of their workplace and desire for transfers to the human resource department once a year. We have advanced the placement of employees with the growth of individuals as the primary focus based on these reports more than ever before. In 2013, we created "Career Vision" for development of each employee and for assignment of the appropriate person to the right job in the aim of promoting each employee to grow mindful of their career. This system merges employees, their superiors, and human resources work to achieve optimum human resource assignments and encourage the growth of every employee. Based on the Career Vision Sheet filled out by each employee, their long-term career goal and efforts needed to achieve the goal are discussed.
In 2014, we established a site with information to support each employee's career design on the Intranet and other initiatives to strengthen the system.
In addition, we have implemented a job rotation system for employees to experience multiple jobs over roughly ten years from when they enter Suntory to expand the possibilities of young employees. We are actively engaging in individual interviews with employees and the human resource department, including interviews with all fourth year and ninth year employees, to assign the right person to the right place.
Surveying Employee Awareness and Company Climate
We check things from the current situation of employees, the awareness about work, and aspects related to their health, family, and history to their desire for transfer and motivation towards work in interviews with the Career Vision. The results showed that 78/1% of employees felt motivation in their work and 66.9% of employees were satisfied with their work in 2020. The responses of individuals plays a role in assigning the right person to the right place considering the desire of the individual and it connects to the direction of corporate activities.
In addition, the Suntory Group conducts surveys about the organizational climate to assess how the corporate philosophy is recognized and understood in the daily operations of each employee that works in the Suntory Group. We are also surveying how employees see the organizational climate of each company and workplace, the policies, and compliance to share and utilize with management as well as each company and each division. We also conduct employee awareness surveys outside Japan, and in the 2020 survey, about 80% of the respondents said they were proud to work for the Suntory Group.
FY2020 Work Awareness
Selected as One of the Most Admired Companies by Fortune
Suntory was ranked 4th in 2019 (Beverage and Alcoholic Industry) by Fortune magazine in The World’s Most Admired Companies, the highest rank ever obtained by a Japanese beverage company.
The American magazine Fortune has been ranking global companies every year since 1997. The assessment is conducted for 650 companies with power on the world stage according to criteria for nine key attributes* based on a survey of roughly 4,000 people from corporate management to financial analyst.
(2) People Management
(3) Use of Corporate Assets
(4) Social Responsibility
(5) Quality of Management
(6) Financial Soundness
(7) Long-Term Investment Value
(8) Quality of Products/Services
(9) Global Competitiveness
Suntory has participated in the survey since 2013.
We will strive to continue to be recognized worldwide in the future with pride in the high regard we have already earned around the globe for our corporate activities.
Suntory Receives Hall of Fame at the Fourth Nikkei Smart Work Awards
We achieved five stars—the highest accolade—at Nikkei Inc.’s Nikkei Smart Work Survey 2021, and have received the S++ rank for the fourth year in a row in the Personnel Utilization category in particular.
Our numerous efforts in promoting diversity through the utilization of female/senior citizen personnel and the establishment of a collaboration center, and in creating diverse and flexible work styles with active roles by work style reform leaders and incorporation of robotic process automation (RPA) software in all of our companies, etc. have led to this solid reputation.
Opening of Suntory University
The Suntory Group is supporting the development of employees based on the belief employees have always been the source of growth for companies.
Suntory University was opened in April 2015 as a place for all people at Suntory to learn and unite as ONE SUNTORY with the founding spirits as a shared value. We endeavor to support our employees through a broad range of development of initiatives.
The vision of Suntory University; Encourage every Suntorian to contribute to Suntory Group’s business growth, having Founding Spirits in heart as its core value. The vision also includes the realization of "One Suntory" globally through understanding of the founding spirits by all group employees.
Suntory University provides learning opportunities to all of the employees who belong to the Suntory Group in three fields; leadership development, the founding spirits and 2030 capabilities.
Founding Spirits: To realize “ONE SUNTORY” globally by sharing the Suntory’s DNA; including our founding spirits
We have started and are planning to expand the activities at all group companies to share and deepen understanding of the founding spirits, “Yatte Minahare” spirit and the spirit of “Sharing the Profit with Society.”
This program targets employees of overseas Group companies and aims to raise their understanding of Suntory and nurture unity as a member of the Group. When they return to their company, they will become ambassadors and share what they have learned with others. The Ambassador Program aims to spread Suntory’s Mission, Vision, Values and Founding Spirits, as well as to drive forward the promotion of Global ONE SUNTORY. It has been held more than 20 times since 2012, and the total number of participants is around 600. Participants deepen their understanding about the founding spirits that has been held as most important since the founding of Suntory through various lectures, site visit, workshops and discussions. We will continue to evolve the Ambassador Program further in the future to share the founding spirits that is the strength of the Suntory Group globally. We will forge ahead in creating a truly global ONE SUNTORY.
Implemented within Japan regional programs
We have built in sessions to learn the founding spirits within various regional programs such as junior employee program and new manager induction program. In particular, newly appointed managers visit the Suntory Museum of Art and Suntory Hall. This gives an opportunity for participants to directly see and feel how Suntory’s corporate philosophy has been carried out and also deepen the understanding of our value “Sharing the Profit with Society” from management viewpoints. We also give our junior employees a chance to learn the Suntory Group values directly by having site visit to facilities such as Yamazaki distillery, Domyoji Takadonoen - nursing facility founded by Suntory and the birthplace of the founder, Shinjiro Torii.
Leadership development: To develop future leaders who can drive global growth for the Suntory Group
We provide opportunities for our employees to develop their leadership through customized programs including action learning, case method, workshop with senior management etc. and carefully craft the programs so that they always link to management strategies.
Suntory Harvard Program
The Suntory Harvard Program aims to provide employees with a broad and expansive view of the global environment, and understand how successful businesses thrive in a complex, competitive and rapidly changing global economic environment. This program will broaden a perspective to be true global leaders and global thinkers, to establish a strategic roadmap for Suntory’s future, lead culture transformation, leverage diversity and embrace inclusion to accelerate innovation and disruption in our industries.
We held the Global Leadership Forum (GLF) for the senior leaders that is selected from entire Suntory Group companies to develop future global leaders in 2016, 2017, and 2018. (We are planning to hold GLF in 2021 again)
Purpose of the program is outlined below;
- To strengthen connections among senior leaders extending their professional network
- To enable sharing of knowledge and experience and to leverage the enterprise-wide mindset and perspective
- To be inspired with new ideas and approach toward leadership through listening to a diverse range of leaders’ discussion.
The program is packed with content great for stimulating participants such as workshops held with guest speakers in addition to the large contributions made by top management in creating materials and as session lecturers on that day.
The Beyond Borders Program aims to accelerate the development of cross enterprise leadership capabilities for senior leaders across the organization. In 2019, 23 participants were selected from around the world. The program consistent of four modules over ten months. The module themes include: Self-Leadership and Culture Development, Innovation, and Strategy. Following each module participants were assigned to teams to focus on a Project that allowed them to apply their learning against real business challenges and opportunities.
The Global Leadership Development Program (GLDP) is a six-month joint leadership development program designed and facilitated by Suntory University and Møller Institute, University of Cambridge. The objective of this program is to build and develop a holistic leadership capability such as developing a global leadership mindset, broadening perspectives for the future, and networking within Suntory and other leaders across the globe. This program consists of three face-to-face modules in Auckland, Cambridge and Tokyo, along with Action Learning Projects and coaching sessions in between, to help participants apply their learnings and contribute to Suntory’s Vision for 2030. In the final module, they make business proposals to executive leaders by integrating all their learnings throughout the program. In 2019-2020 cohort, 24 leaders from Suntory Group companies gathered from around the world.
Other Development Programs in Japan
|Name||Description||Number of participants 2020||2011 – 2020|
|Career Challenge Program||Individual tailored program for junior employees to enhance skills needed for global business (language, cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication, leadership, logical thinking, management through figures, etc.)||9||76|
|Company sponsored MBA||Sending talented high potential employees to overseas top business schools to study in global environment.||2||29|
|Trainee program||Trainees brush up their professional skills, gain language and communication skills, global business skills, and leadership skills through the one year on-site training at overseas companies.||13||93|
Infrastructure human resource development (Japan only): To continually support and nurture every Suntory Group employee
This department spearheads the skills of each and every employee and provides a place to open up avenues to one's career by recognizing themselves as the owner of their own careers. The program has been structured based on two axes; Growth as a Suntorian (stratified training from junior employee to manager) as well as Career Independence and Self Enlightenment (career support) for employees in Japan.
Stratified training deepens education under various themes that include the desired skills and knowledge as well as management skills and leadership at each level of employment from junior employees to new appointed professionals, new managers, and newly appointed senior general managers. This department incorporates programs to foster the growth of each employee who supports the Suntory Group for junior employees to managers. In addition, basic training programs suitable for each stage of business are also conducted in each department from sales to production.
Supporting Career Planning and Development of Each Employee
The Suntory Group established the Career Support Section in 2007. This section supports the independent career development of each and every employee through efforts that include individual career consulting with expert advisors, follow-up interviews after a personnel transfer, workshops by generation and other follow-up interviews. All of our employees systematically take career workshops that support each generation under the concepts of enthusiasm in unique work styles and work enjoyment as the owner of their careers. Employees build avenues to consider their careers in their fourth year with the company, and then design their own career path in their tenth year to pursue into the future. We also conduct workshops for each generation for the purpose of evoking a career vision in our employees based on deep self-understanding to drive their careers in the future as professionals in their 40s beginning when they are 38. We also support career planning and development that strives to create a brighter future in life through work with themes from reaffirming growth in the future at 58 in addition to the adoption of an extension of retirement to age 65.
Development Concepts/Overall Training and Self Enlightenment Programs Framework
We have built an education system that responds to the specific skills and attributes that are required to support the growth of Suntorians.
Various Development Programs
Employees need to continually strive to be optimistic by taking responsibility of their own careers to work enthusiastically and grow as an individual with a unique work style. Therefore, the Suntory Group has adopted the Suntory Self-Development Program (SDP) as a self-enlightenment support program. In particular, Group employees in Japan can take courses available for everyone as Elective Training to not only learn the course content but also take advantage of the program as an effective means to building a network between Group companies.
Furthermore, in recent years, we are enhancing our support in strengthening English skills as a way to respond to globalization. We have prepared a broad support system from small group lessons at the office to private lessons at schools, e-learning and distance learning for beginning level students as well as upper level students who use English in their daily work. In the future, we will continue to support employees who strive to move forward with optimism. Also, Suntory University has expanded its e-learning programs since 2019 to give employees more opportunities to study anywhere, anytime.
Main self-development programs and the number of participants in FY2020
|Type of training||Description||People|
|Elective training*||Elective training provides approximately 40 different types of courses (twice/year) with training designed to teach the necessary business skills to succeed in the career plans envisioned by our employees||845|
|Enhancing English ability*||This program provides various courses such as in-office English lessons and online lessons aimed to enhance business communications skills in English. A wide range of support content is available so that students can effectively take the course best suited for their skill level.||223|
|e-Learning||We offer programs from 5 external partners that you can take freely online.
The programs cover a wide range of contents from business skill acquisition to private life-related matters. We support self learning anywhere during hiatus.
This training program aims to heighten the ability to execute operations and gain the knowledge required for operational innovation.
The courses include business skills, language acquisition, and computer skills.
|Financial Support System for Attending School and Distance Learning||Suntory provides support for up to half the costs of schools and distance learning programs aimed at improving students skills (up to maximum limit).
The courses that can be taken range from the skills necessary to execute operations (accounting, legal knowledge, etc.) to improving language skills and acquiring certifications
*These are elective programs that employees can participate on their own accord which the company will take on some of the training costs
We launched Terakoya, a peer-to-peer learning platform, to make Suntory the best company in the world for human resources development in 2017. The concept of this platform is "learning", "teaching each other" and "connecting".
The target of Terakoya is about 11,000 employees(as of 2021 Feb) in Suntory group. They can join Terakoya for free, learn business skills or liberal arts, and become an instructor to share their own knowledge with others . In 2020, due to the COVID19 disaster, the event was completely online, and the number of users increased significantly.
[2020 results] Number of participants (total): 14,384 Number of annual events: 177 (111 events were sponsored by employees )
Promotion of Global ONE SUNTORY
Training for New Graduates Across Group Companies in Japan
The Suntory Group has deepened its bonds while learning since 2014 by holding training together with multiple Group companies that includes courses about the mindset of professionals as well as basic business manners based on the hope to drive future synergy by fostering an awareness as an member of the Group from a time when employees are new to the company. The programs were held online with the participation of 6 companies* and 31 new employees in 2020.
*Suntory Marketing & Commerce Ltd., MONTE BUSSAN K.K., Suntory Logistics Ltd., Suntory Chita Distillery, Suntory Foods Okinawa Ltd., SUN-AD Co., Ld.
Mid-level Breakthrough Training Together with Group Companies in Japan
We held Mid-level Breakthrough Training for Mid-level employees for the fifth time in 2020 with 49 employees from 8 companies participating online. We held sessions for employees to think about the future of their careers by revisiting their work from first entering the company up until present day as well as universal skills that includes identifying points for further growth in the future.
Manager Training Together with Group Companies in Japan
In 2020, the eighth Manager training was held with the participation of 39 employees who have less than three years of managerial experience. Those who are from 13 different companies have learned the standards of managers online. Over two days, lectures and role-playing with focus on developing people were held through company and individual presentation as well as by experienced managers.
Global ONE SUNTORY Program
This program targets employees in Suntory’s group companies all around the world. The main objectives are to deepen understanding of business and strategy in business regions across the Suntory Group, discuss opportunities for synergy, and strengthen professional networks across participants. Program contents often include the following topics:
- Sharing of Suntory’s long-term vision
- Presentations on regional business overviews and strategies
- Workshops to understand Suntory’s worldwide business and history
- Group discussions on future synergy opportunities
- Cross-cultural communication workshop
We will drive synergy and contribute to support for human resource development at each Group company in the future by taking advantage of the strengths in various fields brought together at the Suntory Group.
Global Online Learning Platform "MySU"
Suntory University launched online learning platform – MySU, expanding into the digital world of learning for all Suntorians across the globe.
This digital learning platform directly supports our vision at Suntory University - to encourage every Suntorian through learning and capability development to contribute towards Suntory Group’s business growth.
At the new platform - MySU - employees will find online learning courses, education materials, videos and development tools as well as information about the in-person Global Suntory University development conferences, seminars and experiences.
Presented the Award for Companies Providing Career Support
Suntory Holdings Ltd. was presented with the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfares Award for Companies Providing Career Support in 2013 held by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The Award for Companies Providing Career Support actively supports the development of employees' careers and praises companies based on other criteria for the purpose of raising broad awareness and standardizing career development initiatives.
We believe this award highly evaluates our initiatives to actively support the career development of our employees to give each and every person at Suntory enthusiasm and motivation as well as bring the Yatte Minahare spirit to its full potential.