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 Award"
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 2021, the seventh 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 77.9% of employees felt motivation in their work and 66.6% of employees were satisfied with their work in 2021. 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.
FY2021 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
In the Nikkei Smart Work Management Survey conducted by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the company received the Grand Prize for the 2nd and 3rd consecutive years, and in the 4th and 5th screening in 2021 and 2022, respectively, the company was selected for the Hall of Fame, which is reserved for companies that have received the Grand Prize in consecutive years. The company has consistently received the highest five-star rating in the overall evaluation. In particular, in the area of "ability to utilize human resources," the promotion of diverse work styles, such as the promotion of telecommuting, has been highly evaluated.
The Suntory Group is supporting the development of employees based on the belief that 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 initiatives.
Vision of Suntory University
- Encourage every Suntorian to contribute to Suntory Group’s business growth
- Keep Founding Spirits in their heart as a 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 employees who belong to the Suntory Group in three fields; Leadership, Culture and 2030 Capabilities.
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.
The Beyond Borders Program aims develop future leaders with an enterprise-wide mindset across Suntory and accelerate development journey towards Senior Leadership.
It intends to increase individual leadership effectiveness; drive innovative thinking (‘seeing the unseen’); accelerate strategic thinking through understanding our business & challenges within that. The program allows our senior leaders to build a global network to accelerate the development of cross enterprise leadership capabilities across the organization.
In 2021, 25 participants were selected from our Business Units around across the globe. Partnering with Wharton Business School, part of the University of Pennslyvania, the program started in November 2021 and finishes in June 2022, consisting of four modules. The first module begins with conversations about their own “Leadership Identity”, and each module after that focuses on a different element of strategic leadership: Vision (Growing for Good), Strategy (Develop the roadmap), Impact (Lead the Change). Following each module participants are assigned to teams to focus on an ‘Action Learning Project’ that allowed them to apply their learning against real business challenges and opportunities. We have used a hybrid approach to delivery with the first three modules virtually and the last one in person in Tokyo.
The Global Leadership Development Program (GLDP) is designed to develop Strategic Development across our Suntory Leadership Spirit Leadership behaviors. It aims to continuously produce future global management talents at the mid to senior leader level selected from throughout the Suntory Group. The program also seeks to develop a global leadership mindset & broaden perspective for the future while creating emotional bonds to Suntory & other leaders across the globe.
GLDP is an 8-month program that includes three modules, study groups, and an action learning project, all facilitated by Suntory University and the Moller Institute from the University of Cambridge.
In 2021, due to the global pandemic, two of the three modules were held virtually, and a total of 26 participants from different countries and different businesses joined them.
Participants attended lectures by Moller Institute business school faculty and outside experts. Weaving the Suntory Leadership Spirit through the whole program, some of the topics included next-generation leadership, self-awareness, understanding of Suntory's DNA and business, and cross culture team effectiveness as well as strategic leadership core topics.
We were able to deepen understanding by connecting lectures on sustainability and innovation to Suntory's leadership behaviors, and a unique leadership development is realized.
The program attendants will gain a deep understanding of the nature of leadership in global management through the experience of integrating their learning, applying it to ‘real life’ and presenting it to the top management through their Action Learning Projects.
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 “Giving back to society.”
The Global Leadership Forum (GLF) is held for senior leaders who have newly joined Suntory Group to provide immersion, inspiration & connection to Suntory as an organization through the MVV & Suntory culture.
*Due to the pandemic, the program was divided into three themes (using our 3 EVP guiding pillars) and conducted virtually.
The program also raises the awareness of being a member of Suntory, educating on Suntory's DNA such as its Founding Spirits and corporate culture, and provides a platform for executive conversations about how to apply it to leadership situations in their own business.
By providing the opportunity to network for participants, they can strengthen connections, share expertise and experience and identify seeds of synergy as well as gain a global management perspective at a Suntory Group level.
The President, Vice Presidents, and other top executives themselves are heavily involved in the program content and some also act as lecturers for the sessions.
The program includes guest speaker workshops and other activities that allow participants to learn about Suntory's culture in a well-structured way.
- 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.
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. Through dialogue with Suntory management, interaction with global Suntorians from around the world who are participating together, and an understanding of the Suntory Group's culture, Founding Spirits, and the differences and similarities among the various organizations within the Group, participants are ultimately expected to serve as "ambassadors" to spread Suntory's culture within their own organization.
In previous years, participants from overseas countries were invited to Japan for hands-on training to see various Suntory Gemba(field site).
After a one-year postponement due to the pandemic, the training was conducted virtually for the first time in 2021.
Through these three months, the participants were able to build a strong network across organizations, functions, and countries, and feel connected to the greater Suntory Group.
Since this year’s program was held virtually, we also tried various digital measures, such as the "Founding Spirits" tour using virtual reality (VR) and e-learning in MySU. It has been held more than 20 times since 2012, and the total number of participants is around 600. 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 and look forward to hosting the 2022 program back in Tokyo.
We provide an opportunity to develop the skills needed for the future such as the newly established Suntory Leadership Spirit (SLS), Digital Commerce Academy, Sustainability and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)
Digital Learning Platform
Our Global Online Digital Learning Platform “MySU”（My Suntory University) expands 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. MySU gives Suntorians access to 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.
Sharing and Practicing the Spirit of Culture and Founding
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 “Giving back to 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.
Foundation for Human Resource Development (Japan only): To continually support and nurture every Suntory Group employee
This field 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 third year with the company, and then design their own career path in their tenth year to pursue into the future. We hold workshops at the age of 43, at the middle point of business person, with the aim of looking back on our careers and establishing our own personality. In addition, we will hold two application-type workshops, "38 to 47 years old" and "48 to 57 years old", to draw a career vision that is unique to you based on deep self-understanding in order to master your future career. For the purpose, we provide the opportunity to take classes anytime and as many times as you like. With the introduction of the 65-year-old retirement age, at the age of 58, we are supporting career development that will make future life more positive through work, with the theme of lifelong career enhancement that makes use of the power cultivated so far.
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
In order for each employee to work and grow as a person, it is necessary for him or her to take responsibility for his or her own work life and continue to make positive, proactive efforts. 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 proactively. 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 FY2021
|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||1,243|
|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.||1,122|
|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 20,000 employees 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.
[2021 results] Number of participants (total): 32,196 Number of annual events: 272 (177 events were sponsored by employees )
Other Development Programs in Japan
|Name||Description||Number of participants 2021||2011 – 2021|
|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.)||7||83|
|Company sponsored MBA||Sending talented high potential employees to overseas top business schools to study in global environment.||3||32|
|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.||6||99|
Promotion of ONE SUNTORY
Training for New Graduates Across Group Companies in Japan
The Suntory Group has deepened its bonds by holding training together with multiple Group companies since 2014. The program includes courses about the mindset of professionals as well as basic business manners, with a hope to drive future synergy by fostering one Group mindset from the time employees join the company.
*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 2021 with 42 employees from 10 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 2021, the eighth Manager training was held with the participation of 28 employees who have less than three years of managerial experience. Those who are from 12 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.
Award for Companies Providing Career Support
Suntory Holdings Ltd. was presented with 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.