Providing appropriate staff training is a core management issue for companies, and one which should be tackled constantly. By encouraging our staff to develop and expand their skills and expertise, we can support the growth of the entire company. And as the company grows, we become better able to provide opportunities for the professional development of staff.
Suntory Holdings carries out training and development for our staff, who are responsible both for upholding the management principles of the company and realizing our management strategy. At the same time, we provide support to each individual member of staff as they work autonomously and with dedication to mark out their own bespoke career path.
We have a number of schemes and measures in place designed to ensure that the entire Suntory Group, as well as each individual staff member, is able to achieve clear growth.
Specifically, we have a ‘Basic Training Program’, which is conducted at every stage of a staff member’s career, from entry to retirement. Our ‘Self Development Program’, ‘Workshops’ and ‘Career Path’ programs are designed to support staff in their self-driven efforts to build up their career prospects. These opportunities ensure that each member of staff is presented with the chance to expand upon his or her current career. Schemes such as the ‘Career Vision System’, ‘Promotion Candidate Exam’ and ‘Global Challenge Program’ are other examples of this.
Career Development System
Basic Training Program
There are several Basic Training programs, but here we introduce our training scheme for new recruits.
New Recruit Training
- At Suntory Holdings, the first two years after a member of staff has been made an informal offer to join the company until around 18 months after starting with the company are considered a training period. It is during this period that new recruits are to furnish themselves with the core skills and knowledge they will need to work in Suntory.
- The group training course held for all new recruits when they join the company is run jointly with Suntory Beverage & Food Limited, Suntory Products, and in 2013 was held for around 10 days in a training center in Kawasaki City.
- After being placed in their various departments, new recruits will be given opportunities to experience the production and sales ‘frontlines’ of the company, through practical training workshops on the factory floor, and sales by recommendation/in-store promotions on the shop floor. New recruits are also required to complete a number of eLearning courses on subjects such as the environment, personal data protection, and other areas of relevance to principled behavior as a company employee.
Once placed in a specific department, each new recruit will be assigned a ‘coach’, a mid-ranking staff member who will mentor them through work issues and life issues, providing instruction and guidance throughout the training period.
Self-directed Career Development Support
Self-directed Career Support focused on individual needs
In 2007, the Career Support Office was established in order to provide support to self-directed career development, through personal consultations, workshops, and other activities.
The Office is committed to focusing on the individual needs of each staff member, and providing solutions that will allow staff to take on personal challenges and fulfill personal development goals. The aim of the Office is to ensure that, for each staff member, working for the Suntory Group will always be interesting, stimulating and a source of professional motivation.
SUNTORY Self Development Program
This Program comprises a number of different courses, all of which can be taken voluntarily by staff. It was developed to encourage the establishment, company-wide, of a self-determined approach to personal development, where each member of staff could be responsible for his or her own professional development.
Courses with the highest attendance are the limited placement group training courses, held each spring and autumn, which offer classes in topics as varied as logical thinking, marketing, accounting, and foreign languages (English, Chinese). In FY2012, about 1,500 staff members (including those from group companies) participated in the courses.
Many other learning opportunities are also available to staff, including correspondence courses, eLearning and subsidies for foreign language education.
Support for Expanding Possibilities of Career Development
Global Challenge Program
The Global Challenge Program is a voluntary participation program aligned with Suntory’s business strategy, designed to help each participating staff member stretch their career.
The scheme comprises of a Trainee Dispatch Program and a Career Challenge/Business School (Graduate School) Exchange Program.
- Trainee Dispatch Program
Designed with the aim of educating staff able to work overseas in the future, this program sends younger staff members to overseas group companies to work as trainees for designated periods. By experiencing life and work in another country, these trainees will learn about global business, and will improve their language skills, communication skills, and ability to understand and adapt to non-Japanese cultures.
Trainees are dispatched to locations all over the world, including Oceania, Europe, South East Asia, China, and North and Central America.
- Career Challenge/Business School (Graduate School) Exchange Program
This program was established to train mid-level staff in the skills required to work in the global field. Career Challenge Program participants continue to work in their department of affiliation, while simultaneously completing a year-long training program. Upon completion of the program, participants are transferred to another department where they can build up practical experience in important business that requires a broader view, in order to help them grow further in their career.
Business School (Graduate School) Exchange Program participants take a year-long sabbatical from work to attend intensive study courses at business school or graduate school. Schools may be located either overseas or in Japan, but all courses are taken in English.