Policies and Basic Concepts

The most important asset at the Inabata Group is the people, and developing our human resources is an issue for management. At Inabata, human resources development and skills development are based on the spirit of love (ai) and respect (kei) for people and on our Mission. Simply put, we cultivate the human resources who share the IK Values and who can realize our Vision.

We develop human resources with the expertise to lead organizations and businesses in Japan and overseas, by providing diverse work experiences and growth opportunities and conducting role-based training. It is an important issue for the Group, which operates worldwide, to develop global staff who can create new value and coexist with the international community from a global perspective regardless of national borders.

Our materiality also highlights “fostering and strengthening the human capital driving the value creation.”

Instilling Management Philosophy

The foundation for human resources development at the Inabata Group is to share the spirit of love (ai) and respect (kei) for people, which has been passed down since the company was founded. We hold workshops and distribute management philosophy cards, among other efforts, to instill our Mission, our Vision, and the IK Values in all employees worldwide.

Human Resources and Evaluation Systems

The human resources system at Inabata classifies positions into Professional, Staff, and Assistant positions to clarify their roles, responsibilities, and mission. There are established qualifications categories organized into eight bands* with training focused on the key bands.

* The eight-band classification applies to the Professional and Staff positions.

The aim for the Professional and Staff positions is to continually improve competence and to achieve better performance. In addition to evaluating competence, we evaluate performance by setting goals and assessing to what degree and through what processes the goals are achieved. The aim for the Assistant positions is to improve proficiency in business skills and customer service. We use a simplified system to comprehensively evaluate competence and performance.

At the start of each fiscal year, employees (all of those in Professional and Staff positions as well as some in Assistant positions) set their goals for the year according to the Action Program (AP), which is a system for managing goals. The Inabata’s AP is positioned as a communication tool between the evaluator and the evaluated person to improve performance. The aim is to use the AP as an effective tool that enables the evaluated person to think more outside of the box and set challenging goals and the evaluator to provide encouragement and support. The content and levels of the goals need to be consistent with the goals of each affiliated organization. The goals must also be appropriate to the role expected of the person’s band. We believe it is important for employees to think outside of the box and set more challenging goals that are linked to personal growth as well as achieving the goals of the organization. After half a year, we conduct mid-term reviews (interviews) and make adjustments as necessary.

After the fiscal year ends, a comprehensive evaluation is conducted. It consists of an assessment in light of the AP goals and a competence assessment that reflects actions, and other tasks and roles undertaken, in the past year. The comprehensive evaluations are discussed and finalized by all general managers. Once the evaluation is finalized, the evaluator and the evaluated person conduct a feedback session, where the evaluation sheet is shown, and the reasons behind the evaluations are explained, to the evaluated person. We believe that the feedback session is an important process for the evaluated person as it makes the evaluations more effective. The process is also important to ensuring the fairness and transparency of the evaluations.

Fundamental Training System

After joining the company, employees undergo training at their respective levels to acquire the knowledge they will need as global human resources. We also organize lectures to teach employees the minimum basic knowledge of chemicals necessary for someone working at a trading company dealing in chemicals. We invite external lecturers for a total of 10 sessions, mainly for young employees.

Training for Overseas Bases

The Inabata Group’s long-term vision, IK Vision 2030, aspires to increase the ratio of sales and operating profit generated outside Japan. We recognize the importance of training for overseas bases amid the rapid development of the overseas business. We provide our staff at the overseas subsidiaries with training in fundamental areas such as purchase and inventory management, credit management, business management, and legal knowledge. We strive to raise the level of the Group as a whole by continuously providing training via e-learning and other channels.

Career Development Support

We provide all employees with opportunities for career development in order to motivate employees, promote career awareness, and strengthen organizational capability.

Internal Recruitment System

In March 2021, we launched an internal recruitment system as part of our efforts to strengthen the organization, to place and supplement human resources by putting the right person in the right place, and to support employee careers. The system enables departments wishing to recruit human resources to post their requirements in-house, and interested employees are free to apply.

Career Progression System

In FY2022, we launched a career progression system as part of our efforts to support employee careers. The system enables employees to advance their careers by notifying the Human Resources Office of their preferred transfers.

Overseas Trainees

We plan to introduce an overseas trainee system in FY2023 to provide all young employees with experience of overseas postings and thereby broaden their horizons. The training is intended for employees in their late 20s. The aim is to develop their abilities as global human resources with experience of doing business and living overseas by dispatching them to overseas Group companies for about six months.

New Employee Rotation

In FY2022, we introduced a system of rotation for new employees to provide all new graduate recruits with experience of both the sales divisions and the administrative offices and thereby broaden their horizons. One year after their initial assignment, new employees are assigned to a different division or office(i.e., from the sales divisions to the administrative offices, or vice versa). The following year, they are reassigned according to aptitude.

Mid-career Training

In FY2022, we launched career training for employees in their 40s and 50s who are in Staff or Professional positions. The aim is to look at what work style suits them best. The training provides an opportunity to take stock of their own career and skills, to visualize their experience and strengths, and to consider what careers and skills will be needed in the future.

Video Learning Support System

To support employees’ self-guided career development and skills development, we introduced a video learning support system in FY2022. Employees are free to choose topics for their own personal development. The support is also available to employees posted overseas. Combined with existing distance learning and online language training programs, the system actively supports employees with their personal development.