Human Resources

Transforming Human Resources to Realize “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing”

Aiming to realize our Group Management Philosophy, which calls on us to “contribute to the security, health, and wellbeing of customers and society as a whole by providing insurance and related services of the highest quality possible,” we will transform our human resources. While differing in terms of nationality, gender, experience, and age, each of the Sompo Group’s employees will continue self-examination as to what they should be doing and take the initiative in transforming their behavior, in order to ensure they cater precisely to customers’ day-to-day needs and make a positive contribution to the quality of life—thereby creating “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing.” These efforts will contribute to the Group’s growth by transforming its corporate culture and by supporting reform of its business portfolio.
The Group will incorporate the concept of “talentism,” which values personnel and their abilities, and develop a corporate culture whereby each employee is able to take advantage of their individual attributes and talents in contributing to corporate activities. The spread of COVID-19 has overturned the premises of many different types of businesses. Viewing this crisis as a new opportunity, we will focus on the three core values of diversity, professionalism, and being mission-driven as we forge ahead with the transformation of our human resources.

1. Diversity To convert diversity into a force for new value creation, the Group will create an environment in which many different types of personnel can perform at their absolute best. At the same time, we will foster leaders who are capable of heading diverse teams.
2. Professionalism The aim is to develop a corporate culture in which each individual is a self-starter who enhances their talents and strengths and considers how they can help the Group achieve its mission.
3. Being Mission-Driven We will rigorously introduce mission-driven approaches that give concrete form to the resultsoriented culture. This culture will both support and be supported by the entrenchment of location-independent work styles as the new normal. Moreover, we will develop and advance a health and productivity management strategy that promotes a corporate culture in which individual employees find their work fulfilling and are focused on achieving their missions.


Core Value 1. Diversity
—Understanding the Importance of Diversity and Using It to Create New Value—

1. Enhancing Productivity by Remodeling the Sompo Group’s Work Styles

The changes brought about by the recent spread of COVID-19 have provided us with an opportunity to develop work styles that maximize productivity. Accordingly, we will redefine the target profile of each business and accelerate reforms focused on transitioning to location-independent and other new work styles. With the aim of enabling each employee to remain aware of the importance of high productivity as they work, make effective use of the time freed up, and utilize their particular talents fully, we are providing training focused on new management skill sets and revising work rules in ways conducive to the development of a results-oriented culture.

  • Targeting More-Flexible Work Styles
    We are using systems for shift work and telecommuting with our sights set on removing restrictions on time and place and increasing the flexibility of work styles. Ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which were scheduled for the summer of 2020, we established a period in the summer of 2019 during which we encouraged all Group employees to telecommute. Due to the spread of COVID-19, employees of our domestic bases have, in principle, been working from home since March 2020. Also, we are establishing various systems so that each employee can choose the work style best suited to their circumstances or to the nature of their duties. In our ongoing digital transformation of workplaces through the utilization of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) for day-to-day duties and the introduction of robotic process automation (RPA) to remodel work processes, we are also tailoring new work styles to reflect the specific requirements of particular frontline duties.

Telecommuting

  • Developing Diversity-Friendly Work Styles
    As part of efforts to help employees achieve a favorable work–life balance, we are improving how leave is taken by offering employees a variety of ways of using annual leave. Employees can avail of special leave, which they can take on an hourly basis; refreshment leave, allowing the consecutive use of leave; and volunteer leave, which provides paid leave for volunteering. Through these leave-related innovations, we will encourage employees to take on new challenges, invest in their own growth, and realize advanced value creation.

2. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

We view the promotion of diversity and inclusion as an essential management strategy for growth. Under the slogan “Diversity for Growth,” we are concentrating efforts on developing systems and a corporate climate that produce workplaces where employees with many different attributes can take maximum advantage of their particular strengths and work with a sense of fulfillment.

  • Evolving into a Multinational Group
    We believe that the pace of innovation can be increased by building a team whose members have a broad spectrum of backgrounds and values and by enabling them to demonstrate their various talents fully, regardless of nationality or gender. Accordingly, we have appointed a non-Japanese national with a high level of expertise to the position of director. In addition, two of the Group’s executive officers are foreign nationals: John R. Charman, CEO of the Overseas Insurance and Reinsurance Business, and Nigel Frudd, chairman of Overseas M&A. This diversity enables us to conduct discussions at meetings of the Board of Directors and Global ExCo based on global perspectives and diverse opinions. We are also actively recruiting personnel externally and assigning them to other highly specialized positions and cultivating open innovation.
  • Empowering Our Female Employees

    We aim for women to account for at least 30% of our managers by the end of 2020. To this end, we are conducting training programs designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of female employees and change their mind-sets. Group companies are also implementing their own training programs. Thanks to such programs, as of April 2020 at Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. female employees account for one director, one executive officer, and 12 general managers, while Sompo Himawari Life Insurance Inc. has four female executive officers and one female general manager.
    Also, Sompo Holdings, Inc., has been designated as a Nadeshiko Brand for the third consecutive year. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange grant this designation to listed companies that have outstanding records in the empowerment of women and which are, therefore, attractive to investors focused on medium-tolong-term enhancement of corporate value.
  • Empowering Persons with Disabilities
    The Sompo Group is promoting the employment of persons with disabilities with the aim of stably providing opportunities to such persons to realize their talents and gain a sense of fulfillment through work. In April 2018, we established SOMPO Challenged Inc. to promote and lead the steady employment of persons with disabilities throughout our organization and the creation of an environment where they can work with vitality.

  • Creating an Environment That Respects Identity
    To build a vibrant corporate organization, we are advancing a range of initiatives to create an environment in which everyone can work comfortably. These include establishing gender-free facilities that anyone can use and conducting training aimed at deepening understanding of LGBT individuals. In addition, we have made it possible for senior employees to continue working for as long as they can and want to do so, through the introduction of a system for rehiring employees after they reach retirement age.

3. Converting Personnel Diversity into a Strength

On a global basis, the Group coordinates the management of talented employees with a variety of related measures, which include putting in place succession planning for key positions, giving challenging assignments to core personnel, and conducting training for selected employees. We are building systems that effectively foster professionals in respective fields and which help personnel to plan and pursue careers leading to senior management positions.

An employee selected for training under the Global Executive Program gives a presentation on how his view of leadership has changed

  • Heightening Specialization
    Since fiscal 2018, we have been developing Japanese global leaders through the Sompo International Global Trainee Program. This program selects talented personnel engaged in specialized work in Japan and heightens their specialization even further by assigning them to specific positions in the highly specialized operations of an overseas subsidiary for several years. The program dispatched 13 employees in fiscal 2018 and seven in fiscal 2019 to divisions engaged in underwriting and other specialized areas. Plans call for the continuation of the program with a view to heightening employees’ expertise even further.

  • Fostering Globally Competent Leaders
    To develop personnel capable of leading its global business management, the Group provides training for selected employees from three different employee levels. We cultivate the corporate leadership skills that will be needed in the future by having members of the senior management team conduct seminars and by assembling a wide range of participants from Group companies in Japan and overseas, so that they can hone their capabilities in friendly rivalry with each other.

Core Value 2. Professionalism —Thinking and Acting Proactively in Light of Expertise—

In April 2020, we introduced a job-focused personnel system to transform our human resources into a diverse team of true professionals. The goal is to encourage a transformation in our corporate culture that heightens employee engagement and inspires diverse personnel to think and act in a mission-driven, results-oriented manner beneficial to the Group. With this goal in mind, we will undertake internal and external recruitment of personnel who have expertise, actively promote them to important positions, and accelerate the transformation of our organizational and corporate culture.

  • Encouraging Independent Career Development
    The Group is helping employees take the initiative in developing their careers. In providing this support, our focus is on digitalization and globalization, which will be particularly important for the transformation of our human resources. Through a variety of programs, we are encouraging independent career development that fosters expertise. For new employees, we use e-learning to help enhance IT literacy and to conduct an in-house entrepreneur development program. Programs available to all employees include an improvement contest based on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), English conversation educational materials, introductions to language schools, and overseas training in collaboration with Group companies around the world for selected employees.

  • Leveraging IT
    We are building a new human resource system with the aims of improving operations through process standardization and integrating human resource management Group-wide. Eight overseas Group companies have been using the system since fiscal 2018. Also, we are moving forward with a project to incorporate the system into the operations of certain domestic Group companies from fiscal 2021. Thanks to the new system, information sharing and communication have increased among overseas Group companies. As part of this initiative to digitalize human resource operations, Sompo Japan is conducting proving tests for the utilization of AI for recruitment and personnel reassignment.

Core Value 3. Being Mission-Driven —Cultivating a Sense of Mission and Job Satisfaction—

1. Advancing Health and Productivity Management*1

In realizing our Group Management Philosophy, which calls on us to “contribute to the security, health, and wellbeing of customers and society as a whole by providing insurance and related services of the highest quality possible,” the health of employees—who drive our corporate activities—as well as the health of employees’ families is important. Also, our Group Policy for Human Rights emphasizes the need to ensure the vitality of work environments by maintaining and improving employee health. In accordance with the aforementioned philosophy and policy, the Sompo Group is implementing a varied range of measures to maintain and improve employee health Group-wide and at individual Group companies.

(1) Initiatives for the Maintenance and Improvement of Employee Health

To maintain and improve the health of each employee, we are taking measures that reflect employees’ state of health. For example, in response to the blood-sugar levels among Sompo Japan employees shown by past checkup results, the company widely disseminated information on the state of employee health through the issuance of a Health Report and launched a health-improvement campaign under a slogan urging employees to keep their blood sugar at healthy levels. Meanwhile, Sompo Himawari Life Insurance has been stepping up in-house antismoking measures. In April 2019, the company prohibited all employees from smoking during working hours. Further, the company made it explicit that being a nonsmoker was a prerequisite for all candidates who sought to join the company as new graduates in April 2020.

(2) Initiatives for the Creation of Vibrant Work Environments

We believe that ensuring the vitality of work environments sustains corporate growth by helping employees stay physically and mentally healthy and by increasing productivity. Accordingly, Group companies are taking a range of measures to enable diverse work styles, including measures focused on realizing appropriate working hours, telecommuting, shift work, and increased use of annual paid leave. Sompo Japan regularly conducts surveys of employees’ attitudes and uses the results to enhance job satisfaction and energize the company’s organizations.

(3) Initiatives for Data-Enabled Health Improvement

We are developing data-enabled health initiatives by collaborating with health insurance associations and by drawing on the data analysis expertise of Sompo Health Support Inc., which is engaged in healthcare businesses. Sompo Japan collects data on employees in relation to lifestyle, checkup results, and stress-check results and analyzes how said data correlates to working hours and presenteeism.*2 Sompo Himawari Life Insurance’s efforts to evolve data-enabled health initiatives entail analyzing health data collected from wearable devices that are loaned gratis to all of the company’s employees, checkup results, and medical prescription data.
In 2020, for the second consecutive year METI and the Tokyo Stock Exchange jointly selected Sompo Holdings as a “Health & Productivity Stock,” a designation that recognizes companies with outstanding health and productivity management. At the same time, 12 Group companies were certified as “Outstanding Enterprises Engaging in Efforts for Health and Productivity Management” in the large enterprise category of a system jointly conducted by METI and Nippon Kenko Kaigi. Moreover, eight of these Group companies were also certified as “Outstanding Enterprises Engaging in Efforts for Health and Productivity Management” in the large enterprise category (White 500). In partnership with health insurance associations, the Group will popularize health and productivity management among Group and client companies by distributing information internally and externally on the ongoing benefits of its initiatives while verifying and revising them.

*1 Registered trademark of the incorporated nonprofit organization Workshop for the Management of Health on Company and Employee
*2 Working despite mental or physical health issues, which can result in losses due to lower productivity

2. Developing Measures to Enhance Employee Engagement

The Sompo Group defines “employee engagement” as the mind-set of an employee who has aligned their personal growth with the growth of the Group and, as a consequence, has an unbidden desire to make full use of their talents in pursuit of the Group’s strategies and goals. Based on the conviction that enhanced employee engagement can accelerate the transformation of its corporate culture, the Group has been conducting in-house surveys in earnest since fiscal 2017. At present, we survey 26 companies, of which nine are overseas and 17 are in Japan. In conjunction with the surveys, as part of measures aimed at enhancing employee engagement, we are conducting training focused on bringing out employees’ strengths.
Examination of measures to enhance employee engagement, including those that involved members of the senior management team, together with analysis of results have brought to light successful examples that have not only enhanced engagement but also improved business performance. Employee engagement is likely to become more important than ever, particularly in the context of our efforts to use the changes resulting from the spread of COVID-19 as an opportunity to establish location-independent work styles as the new normal. Measures such as those for the enhancement of employee engagement will play a central role in establishing new work styles and creating a corporate culture in which each employee can gain a sense of satisfaction from accomplishing their missions.