Diversity - Utilization of Diversity
Our main task is to develop systems for financial institutions, and about 75% of our employees engage in the development. In order to offer high-quality systems and services to clients, it is important to manage the working hours of employees meticulously, and develop a comfortable working environment and system. As our business scale has expanded, the number of employees has increased about 1.5 times from 5 years ago. Under our recruitment policy of employing personnel who possess diverse values regardless of gender or nationality, the ratios of female employees and non-Japanese employees have recently increased. For mid/long-term growth, it is essential to develop a working environment and systems suited for such diversifying employees.
Reform of workstyles
Our company aims to secure excellent personnel and improve our mid/long-term business performance by reducing the total working hours of employees and improving their work-life balance through the reform of workstyles.
To do so, we have intensified the monitoring of employees' working hours and provided employees with various options for workstyles. Employees can reform their ways of working, by fiexibly choosing from diverse workstyles according to their personal circumstances.
In our company, the CEO himself is leading the reform of workstyles in an enthusiastic manner. To spread the reform of workstyles throughout the company, he repeatedly mentions "the importance of reducing overtime work and creating non-business time" at companywide conferences, such as the "Conference for Creating Time."
Conference for Creating Time
It is a monthly meeting organized by the CEO, involving all managers. The superiors of employees whose working hours were prolonged in the previous month give a presentation about improvement measures, and the CEO checks the measures and provides guidance if necessary. This conference can be characterized by the involvement of the top executive himself in the correction of prolonged work.
Since the inauguration of the conference in February 2017, working hours have surely decreased companywide. The monthly average of working hours has dropped by about 7% between 2017 and 2020. Under the recognition that the reduction of working hours is the fruit of employees' efforts, our company pays "Allowance for Creating Time" to employees according to how much they have reduced working hours. We will keep managing working hours and developing an environment that helps employees increase their productivity.
A variety of working options for employees
We adopted a telework system in October 2018, for employees who have a compelling reason, such as childcare and nursing care. In 2019, 18 employees used this system. As the COVID-19 spread, in April 2020, we eliminated the requirements for telework and allowed all employees to work from home.
Shortening of core time
To have a working environment comfortable for employees, our company had a system for staggered work shifts in which employees can adjust the start and end of their working hours by up to 3 hours, but in March 2020, we upgraded the system so that employees can adjust the start and end of their working hours each by up to 5 hours.
Breakfast service for encouraging the early-bird shift
Our company serves breakfast to our company's employees and afiliated companies' employees who work full-time in our company between 8:00 am to 9:30 am on weekdays. We started serving in June 2019, for the purpose of liberating employees from prolonged work and the night-owl shift and improving their productivity through health enhancement, and about 60% of employees have used this service.
Encouraging employees to take a leave
Empowerment of female employees
Our company is enhancing measures for empowering female employees. In our "Action Plan for Empowering Women" submitted to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, based on the Act on the Promotion of Female Participation and Career Advancement in the Workplace, we set a goal of doubling the ratio of female managers and staff with expertise in the development section from 3.5% in December 2019 to 7% in 2022. Considering that in order to achieve the goal, it is necessary to develop an environment where female employees can consult with one another about their career-paths, life plans, etc., we established "Intelligent Women's Wave" as a working group. In this system, female employees can mentor one another, and as of the end of June 2020,39 out of 94 female employees (41.4%) were using this system. We have also strengthened measures for caring for the safety of female employees during commuting.
Support for a good balance between work and childcare
We have established systems for supporting life events, such as childbirth and childcare.
The Child Care and Family Care Leave Law obligates each company to adopt a system for reducing working hours to 6 hours per day for childcare for employees raising a child aged less than 3 years. Our company extended the application period of this system until a child enters junior high school, for the purpose of providing an environment where employees can achieve a good balance between work and childcare. As for childcare leave, 100% of female employees and 30% of male employees took it in 2019. These ratios both exceed the national averages.
Further employment and empowerment of non-Japanese employees
As non-Japanese employees are increasing, our company is developing an environment where employees can respect the culture, way of thinking, and customs in the country of each employee regardless of nationality. So that non-Japanese employees can get accustomed to Japanese lifestyles and workstyles, recruitment staff and the sections employing them collaboratively support them in improving their Japanese proficiency. In 2019, prayer room was established inside our company.
Improvement in Engagement
Believing that human resources are the most important managerial resources, our company is striving to develop systems and environments in which employees who possess specialized and technical abilities and knowledge can exert their capabilities to the maximum degree. We monitor the situation of employees' engagement and have conducted a satisfaction survey since 2017, for the purpose of using the survey results as reference material for improving our organizational climate. With reference to the opinions of employees given through the satisfaction survey, we have established various systems for enhancing the engagement of employees as described later.
Since 2017, we have carried out employees' satisfaction survey on an annual basis. With reference to the voices of employees collected through the questionnaire survey, we design and systematize new measures. The results of our discussions are reported to all employees via an electronic bulletin board as answers from the company. The average response rate of the past 3 surveys is as high as 87%. With this system, we promoted employees to take a paid leave and improved the system for training managers.
In 2018, we upgraded the working environment so that employees can work comfortably while feeling their jobs are worthwhile, for example, by adopting telework, paying an allowance according to the reduction of overtime work, partially adopting flex time, holding a business idea contest and adopting Fika, which will be described later. As a result, employees' engagement improved significantly, due to their comfortable working environment and worthwhile jobs. We will keep improving the working environment while listening to the voice of each employee through the survey.
Various measures for making jobs more worthwhile
Since 2017, our company has applied the free agent (FA) system annually. In the FA system, employees who have engaged in the same duty for a long period of time can apply for transfer to another department. This was systematized as one of methods for motivating employees and creating growth opportunities for them. Up until now, a total of 9 employees applied for the FA system, and after coordination among departments, 6 employees were transferred to their desirable departments to expand their domains.
For the purpose of improving the communication between superiors and subordinates, we hold a regular interview between "department chief and section chief" and "section chief and general staff" once a quarter. This regular interview is utilized not only for identifying goals and results, but also talking in a friendly manner to know each other, and it contributes to foster trusting relationships among business sections.
Fika is a Swedish custom of taking a short break with friends or colleagues while enjoying tea. Our company holds Fika regularly, for the purpose of enriching communication throughout the company. Fika is held in our refreshing space, where confectionery and beverages are provided to employees. Participating employees spend their time in their own way such like refreshing themselves in the relaxing atmosphere with music, having a chance to communicate with employees from the same department or other divisions, and so on. It contributes to improve their engagement.
* At present, we refrain from holding Fika, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
We commend projects annually that have produced a remarkable achievement, contributing significantly to the improvement of our business results, in the fiscal year. Commendable projects are selected according to their "contribution to business performance, business domain expansion, novelty, overcoming a challenging topic, contribution to cost reduction, stable operation, improvement in corporate value, and contribution to business," and cash awards according to the degree of contribution are paid equally to the members of commended projects. This commendation contributes to foster a sense of accomplishment and unity in each team.
In November 2016, our company adopted a system for interviews between employees who will lead the next age (mentees) and the executives of other sections and department heads (mentors). With this system, mentees are given the opportunity to consult freely about their worries in business and their career-paths with mentors in other sections who possess plenty of experience and knowledge. Mentors give advice to mentees according to their issues, and conduct necessary support activities, including directly approaching the mentees' superiors. This contributes to the lowering of employee turnover rate, by improving the mentees' engagement.
The mentees in this system are replaced on a regular basis. Up until now, mentors have met with a total of 88 mentees regularly once a quarter.
Encouraging employees to obtain public qualifications
Our company encourages employees to obtain qualifications, by commending or offering rewards to the employees who have obtained qualifications. Qualifications include information processing, project management, and TOEIC, but we especially recommend the qualifications related to our main business, credit card business. A total of 128 employees (18.0%) have passed the test to certificate qualification for credit card business.
Business idea contest
Since 2019, we have held a business idea contest with the aim of enhancing employees' awareness of issues annually. In 2019, 26 submitted ideas were deliberated by the selecting council, and 6 ideas were selected for commendation. We offered rewards to the employees who came up with those ideas. We discuss research and development for commercializing the commended business ideas and determine directions. In the medium term, this contest is expected to not only enhance employees' engagement, but also create businesses that would support the growth of our company.