Working Environment

Management Approach
Work Style Reforms

In order to accelerate the pace of diversity management, Sekisui Chemical Group has positioned 2018 as its inaugural year of promoting work style reforms. After first putting in place a “Statement of Work Style Reforms,” the Group has initiated three reform activities, and it is steadily making improvements. It continues its efforts to address long working hours by improving productivity, and energies are being directed toward the creation of an invigorating and rewarding workplace.

Statement of Work Style Reforms

We determine work methods that promote growth over time to enable each and every individual employee to manifest their personal "characteristics," and pursue highly productive work methods that maximize success.
In order to improve productivity, the Company actively invests in management resources, and unifies managers and workers to coalesce their wisdom Companywide. We nurture work worth doing by improving the quality of the job, and promote workers’ diverse activities by returning the success of reforms to them.

Three Reforms

Improving productivity is essential to maximizing results in a limited time. With this in mind, Sekisui Chemical Group will push forward three reforms, specifically relating to “Business,” “HR system,” and the “Work environment.” Both management and employees will take up the challenge of promoting reform in line with the specific issues of each business.

< Three Reforms >

Business reforms: Identify the environment to be changed regardless of existing customs, and reform the work structure

HR system reforms: Reform the HR system to improve the growth and performance of each and every employee, and expand employment support

Work environment reforms: Reform the work environment by investing so that diverse employees can work in the optimal environment

Work Style Reforms Achievement Targets

With endeavors to achieve work style reforms, we are setting targets through to fiscal 2020.
Throughout Sekisui Chemical Group, we are taking up the challenge of building an organizational culture that (1) realizes total hours worked per year to be less than 2,000 hours; (2) allows employees to take at least 120 days off; and (3) maintains a paid leave take-up rate of at least 50%.

Investment in Work Style Reforms

Substantial capital investment and the introduction of systems are essential to continuously realizing the effects of business and work environment reforms. With this in mind, Sekisui Chemical Group has decided to invest 10 billion yen over the two years of 2018 and 2019 in an effort to reduce working hours Group-wide.
In 2018, the first year of our efforts, we made investments of approximately 8 billion yen (including an amount intended for after 2020). With the goal of promoting reduction in working hours from which we will not backtrack, we have invested in a production management system and automated inspection equipment, as well as a video conferencing system and strategies aimed at improving the workplace environment.

Regulation of Long Working HoursWork Hour Shortening Committee

To create a working environment that allows each and every employee to work to their fullest, Sekisui Chemical Group engages in ongoing labor-management discussions about ways to shorten work hours, to encourage employees to utilize paid days off, and to introduce flexible work styles.
With the Act on the Arrangement of Related Acts to Promote Work Style Reform set to go into effect, in fiscal 2018 we entered into further negotiations with labor union members. In terms of regulating the upper limit of long working hours, we consolidated 36 Group-wide protocols, and strengthened governance. Looking to make the taking of paid leave compulsory, from September 2018 we initiated a Group-wide trial of a planned annual leave system, and owing to the significant results obtained, we have decided to implement it as an official system from fiscal 2019. We continue to hold further discussions with regard to easy-to-work and flexible work styles, and are moving toward the creation of work sites that motivate employees.

Notifications of Major HR-related ChangesMajor Changes with Significant Effects on Employees Are Implemented After
Labor-management Meetings

Based on the proposals submitted to the labor union and feedback received from each of the union branches, Sekisui Chemical has decided to move forward with HR system revisions and large-scale organizational reforms which will entail major changes and have significant effects on employees.
The labor agreement specifies that when employees belonging to the labor union are to be seconded or transferred, the labor union is to be notified at least one month prior to the change and the applicable employee’s willingness to accept their new position is confirmed prior to assignment.

Health Management

We Are Moving Forward on Five Initiatives to Promote Our Employees’ Health

Sekisui Chemical Group strives to improve its employees’ physical and mental health based on the idea that employees are valuable resources entrusted to the Group by society. To further advance these initiatives, in March 2019 Sekisui Chemical formulated a philosophy regarding our goals for health and productivity management in a Declaration of Health, and establishing the Basic Policy for Health and Productivity Management. Sekisui Chemical Group positions health as the “Well-being” that is defined in the WHO Charter, aiming for health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Moreover, in line with this, we have organized our efforts into segments, and have newly formulated medium- and long-term goals in five segments.

  • Note: “Health and Productivity Management” is a registered trademark of the NPO Kenkokeiei.
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Initiative 1. Health Checkups and Measures to Prevent Lifestyle Diseases

Sekisui Chemical collaborates with Sekisui Health Insurance Association to facilitate health, and jointly carries out health checkups. In this way health checkups are conducted uniformly throughout the Group, and from October 2018 we have introduced a common Group-wide health management system.
In addition, from 2015, we developed the Sekisui Health Network (SHN) that can respond to business sites of less than 50 people, so we are advancing better health among such small-scale work sites as well.
As a measure to prevent lifestyle diseases, we have made the goal of having 50% of employees practice at least four of the seven health habits advocated by Dr. Lester Breslow, by 2021, and we are now planning for a health habit support program.

Initiative 2. Mental Health

Sekisui Chemical Group is taking the following initiatives as measures to support mental health.

1. Utilizing Stress Checks
Sekisui Chemical Group strives to maximally leverage the stress checks that are provided for in law. Specifically, it undertakes obligatory efforts at population analysis and work environment improvements as an element of its Group-wide stress checks for employees, including those working at business sites with fewer than 50 employees. In fiscal 2018, the Group made it a requirement to conduct population analyses within the Group. With 86% of all business sites having participated in the population analyses, the submission of a report to management was completed. With the support of HR’s welfare and health support group, the Health Promotion Office, workplace environment improvements were made at 20 sites in 20 companies this fiscal year, up from four sites at four companies in the previous fiscal year.

2. Stress Management Training by Telephone
We have conducted stress management training by telephone for newly appointed managerial staff, mid-career hires, and overseas assignees who may experience stress in line with considerable changes in their environments. This training has proven effective as stress self-control indicators appeared to rise compared to before the training was implemented.

3. Enhanced Consultation Centers Where Employees Can Comfortably Seek Advice
We have established consultation centers that are available to any employee of Sekisui Chemical Group, regardless of employment format, thus strengthening a safety-net function.

Initiative 3. Systems and Workplaces Where People Can Work with Peace of Mind

There are a variety of existing factors at workplaces that may hinder health, including chemical substances, work approach, noise and others. To counter these factors, we are undertaking activities across the Group through the utilization of an occupational health and safety management system. In addition, not only for those employees who are healthy, we are also striving to enhance a range of internal systems that take into consideration an environment to work in with peace of mind for those with medical conditions as well.

Initiative 4. Group-wide Initiatives

Health management promotion is a Group-wide effort at Sekisui Chemical, and for that reason, we are moving forward with Group application of the Health and Productivity Management Organization, in the large enterprise category. Our efforts with this increased the number of subsidiary companies to which this applied to, from five companies in fiscal 2017, to 20 in fiscal 2018. This recognition applies to groups where their companies have conducted a pre-assessment, and undertaken actual activities to increase the level of health. In cases where the pre-assessment indicates areas that are lacking, the Health Promotion Office provides support by building a framework, or through other measures.
In addition, we have appointed people responsible for, and others in charge of health management at approximately 300 business sites, covering the entire Group. This represents our efforts to build a structure in which steady measures can be put in place to advance health management.

Initiative 5. Increase Motivation and Productivity

With the intent to achieve productivity indicators, together with the visualization of productivity increases made through health promotion, we are steadily implementing the four above initiatives with the aim of raising motivation and productivity.

Major Initiatives

Stress Check

Sekisui Chemical Group strives to maximally leverage the stress checks that are provided for in law. Therefore, we are also implementing the following three topics as obligatory efforts.

  • Performed for all Sekisui Chemical Group employees, including at those work places with less than 50 employees
  • Population analyses
  • Improvement of the workplace environment

As part of making population analyses mandatory, from 2016, we commenced the holding of workshops on how to read stress checks for approximately 400 people who have been appointed to be responsible for, or to be in charge of health management at all business sites. In this way these employees acquired knowledge on how to conduct population analysis, the proper way to read them, and how to share this information, in preparation for being able to utilize population analysis results in a positive manner. From fiscal 2018, we made it mandatory to conduct population analysis at all business sites with 10 employees or more.
Furthermore, from fiscal 2016, we started to build models to improve workplace environments, and in fiscal 2017, with the support of the Health Promotion Office, undertook efforts to provide assistance to improve workplace environments at a total of four companies, two companies with high-risk workplaces with high overall health risks*, and two companies to create “vibrant workplaces.” Among these, three companies showed improvements to their stress check results in the following year. Essential support to improve workplace environments are being conducted by the Health Promotion Office at more than 120 workplaces identified as high-risk workplaces from an overall health risk perspective from fiscal 2018. Also, no matter what the overall health risk, regarding the creation of better workplaces and the creation of invigorating and rewarding workplaces as “creating vibrant workplaces,” we raise the aspirations of all Group companies and are actively supporting the creation of vibrant workplaces. Support was provided to high-risk workplaces at four companies as assistance to improve workplace environments, and 13 companies participated in facilitator–coordinator training courses to create vibrant workplaces.

  • In the stress check, the risk level from health problems (health risk) is shown as a value based on the average of the standard population, with 100 as the “overall health risk.” Research findings show that a variety of stress problems often appear in workplaces with a health risk of 120-130 or more.

Effects of workplace environment improvement efforts by the Health Promotion Office

Fiscal year
No. of relevant
Overall health risks Improvement Effect
(FY2017→ FY2018)
Company A
(support for
high-risk workplaces)
2017 103 128
2018 106 122
Company B
(support for
high-risk workplaces)
2017 158 121
2018 196 110
Company C
(Create “vibrant workplaces”)
2017 116 100
2018 120 94
Company D
(Create “vibrant workplaces”)
2017 97 90 8
2018 99 98

Stress check initiatives at Sekisui Chemical Group are being introduced as part of a section covering case studies (No. 12) on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s “Kokoro-no-Mimi” portal site.

Participation rate for the workshop on accurate reading of population analyses

2017 2018
70.0% 92.6%
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    • Workshop on the creation of vibrant workplaces

Stress Management Training

From 2015 the Group has been offering telephone-based stress management training (“Mindbics”) for newly appointed managerial staff, mid-career hires and overseas assignees, so that they can be able to control their own stress given that they may experience stress from the considerable change in their environments and as they are expected to actively engage in their new roles within short periods. The use of telephone-based training allows employees to participate from home and while away on business trips. It also reduces the burden on employees and facilitates their participation even when they are busy. Each year, around 400 employees participate in the sessions, which are considered required training at Sekisui Chemical Group.
In fiscal 2018 we requested expert analysis of the results aggregated since 2015, accurately confirming effectiveness.

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  • Features of the Training Program

    • Telephone-based Stress-management Training that Can Be Held Even in Far-flung Locations

External EvaluationsRecognized as a 2019 Certified Health and Productivity Management Organization

Sekisui Chemical was recognized for its Companywide efforts to resolve issues relating to the health of its employees and was certified as a 2019 Health and Productivity Management Organization*2 by both the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Nippon Kenko Kaigi*1 for the third year in a row in the large enterprise category (“White 500”).

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  • *1
    The Nippon Kenko Kaigi is an operation organized to allow effective action to be taken based on comprehensive support from government for expanding the healthy lifespans and offering adequate medical treatment to all people in Japan, undertaken in partnership with private-sector organizations and in a country with a declining birth rate and a rapidly aging population.
  • *2
    The “Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program” awards large companies, small- and medium-sized business, and other corporations that practice health management especially well through initiatives tailored to local health issues and initiatives for improving health promoted by the Nippon Kenko Kaigi.
Companies receiving certification Name of company certified together with the Company described on the left
Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. Hokkaido Sekisui Heim Industry Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Heim Tohoku Co., Ltd.
Tohoku SEKISUI HEIM Real Estate Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Sekisui Heim Co. Ltd.
Tokyo Sekisui Famis Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Heim Chubu Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Heim Kinki Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Famis Kinki Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Heim Chushikoku Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Heim Kyushu Co., Ltd.
Sekisui famis kyusyu Co., Ltd.
Kyusyu SEKISUI HEIM Real Estate Co., Ltd.
Kyushu Sekisui Heim Industry Co., Ltd.
Nishinihon Sekisui Industry Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Hinomaru Co., Ltd.
Kyushu Sekisui Industry Co., Ltd.

From the list of corporations certified as 2019 Health and Productivity Management Organizations in the Large Enterprises (“White 500”) category

Performance Data

Amount of Overtime Work* (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Monthly average per employee (hours) 17.5 19.2 19.9 19.9
  • Calculated on the basis of a prescribed number of working hours of 7.5 hours.

Paid Vacation Day Utilization Rate (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Average per employee (%)
(Excluding managers)
46.4 45.9 51.1 64.0

Average Number of Paid Vacation Days Taken (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Average per employee (days)
(Excluding managers)
8.8 8.7 9.6 12.1

Stress-check Examination Rate

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Examination Rate (%) 72.0 81.9 87.1
  • Note: Scope of stress-check implementation: Companies that are members of the Sekisui Health Insurance Association (including some affiliates)