Nippon Denko

Human Resources

Human Resources

Human Capital

The Nippon Denko Group views human resources as valuable assets, and believes that companies advance as their employees grow. We make efforts to hire the right people in addition to boosting employee engagement and developing the successors we need to manage the organization in the future. We are also committed to improving our corporate value by enhancing the value of our human capital. We will further enhance our human capital by tapping into the labor market, which is expected to become more fluid, as well as research institutes to secure expertise and diversify our workforce.

Human Resources Development

Human resources development is critical for fulfilling the social responsibilities of the Nippon Denko Group, achieving sustainable growth, and improving our value over the medium-to long-term. The main form of development is on-the-job training through which we strive to improve capabilities and skills while undergoing the PDCA cycle. We also offer level-based training as a form of off-the-job training, send employees to outside training institutions and through correspondence courses, and provide other opportunities for self-education, all with the aim of developing human resources capable of improving their own skills and taking the initiative to tackle challenges.

Maintaining and improving practical capacities

For a company to grow sustainably, its employees must maintain and improve their practical capacities. The acquisition of skills and techniques for manufacturing and other endeavors is based on purposefully planned training and testing of acquired skills. The foremen and forewomen who play important roles on the production line, as well as group leaders, attend training courses to deepen their understanding of the role of workplace leaders and to invigorate the workplace.

Dialogue-based education

We believe that one-on-one dialogue between superiors and subordinates—the closest of relationships—is the most effective means of developing people. Superiors and subordinates in clerical and technical positions alike work together to set yearly targets, identify skills to pursue, and otherwise reach a consensus on what is to be achieved, and they reflect and communicate as they set out to achieve their goals. Additionally, training managers are assigned to teach young employees in career-track positions over their first three years to help them master basic business skills and adopt self-starting attitudes.

Education for digital transformation

The Nippon Denko Group formulated a new DX vision and roadmap to promote digital transformation (DX) in three domains—manufacturing, operations, and business—and establish the foundation for DX. Important training for establishing such a foundation includes DX literacy training for all employees and efforts to develop human resources with expertise in data science and other useful areas.

Developing human resources capable of sustaining the Group’s growth
Employees of Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn. Bhd. on training

Developing human resources capable of sustaining the Group’s growth

We are also actively engaged in training programs at Group companies as part of our efforts toward developing human resources capable of sustaining the Group’s growth. In February 2023, three employees of Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn. Bhd. were trained at the Tokushima Plant to acquire further knowledge about ferroalloy production. We will continuously provide a wide range of training opportunities to employees of all levels, including those of Group companies.

Distinct Activities to Improve Human Value-Added

DENKO WAY activities

DENKO WAY activities

In 2018, the Nippon Denko Group launched its distinctive DENKO WAY activities. We have grown our business in the various business fields of Ferroalloys, Functional Materials, Environment, and Electric Power. To continue to grow further, we need strong, self-starting human resources capable of creating continuous improvement to respond to increasingly extensive changes in the market environment. DENKO WAY activities—the first step toward Company- wide growth and advancement into the future—are comprehensive activities for developing strong, self-starting human resources by cultivating people and refining and enhancing the way they do their jobs.

DENKO WAY activities

Work-life balance
Group-wide DC&M Activities Presentation Conference

DC&M activities

As a part of DENKO WAY activities, in 2019, we transformed JK activities—our conventional small-group self-management activities—into DC&M activities. Although DC&M activities carry on the philosophy of JK activities—demonstrating human capabilities and drawing out limitless possibilities to contribute to the improvement and advancement of the Company—they have been updated with the aims of greater involvement by management personnel, more alignment with work style reform, and further enhanced results.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Nippon Denko Group aims to be a company where each and every employee can fully exhibit their capabilities and individuality and find a sense of fulfillment. We believe that accepting and respecting each other’s backgrounds and values will lead to individual and organizational growth in addition to improving the competitiveness of the Company.

Active participation by women, support for parenting, and work-life balance

Work-life balance

The Nippon Denko Group has introduced a childcare leave program that goes beyond the legal requirements as well as a program that allows employees to rejoin the Company and return to their careers after quitting to give birth, raise children, provide nursing care, and the like. Although the goal of active participation by women has only been achieved in some of our workplaces, we view it as a Groupwide issue and are considering ways to increase opportunities to meet this goal in the future. We are also making efforts to enhance various programs (e.g. encouraging male employees to take childcare leave, making more employees eligible for shortened working hours for providing childcare) to provide support for parenting, and have obtained Kurumin certification twice (2019, 2021). We will continue to take steps to establish environments more conducive to achieving a balance between work and parenting. As for work styles, we took our response to COVID-19 as an opportunity to enhance remote working. The various tools we have provided facilitate flexible work styles, giving our employees the ability to make the most of their time wherever they happen to be. We hope our employees pair these tools with our flexible scheduling system to achieve work-life balance.

Preventing harassment

We are undertaking appropriate measures to prevent harassment, which depletes employees’ motivation and could even threaten productivity in the workplace. Our rules of employment explicitly prohibit harassment, and we also spread the word and awareness of the issue through training and other means. We deal with any harassment that occurs through an internal whistleblower line and also an external whistleblower and consultation line we have established so that employees do not have to struggle with these problems alone. When we conduct our investigations, we are very careful to avoid disadvantaging the employees who report the problems, and once we have determined the facts, we take strict disciplinary action according to our rules of employment.

Active participation by employees in the senior age group, and employing people with disabilities

In April 2022, we raised the mandatory retirement age to 65 in response to the dwindling workforce population and the raising of the age for receiving public pension benefits, and to maintain the strength of our workplaces and facilitate the generational shift. Since we made the change, it is now possible to work for the Company continuously through age 65. We recognize the employment of people with disabilities as a socially important issue, and are making efforts to promote their employment.

Percentage of male employees taking childcare leave
(2022 actual)
Gender wage gap
(2022 actual)
Percentage of female employees in management positions
(as of Dec. 31, 2022)
Percentage of employees with disabilities
(2021 actual)
Percentage of female employees
(as of Dec. 31, 2022)
78.6% 73.7% 0.3% 2.5% 13.6%

Respecting Human Rights

The Nippon Denko Group recognizes respect for human rights as a social responsibility to be fulfilled by companies in the course of realizing management philosophies and an indispensable ethical standard, and respects and defends everyone’s human rights in accordance with the International Bill of Human Rights, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and other international standards pertaining to human rights.
We protect workers’ rights and take steps to eliminate forced labor and child labor with full consideration of the human rights issues that have surfaced amid economic globalization. Additionally, in our corporate activities, we refrain from discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, beliefs, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
We make efforts to create workplaces where everyone can exhibit their skills to the fullest while respecting each other’s values, and expect our suppliers and other partners to understand and cooperate with these efforts with the aim of realizing a society where human rights are respected and defended.

1 Formulation of Basic Policy on Human Rights In 2022, we formulated the Nippon Denko Group Basic Policy on Human Rights to clearly state the intent of our efforts pertaining to human rights. We post the basic policy on our website and hold briefings both internally and for Group companies to advance understanding and ensure compliance with the basic policy and to raise awareness about human rights.
2 Education about human rights The Nippon Denko Group has conducted training to eliminate discrimination and enhance comfort in the workplace. Interest in various forms of harassment, LGBTQ+ issues, forced labor, child labor, and other human rights issues should continue to increase in the future. In response, we continuously provide level-based training and other forms of training to create workplaces free of human rights violations, where employees respect each other and can engage in their duties with a sense of security.
3 Relief efforts The Nippon Denko Group operates an internal whistleblower line and also an external whistleblower and consultation line to serve as liaisons for compliance issues. We have established a system such that, when reports or requests for consultation are made, we are very careful to protect the privacy of and avoid disadvantaging the employees who report the problems, and then investigate the facts and take appropriate steps to remedy the problems.
4 Ensuring occupational safety and health The Nippon Denko Group views ensuring the safety and health of employees as a priority human rights measure, and accordingly conducts safety education and risk assessment in workplaces and shares information throughout the Group in an effort to reduce the risk of work-related accidents. We also persistently enlist industrial physicians to give consultations to employees who work long hours and take other steps to prevent health problems caused by overwork.

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