Feature article 2018
The Yamato Group's Greatest Asset is its People. Our Goal is to Develop a Workplace Where Each and Every Employee Can Thrive to Ensure We are the Clear Choice of Customers.
Promoting Working Style Reform Initiatives as a Top Priority for Strengthening Our Management Foundation
In September 2017, we established a new medium-term management plan called KAIKAKU 2019 for NEXT100, with the goal of becoming a company capable of sustainable growth into the future by firmly maintaining its business foundation centered on the TA-Q-BIN business, which has become a critical aspect of social infrastructure, in response to the rapid changes in social environment and diversifying needs of society as of late. The focal point of the Yamato Group's management under this plan is working style reforms.
The Yamato Group's greatest asset is its workforce numbering around 220,000 people. By building a sound working environment together with employees where everyone can take pride in their work and feel comfortable and a sense of purpose, we will be able to continually provide even better services to our customers. On this our 100th anniversary, these reforms are essential for the Yamato Group's sustainable growth over the next 100 years. We are now working on a number of initiatives aimed at this.
To ensure employees are comfortable and feel a sense of purpose, we must not only make changes to our personnel system and working environment, but also enhance employee training, promote diversity, and review our services and operations.
Toward this end, the Yamato Group will combine efforts at the Group-wide level and efforts tailored to the unique traits of each operating company, under three basic policies. This will accelerate reforms across the entire Group and further enhance our competitiveness.
We will secure a labor force by making our personnel system more attractive to a diverse pool of talent.
- Drastically reduce total working hours
- We will reduce the overtime work of full-timers by 50% and significantly cut back on overtime work of part-timers.
- Adopt personnel systems that enable working styles tailored to an individual's stage of life
- We will build systems where employees can choose their working hours, days off and compensation system.
- Develop programs that enable part-time employees (temporary and permanent) to enhance their abilities
- Promote work-life balance
- We will encourage employees to take annual paid leave, promote use of the work interval system, and expand childcare assistance programs, etc.
- Enhance organizational structure that reaches every employee
We will increase employee involvement in management to create pride and purpose in their work, by redeveloping training systems and introducing evaluation systems that assess independence and autonomy and enable employees to thrive.
- Establish an educational system centered on Kuroneko Academy
- We will establish a rank-based training system and develop the leaders of tomorrow.
- Set up a framework for leveraging the opinions of employees in management
- Encourage the active role of overseas, elderly, and female employees through the further promotion of diversity
- Realize an employment ratio for persons with disabilities of 2.5%
We will expand open-type parcel lockers called PUDO (Pick Up & Drop Off) Station, enhance efficiency of pickup and delivery operations through the 8th NEKO System, and fully leverage technologies such as AI and robotics to thoroughly streamline operations that are the foundation of a comfortable workplace.
Establishment of Working Styles Innovation Committee
We established the Yamato Group Working Styles Innovation Committee, which is chaired by the president of Yamato Holdings, in April 2017 with the aim of moving forward with reforming working styles on a Group-wide basis. The committee has laid out "observance of compliance," "promotion of diversity," and "work process revision and enhancement and communication" as its three main principles and is promoting efforts to realize these principles through collaboration between management and labor unions.
As of March 2019
The Yamato Group is implementing the following main initiatives for reforming working styles.
To manage working hours in an easy-to-understand and highly transparent manner, Yamato Transport transitioned from rules stipulating that working hours be managed via mobile terminals to rules that establish the time employees arrive at and leave the office as their working hours. Starting from August 2017, the time employees start and finish work has been digitized and determined by registering building entry and exit times via a tablet device.
To strengthen the foundation of the Delivery Business through such means as maintaining and improving the quality of services we offer our customers, recruiting new talent, and cultivating our employees, we reorganized the management structure of our regional branches, which act as the core of our regional management across Japan. Through this reorganization, we established 17 new regional branches.
With the aim of supporting career development, the Yamato Group has held the Female Leaders Meeting—a Groupwide program that encourages female employees to achieve self-fulfillment—a total of nine times, with 260 employees participating. The meeting gives participants a chance to consider their own career path and helps enhance their motivation. In addition, the Group conducts training for the supervisors of meeting participants to teach ways to develop the careers of female employees, which heightens the program's effectiveness.
Female Leaders Meeting
The Yamato Group holds panel discussions at all Group companies on a continuous basis in order to realize even better working styles. These discussions provide an opportunity for the Group's president and executive officers to directly communicate the purpose and vision behind "Reforming Working Styles" to Group employees. At the same time, these discussions allow employees on the front lines to directly communicate their opinions and proposals for improving work processes to the president and executive officers.
To ensure employees have ample time for their private life and sleep, and to establish a working environment that promotes work-life balance, Yamato Logistics, Yamato Transport, and other Group companies have introduced a system whereby employees are required to take a certain amount of time off between their checkout time and their check-in time the following day.
Yamato Transport has revised its process for promoting full-time sales drivers to permanent employees with the aim of establishing a working environment that offers employees peace of mind and securing human resources on a continuous basis. Up until now, employees were hired as contract workers and promoted to permanent positions after going through an in-house "challenge" system, a process that took approximately two years. Yamato Transport has revised this process and is now hiring new talent immediately as permanent employees.
To reform the working styles of its sales drivers and secure its pickup and delivery capacity, Yamato Transport has implemented a personnel system for "Anchor Cast" employees (drivers for early evening and night deliveries).
To create a working environment where employees can work with even greater peace of mind, Yamato Transport has introduced a system that allows full-time employees on fixed-term contracts who have worked continuously for over three years to transition to permanent employment contracts ahead of the five-year period designated by law. This system can also be used by part-time employees on fixed-term contracts who have met certain requirements under Yamato Transport's internal "step up" system.*
- A system that evaluates employees' individual skills and approach to work and promotes them to higher positions in accordance with their level of growth.
To establish an environment in which employees can continue to work with peace of mind, Yamato Transport has introduced a system that targets employees who wish to limit their number of work days and work hours because of personal circumstances such as raising children, providing nursing care, or managing the loss of physical strength due to aging. Under this system, employees can choose the number of hours they work in a day, anywhere from four to eight. In addition, these employees can select the number of days they work in a week, which includes the option of working only three or four days a week.
Yamato Transport has begun remodeling workplaces in order to provide all employees with an even more safe, secure and comfortable working environment.
Standards have been established for remodeling work on restrooms, breakrooms and changing rooms at all center buildings. Efforts are now underway to make the workplace even more comfortable for all employees.
We introduced Neopost's CVP-500 Automated Packing Solution at the Atsugi Gateway, which helps to provide seamless service support from materials procurement to packaging and shipment. This in-line autopacker automates all tasks from packaging to label issuance and attachment, which is about 10 times more productive than conventional manual packaging work. We will actively use digitalization and automation to improve productivity and enable working style reforms.
PUDO (Pick Up & Drop Off) Station is an open-type parcel locker that customers can use at their convenience to easily pick up or ship parcels. Since launching the service in 2016, we have continued to expand its locations at railway stations and commercial facilities.
In March 2019, our network of PUDO Stations reached nearly 4,000. These lockers also contribute to working style improvements by providing greater convenience and usability to suit customers' diverse lifestyles and making the delivery work of employees even more efficient.