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 three years from 2018 to 2020 in an effort to reduce working hours Group-wide.
Over the two-year period from 2018 to 2019, the cumulative total of investments made came to approximately 6.5 billion yen on a Group-wide basis (including an amount implemented in fiscal 2020). By undertaking investments, we are working to promote the reduction of working hours from which we will not backtrack. Among our many investments, we are rebuilding housing assembly lines while introducing automated production lines, pushing forward sales innovation through the Sekisui Heim Museum, and adopting production management systems as well as video conferencing, remote work, and other systems.

Regulation of Long Working HoursWork Hour Shortening Committee

In order to promote the take-up of paid leave in fiscal 2019, we launched a planned annual leave system during the previous fiscal year on a trial basis. As a result, we were able to secure considerable improvements in the paid vacation day utilization rate. Assuming increased use of flexible working arrangements and working remotely from the home, trials were initiated in each department in a bid to further promote flexible work styles and to verify the degree of efficacy. Based on the findings of these trials, we plan to expand this initiatives Group-wide in fiscal 2020. We will 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.

Putting in Place A Workplace EnvironmentPromoting Remote Work and Paperless Operations

Sekisui Chemical recognizes the critical need to put in place a workplace environment where there is little or no distinction between work and communication undertaken within or outside the Company. With this in mind, we place equal importance on realizing flexible work styles that includes working from home as well as remotely. Based on the aforementioned, Sekisui Chemical introduced a remote work system in fiscal 2019 and has taken positive steps toward balancing the need for an easy-to-work style and security.
Moreover, every effort is being made to adopt paperless operations Group-wide. These efforts to ensure that all important meetings are conducted on a paperless basis are helping to significantly curtail the duration of meetings while providing additional benefits including reductions in the time require for printing and distribution. Serving as a model, the Company achieved reductions of approximately 80% at its Tokyo Headquarters at the time of its relocation in November 2019.

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.

  • “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 commenced seven health habit support programs advocated Dr. Lester Breslow from fiscal 2020. In addition to ensuring that all employees are fully aware of the support programs during fiscal 2020, our target is that 50% of employees will practice at least four of the seven health habits by fiscal 2022.

  • Collaborative health refers to cooperation between companies and insurers including health insurance association and joint efforts to improve the health of workers and their families effectively and efficiently.

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 2019, the Group made it a requirement to conduct population analyses within the Group. With 88% 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 five sites in five companies in fiscal 2019. (This includes continued support at three companies from fiscal 2018.)

2. Web-based Stress Management Training
We are conducting stress management training for newly appointed managerial staff, mid-career hires, and overseas assignees who experience considerable change in their environments. This training is proving effective as stress self-control indicators appeared to rise compared to before the training was implemented. In order to make it easier to undergo training, we changed the medium from a telephone- to a web-based system from fiscal 2020.

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 28 in fiscal 2019. This recognition applies to groups where their companies have conducted a pre-assessment, and undertaken 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. Steps were taken to initiate information exchange meetings among applicable companies from fiscal 2019. Each company has established specific health management targets with the Health Promotion Office collating levels of achievement.
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.
Sekisui Chemical began measuring presenteeism*1 and absenteeism*2 from fiscal 2019.

  • *1 Presenteeism:
    A condition in which performance that should be inherently exerted deteriorates due to a physical or mental disorder
  • *2 Absenteeism:
    Absence from work due to a variety of factors including illness or poor health
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

Population analysis was made mandatory at all business sites with 10 employees or more from fiscal 2018. The rate of population analysis implementation stands at 100% thanks to the presentation of Group benchmarks and analyses results by company by the Health Promotion Office.
Furthermore, we started to build models to improve workplace environments from fiscal 2016. Steps have also been taken to implement models as essential support in the improvement of workplace environments through the Health Promotion Office at high-risk workplaces with overall health risks of 120 or more since fiscal 2018. 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. High-risk workplace support was implemented at a total of five companies in fiscal 2019. This included continued support at three companies from fiscal 2018.
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.

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.

Successful case studies of workplace environment improvements

Two companies that implemented workplace environment improvements as high-risk workplaces from the second half of fiscal 2018 and over fiscal 2019 had positive results.
In addition to a detailed analysis of stress check results, we identified areas for improvement through on-site observations by Headquarters supervising occupational physicians and public health nurses, interviews with employees, advance surveys, and discussions with workplace personnel. Steps were then taken to prioritize these areas and to create a roadmap. By making employees aware of the roadmap and the need to improve the workplace environment, we have been able to implement this initiative through two-way communication.
As a result, changes in the perceptions of management and superiors improved in post-surveys and the number of issues raised in the pre-survey decreased. In the open-ended section, superiors are now more inclined to listen to opinions. Among the feedback received, respondents have commented that operations are now easier.
Making the most of methods that have worked to date, we plan to develop a package of methods that will facilitate the implementation of workplace environment improvements at more business sites.

Successful case studies of workplace environment improvements

Business Site Company A Company B
Employees Approximately 130 Approximately 45
Type of Business Site Manufacturing and sales plant of piping and construction materials Rubber and plastic plant
Details of Initiatives Implemented Improved the outdoor handling of pipes in coordination with internal workplace improvement activities
→ collection, tabulation, and evaluation of surveys post implementation
  • Invested in equipment to reduce the heat load (installation of spot coolers, distribution of air conditioning clothes, installation of cool boxes, etc.)
  • Established and enforced rules for handling heavy items
  • Conducted communication training for managerial positions
→ collection, tabulation, and evaluation of surveys post implementation;
Final debriefing session
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  • Communication training for managerial positions

  • Introducing air-conditioned clothing and cool innerwear

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Post-survey results

External EvaluationsCertified as a 2020 Health and Productivity Management Organization in the Large Enterprise Category (“White 500”)

Sekisui Chemical was recognized for its Companywide efforts to resolve issues relating to the health of its employees and was certified as a Health and Productivity Management Organization in the large enterprise category (“White 500”) by both the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Nippon Kenko Kaigi*2, which operates the Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program*1, for the fourth year in a row.
White 500 certification is under the new certification program*3 in this instance.

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  • *1
    The “Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program” awards large companies, small and medium-sized businesses, 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.
  • *2
    The Nippon Kenko Kaigi is an operation organized to allow effective action to be taken based on comprehensive support from government for expanding 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.
  • *3
    While all companies certified as Health and Productivity Management Organizations in the large enterprise category were commonly referred to the “White 500,” only the top 500 certified companies identified as a result of health management surveys are now recognized as the “White 500” under the new certification system.
Companies receiving certification Name of company certified together with the Company described on the left
Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. SEKISUI MEDICAL CO., LTD.
Hokkaido Sekisui Heim Industry Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Heim Tohoku Co., Ltd.
Tohoku SEKISUI HEIM Real Estate Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Heim Industry 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 Famis Chushikoku Co., Ltd.
Chushikoku SEKISUI HEIM Real Estate Co., Ltd.
Chushikoku Sekisui Heim Industry 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 Seikei, Ltd.
Shikoku Sekisui Co., Ltd.
Kyushu Sekisui Industry Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Hinomaru Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Material Solutions Co., Ltd.
Sekisui Fuller Company, Ltd.
  • From the list of corporations certified as 2020 Health and Productivity Management Organizations in the Large Enterprises (“White 500”) category
Performance Data

Amount of Overtime Work* (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Monthly average per employee (hours) 17.5 19.2 19.9 19.9 19.1
  • 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 FY2019
Average per employee (%)
(Excluding managers)
46.4 45.9 51.1 64.0 71.4

Average Number of Paid Vacation Days Taken (Sekisui Chemical)

  FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Average per employee (days)
(Excluding managers)
8.8 8.7 9.6 12.1 13.6

Stress-check Examination Rate

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Examination Rate (%) 72.0 81.9 87.1 92.5
  • Scope of stress-check implementation: Companies that are members of the Sekisui Health Insurance Association (including some affiliates)