Human capital is the most important asset
At a time of rapid digital transformation (DX) at the global level, Konica Minolta aims to achieve sustainable growth as a company that is vital to society. To this end, we have taken steps to transform our business portfolio from being product-centric to being focused on services that leverage images and data. And I strongly believe that human capital is the most important asset to achieving resounding success in this endeavor.
Assets under our previously product-centered business consisted of production facilities and other possessions of the Company, and what we sought from our employees was the ability and skill to utilize these assets effectively. But now, to carry out a service-centered business that leverages our digital capabilities, we need each and every employee to identify customers’ individual needs and find out-of-the-box solutions.
Towards our goal of besting the competition at a global level amid this worldwide digital transformation, our “DX2022” medium-term business strategy, which began in fiscal 2020, calls for a human capital strategy that gives top priority to bringing out every Konica Minolta employee’s individuality.
From optimizing at the country and region level
to harnessing diversity in a borderless world
To win in today’s world, a company must discover new ways of thinking and innovative ideas by engendering healthy conflicts between people of different views. In other words, leveraging people’s diversity is essential for organizational growth. Therefore, it goes without saying that to make the best use of our people going forward, we need to go beyond optimizing at the country and region level and come together at the global level, making doubly sure the right people are in the right positions—regardless of their nationality, gender, or years of service.
One of our greatest competitive advantages is the extent of our diversity: the Konica Minolta Group is more than 40,000 people, and roughly 75% of them work outside Japan. Through active M&A efforts over the past 10 years, we have recruited a profusion of people who have brought new identities, knowledge, and experience to the company. To make the most of this advantage, we are developing HR programs shared throughout the Group, as well as making personal transfers easier, with the goal of providing every conceivable kind of opportunity for all employees, wherever they are in the world.
Regarding women’s participation and advancement, women hold roughly 18% of management positions Groupwide but only 7% at headquarters in Japan. To promote diversity, we need to vigorously promote women’s participation as a focus of our business management, especially in Japan. For some time, we have used the percentage of female managers as an indicator to engender a corporate culture conducive to female participation, while providing training and education as well as actively expanding and improving related systems. The managers of our businesses are strongly committed to producing female leaders, getting involved directly in their development planning and focusing our efforts on strengthening our process for cultivating female leaders. Alongside these initiatives, we will continue to identify and systematically train high-potential female talent to enable women to exercise their influence in the upper levels of management. Through these efforts, we will institute reforms aimed at bringing our percentage of female managers to 8% at our Japan headquarters by the end of fiscal 2021.
Policy for strengthening talent in “DX2022”
Building a value creation process to achieve DX
We have established two themes for strengthening our talent capabilities toward the achievement of DX.
The first involves cultivating leadership talent capable of achieving business growth through DX and one day becoming the CEO or an executive officer. So far, our cultivation of next-generation leaders has been done according to plans at the departmental, regional, and national levels. In the future, however, we will view each of these leaders as common assets of the entire Group, rotating them based on what is best for the Group as a whole. Assigning them tougher work and providing better training programs to support them will be crucial. Achieving this will require implementing a process for regularly reviewing and following up with organizations and employees, then having top managers continually identify those who show promise within each department, assess how far they could go, and make these high-potential people fully aware of their potential. At the same time, managers will help us achieve sustainable business growth by communicating how they intend to develop leader candidates as companywide human assets and enable them to be utilized strategically.
The other theme is recruiting and cultivating people who can lead digital experts working closely with our customers. These people will be extremely important for maintaining and strengthening our competitiveness as we advance DX, and for this purpose I estimate we will need about 200 people by the end of fiscal 2022. We have developed systems to select possible candidates at the global level and from outside the Company and train them. We have so far selected 500 candidates from around the world. Now we are conducting assessments to narrow down the list. Going forward, the Global Talent Committee will formulate a training plan tailored to each individual, provide various opportunities to hone their skills on the global stage, and accelerate their growth.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, employee engagement and the strength of the bond between employees and the Company has become more important than ever before. With the exception of essential employees who must come into the office, we have transitioned to having all Konica Minolta employees working from home at all business sites worldwide, beginning as soon as COVID-19 began to spread. This transition proceeded smoothly thanks to teleworking programs and IT infrastructure put in place before the outbreak. Many people still work from home, and teleworking has become a new normal. Because of the circumstances, we will all need to make a more conscientious effort to build the relationships between supervisors and subordinates, and with our fellow coworkers, that we used to naturally foster at the office. Moreover, it is becoming more difficult to get the kinds of novel insights and ideas that used to arise from chance encounters and chats — we must reach out more proactively, now.
To strengthen engagement at a time like this, we urgently need to redefine what type of people Konica Minolta needs both now and post COVID-19, to develop the infrastructure and re-examine programs needed for these people to succeed, and to select and develop managers who can manage according to the circumstances.
We will take these steps based on a corporate culture that puts employee health first and that will form a foundation for winning at the global level, which is part of the “healthy management” policy we have been focused on. Meanwhile, we will strengthen engagement by conducting employee satisfaction surveys worldwide to gauge our progress, and thoroughly follow up on efforts to address issues at the national, regional, and company level that have been identified through these surveys.