Promoting Work Style Reform

Next Forum Provides Opportunities for Employees and Top Management to Communicate Directly in an Interactive Way About Company-wide Issues

What is the Next Forum?

Next Forum is a council that provides opportunities for employees and top management to directly talk, exchange views, and make proposals about company-wide tasks and other issues in an effort to build a better company. In this forum, which is held twice a year, a total of 111 Forum Members elected from all departments and offices convey the voices of their respective workplaces.

The Forum is not a decision-making body but serves as an interface between employees and top management. Its feedback on employees’ activities is aimed to ensure that better measures are implemented and better corporate culture is created.

The first session took place on February 4, 2019, and participants discussed the results of our internal ‘Job Satisfaction Survey’ and Forum Members’ ideas on improving operational efficiency.

Implementing PDCA Cycle with Survey as Starting Point

Our company`s Job Satisfaction Survey is conducted once a year to analyze employees satisfaction, mutual trust, and sense of unity on a regular basis. Based on the results of the survey, each department and office implements the PDCA cycle.

The first survey after Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell managerial integration was held from late July to early August for a total of 10,500 employees – 6,000 work in the company and 4,500 at 27 affiliated companies. 9,972 of them (96.4%) replied to the survey.

Feedback on the survey result is given to the employees, top management, and department/office managers. Strengths and weaknesses of each organization and some organizational issues are identified so that specific action plans can be drawn up and carried out.

Initiatives Based on Materiality (Priority Tasks) Identified at the First Next Forum

  1. DTK (Dattara Kou Shiyou! – Business Process Redesign) Project
    Business flow and work-style reforms are not mere business improvement efforts but activities to contribute to making employees feel that their job is more rewarding. They are initiatives to utilize surplus power gained through workload reduction to shift company focus to growth areas and high-value-added operations, and to enable employees to work on self-development and enrich their leisure time.
  2. Information Systems Department’s initiatives
    Information Systems Department works on support and training reform, promoting mobile technology & digitization, and communication reform.
  3. Report on Human Resource Matters
    Since August, Human Resources Department has been holding briefings regarding the new personnel administration system scheduled to be applied from April 2020. The briefings also gather opinions from employees on how to promote diverse work styles and reflect them on the new system.
  4. Task Team for Work Style Reform at Manufacturing Sites
    A new task team was launched to make employees feel that their job more rewarding and enhance the competitiveness of the company, and the five pillars of reform include diversifying work styles, shifting to daytime intensive work, and workload reduction that takes effect immediately. Initiatives to achieve these goals are under way.

The Second Next Forum

On July 19, the Second Next Forum was held. This was the first Forum since the Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell managerial integration. 78 Forum Members from 55 bases nationwide and 14 senior managers, including President Kito, participated in the meeting.

Part 1
  • Message from President Kito
    The President talked enthusiastically about the purpose of the Forum, the past initiatives and the aim of newly launched projects, and his expectations for future initiatives.
  • Explanations about the initiative derived from priority tasks, which were identified at the first Next Forum
    Feedback consisting of about 2,600 opinions collected from workplaces through Forum Members in advance was given to the departments in charge before the Forum took place. It was also reflected in the explanations on the day of the Forum.
Part 2
  • Sitting in a circle in their teams, participants discussed factors (communication and corporate culture) that hindered efforts for greater operational efficiency.
    • * Ten teams discussed true factors and measures to overcome them in depth, and in a plenary session, they presented the results of their discussions.
  • Vice President Okada’s Closing Speech
    Top management took the Forum discussion into account hoped the Forum Members, as promoters, would convey details of the discussions to their respective workplaces.

DTK Project; an Initiative to Increase Productivity and Make Employees Feel Their Job More Rewarding

(the video is only available in Japanese)

DTK* Project Overview

  • * DTK:Dattara Kou Shiyou (Business Process Redesign)

This project was launched with the aim to reform the work flow and working style of all employees to ensure the sustainable development of the new integrated copany. Productivity improvement requires improvement in three factors: improving results, reducing work volume, and improving work engagement.

The productivity improvement envisioned by this project is aimed at “operational improvement × improvement of each employee’s work engagement”. The project is divided into two phases. Phase I, which aims to unify operations of divisions in which the former companies’ operation coexist, and Phase II, which seeks to create new ways of working in all departments, including digitalization.

In both phases I and II, we held workshops and interviews for the representative (leader) from all departments involved, determined the project team’s mission and action guidelines, then further digged into the issues. Currently, we are moving to Phase II, and we are promoting initiatives in all departments. As a new integrated company, we will work together to solve problems that we could not solve solely in the past.

The Project Structure

Members of the management committee will serve as steering committee of this project, and will strongly promote the project across the entire company. A task team was formed under this, and task promotion managers were appointed from each department. Under this system, we aim to realize company-wide work flow and work style reform.

Business Process Redesign (BPR)図

Kick-off Meeting

In order to initiate the project, a kick-off meeting was held in which President Kito, Vice Chairman Kameoka, and the leader of each department attended. President Kito expressed his strong expectation for the project and determination to "complete the project as a management team", as well as the need to deepen business integration further.

We could feel the enthusiasm from the departments’ leaders who are prepared with the improvement ideas arose from countless trials and errors in daily business operations. Finally, Vice Chairman Kameoka came up with his encouraging words, "Let's think about how much society and customers are expecting from our integration. Improving the quality of the integration starts from here, and all employees have must take the lead”.


Workshop Training Camp by Departments’ Representatives

First Workshop: July 24 ~ 25, 2019

In the first half of the workshop, practical training was conducted to understand the need for mutual understanding. In the second half, which is the team discussion, we shared our expectations and concerns regarding the progress of our project activities. On top of that, we also discussed about the project team’s role and technique in promoting DTK. The approach should not only come from the top but also from the middle and bottom to encourage better communication. As the discussion result, the team came up with the mission “Realizing corporate reform by optimizing various perspectives within the company regardless border through DTK Project”

Second Workshop: October 23~24, 2019

We expanded the participants to all departments and conducted a mindset teambuilding to implement the project. In promoting the project to each department, we held workshops to comprehend better about the content (what to do) and the process (how is the feeling). Much of the training was devoted to discussion, and at the end, we established a team mission and action guidelines to "become a pioneer who revolves the spiral of work satisfaction and value creation as One Team!".