Efforts to Improve Workplace Culture and Motivation

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.
出光興産, DFF Inc.

Implementing PDCA Cycle with Survey as Starting Point

We conduct an employee engagement survey once a year to quantitatively and continuously analyze employees' engagement, mutual trust, and unity.
The first survey after the business integration was conducted from late July to early August, covering a total of 10,344 people in our company and affiliated companies (27 companies), with 9,970 people (96.4% of total) responding. The results of the survey are fed back to management and all employees. Then they are analyzed in detail, and specific action plans are formulated and implemented based on it. The results of these analyses and plans are then confirmed in the next year's survey. This is the PDCA cycle.

出光興産, DFF Inc.

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.
出光興産, DFF Inc.

The Second Next Forum

On July 19, 2019, 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.
出光興産, DFF Inc.

The 3rd Next Forum

On March 19, 2020, we held the 3rd Next Forum. To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, we quickly changed venues from Daiba Office to an online meeting through Microsoft Teams. A total of 143 people participated, including President Shunichi Kito, Executive Officer Tomonori Okada, and Corporate Sustainability Department General Manager Michiyo Terakami as well as 97 forum committee members and executive officers from 54 departments nationwide. This  was Idemitsu’s first attempt at such a large Teams meeting. Over half of the participants joined from home, giving many people an opportunity to see firsthand the usefulness of implementing new work style reforms.
After receiving the results of the job satisfaction survey conducted in summer 2019, we uncovered a total of 129 companywide issues from each workplace among 55 departments by December. We thoroughly discussed these issues between late January and mid-February through seven committee member pre-meetings joined by a running total of 112 forum committee members. As a result, we sorted the issues into six categories; organized them into background information, ideals, and wants; and presented the list to the management team in advance of their meeting. On that day, President Shunichi Kito directly provided answers, and so did each department, including the Human Resources Department and Manufacturing & Technology Department. In addition, the forum committee members, department general managers, and management-level employees in charge of human resources worked together to begin solving the issues in their respective departments. The Advanced Technology Research Laboratories formulated a 10-year vision and introduced case studies of Kansai Branch and other branches as well as their COMPATH activities* they routinely undertake to implement PDCA cycles for reforming the workplace culture and training personnel.

  • * COMPATH activities establish practical measures by carefully assessing the gap between ideals and current circumstances in order to formulate specific action plans from the perspective of fostering a work culture.
出光興産, DFF Inc.