Human Resource Strategy

Our Approach

One overarching social trend is the change in relationship between companies and employees and there are more alterations and diversifications in employees attitudes toward work.
SMBC Group has approximately 100,000 employees around the world. We aim to improve both employee motivation and corporate productivity in order to effectively implement the Group's management strategies. We envisage to be a bank with the best talent pool by fostering talent capable of continuous growth and encouraging employees to tackle ambitious challenges.

Human Resource Medium-Term Management Plan

To establish a robust platform to realize SMBC Group's medium - to long-term vision, we have established the Human Resource Medium-Term Management Plan, with the following three pillars.

1. Resource Management
Strategic Allotment of Human Resources across Group Companies and Divisions

SMBC Group promotes business transformation and the streamlining of its business processes through business model reforms, branch reorganizations, and group-wide integration of operations. At the same time, we will be more proactive in reallocating human resources on a group-wide basis to strategic fields and areas as designated in the seven key strategies of the new Medium-Term Management Plan.

As a result, we aim to enable natural attrition of the domestic workforce by 7,000 people over the new Medium-Term Management Plan period, an increase from the reduction of 3,300 people achieved in the previous Medium-Term Management Plan.

2. Seamless Platform
Realization of True Diversity and Inclusion

Strategic utilization of human resources on an inter-Group company basis, cross-divisional manner requires the elimination of obstacles that may impede the ability of diverse employees to excel in their positions. By establishing the necessary systems and frameworks and reforming the mindsets of employees and other parties through education, SMBC Group will realize true diversity and inclusion.

(1)Construction of Platforms for Supporting Business Strategies

SMBC Group is moving forward with the construction of platforms to support the flexible and effective reinforcement and streamlining of businesses.

In the Retail Business Unit, we have established the Wealth Management Division and the Payments & Consumer Finance Division. In conjunction with this move, human resource systems and recruitment strategies are being revised with a focus on cross-entity fluidity of human resources.

Meanwhile, we are developing human resources with specialized skills in the Wholesale Business Unit and providing career paths for these individuals in order to heighten our ability to accommodate customer needs.

(2)Flexible Group-Wide Recruitment Strategies

SMBC Group is enhancing Intra-Group coordination in new graduates recruitment through holding joint recruitment events and reconsidering recruitment strategies on a group-wide basis. In the recruitment of mid-career hires, we have raised the number of such hires to account for approximately 20% of all hires with the aim of greatly increasing related recruitment numbers. In order to acquire diverse talent including candidates for management positions, we are employing a multi-channel approach such as recruitment through referrals and alumni networks. At the same time, we are developing workplace environments to encourage active contributions of mid-career hires.

(3)Diversification of Management and Human Resources
Global Diversity
Seeking to utilize human resources on a global basis, SMBC Group has compiled a database for integrated management of information on overseas employees and established the Global Talent Management Council as a framework for increasing the transparency of promotions of overseas employees to senior management positions.
In addition, we offer various development programs for fostering leadership capabilities in a multi-cultural environment, including a leadership program for management-level employees delivered in partnership with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and group training programs for employees from offices around the globe. We also conduct the Global Japan Program, under which employees from overseas offices are assigned to departments in Japan for up to one year. Approximately 1,700 employees have participated in these programs to date.
Gender Diversity
SMBC Group has set targets for the ratio of female managers and the number of female executive officers. We are devoting efforts to fostering female management candidates and creating a pool of female managers by increasing the hiring of women, specifically aiming to have women account for 30% of all hires, and enhancing educational programs through leadership training and programs for reforming the gender awareness of supervisors. To ensure appointments and promotions are determined based on individuals' skills and competencies, unconscious bias training has been made compulsory for management and members of the Human Resources Department.
Furthermore, SMBC Group joined 30% Club Japan, an organization striving to increase female representation in corporate decision-making, in April 2021 as part of its efforts to empower female employees and diversify decision makers.
Meanwhile, in support of the LGBT community and other sexual minorities, the Company has expanded its employee welfare and benefit to include same-sex partners and set up helpdesks to support members of sexual minorities. We are also offering employee education and supporting the development of networks of sexual minority allies through aid and donations for external events.
Age Diversity
Following the extension of the retirement age at SMBC Group, we have been taking steps to provide elderly employees with positions that let them exercise their skills at Group companies and implementing group-wide efforts to support the contributions of these employees. For example, recurrent training and post-appointment support is provided, with a focus on both skills and mindsets, for individuals being reassigned across company lines, and a second career support system has been put in place.
(4)Energization of Diverse Employees
Health and Productivity Management
Group companies have formulated a "Statement on Health Management" and are developing environments in which all employees can remain healthy and feel empowered through joint efforts by companies, health insurance unions, and health support staff under the leadership of the Chief Health Officer.
For example, we offer health seminars and exercise awareness campaigns and are also bolstering systems and providing training regarding the unique health issues faced by women. In addition, we provide financial assistance for employees looking to take part in programs for quitting smoking, and approximately 80% of the participants in our FY2020 quit smoking campaign successfully gave up smoking.
Mental healthcare measures include training programs based on group analyses and stress checks for all employees, mental health helpdesks, and support for returning to work. We also monitor working hours and implement systems to ensure sufficient intervals between shifts to prevent excessive or concentrated working hours.
Work-Life Balance Support
As employees' values diversify, SMBC Group is fostering workplace environments designed to help all employees deliver their maximum performance, regardless of life stage or physical or mental characteristics. For example, we are expanding leave systems, providing training, and encouraging male employees to take childcare leave. In addition, we have set up a helpdesk to answer questions regarding nursing care.
Moreover, we strive to ensure that all employees feel motivated and ambitious in their work. To this end, we have adopted systems that allow for flexibility in working hours and work locations, such as flextime, staggered working hours, and telework systems. We also seek to improve productivity through heightened operational efficiency by promoting paperless operations and utilizing robotic process automation tools.

Diversity Initiatives

SMBC Group is promoting "Diversity and Inclusion" as a growth strategy itself. The Group has formulated its "Diversity and Inclusion Statement" to communicate this fact to internal and external stakeholders.

Text of Diversity and Inclusion Statement

To promote diversity and inclusion initiatives through a concerted group-wide effort, SMBC Group has established the Diversity and Inclusion Department and holds regular discussions at meetings of the Board of Directors and the Management Committee. Furthermore, we arrange meetings of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and encourage members of top management to commit to the promotion of diversity and inclusion and to act based on this commitment.

Message on Diversity and Inclusion from the Group CEO 

3. Employee Engagement
Measures to Enable All Employees to Fully Exercise Their Potential

(1)Talent Development Strategy: Environment Self-Driven Career Development

SMBC Group has established the Learning and Development Institute to spearhead its group-wide talent development activities in order to complement the human resource development initiatives Group companies are advancing based on their specific business environments. The Learning and Development Institute implements development programs for cultivating a group-wide perspective and fostering a sense of solidarity. Each program is backed by strong commitment from the Group CEO; and by incorporating dialog with Group executives, participants are continuously conveyed messages that foster Group unity. Moreover, in addition to classroom instruction, web-based learning is also available through a Group-wide learning management system (SMBC Group eCampus).

At the same time, we are actively implementing joint programs with the Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University and cross-Group job rotations to develop management candidates. Through the joint programs, we also endeavor to devise management strategies that leverage the Group's strengths.

SMBC Group fosters a sense of solidarity between employees through group-wide training sessions and cross-Group job rotations while also cultivating human resources who are able to view the Group from an overarching perspective as well as candidates for future Group management positions.

As a result of these efforts, SMBC has received an innovation award in the Good Career Company Award program of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This award was presented in recognition of SMBC's robust lineup of career support systems as well as its business-oriented models for selfdriven career development.

Looking ahead, we intend to bolster our range of career development support systems to offer programs for learning about digital technologies along with other reeducation and awareness reform programs to ensure that we can respond quickly to operating environment changes and accordingly swiftly implement management strategies.

SMBC's Human Resource Development Policies
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has formulated a "Human Resources Vision" in its Medium-term Management Plan to serve as a long-term strategy for every aspect of personnel development. Guided by this vision, we are transitioning from Human Resources Department-driven development models to more business-oriented, self-driven development models to better support the ambitions of all employees. Also, we are increasing the transparency of human resource evaluations to cultivate an atmosphere in which employees are evaluated based on their contributions.

Our philosophy is to develop true professionals who are highly competitive and capable of behaving proactively. In line with this philosophy, our personnel system comprehensively evaluates job aptitude and capabilities based on an individual's job duties, contributions, and HR evaluation. The system comprises three components: treatment (compensation) system, evaluation system, and human resources management. Under a job-type structure capable of responding to the diversification of business fields and the trend toward jobs becoming more specialized, we aim to achieve an optimal fusion of job-based criteria and person-based criteria, so as to make the system transparent and acceptable to employees.
Contribution evaluation system
  • To evaluate employees' contributions and other employees in a transparent and logical manner, and ensure that employees' are subjected to appropriate treatment.
  • All forms of "contribution" are evaluated, not only contribution to one's own department/group, but also contribution to the Group as a whole and to other employees.
Competency/Energy evaluation system
  • A system for comprehensive evaluation based on "behavioral analysis (competency)," which will materialize as one's own contributions, and "motivation analysis (energy)," which is unique to each individual.
  • To ensure objective and satisfactory C/E Evaluation, information is collected from a wide range of sources not only from the general manager, but also from management from each office, as well as via interviews by HR staff during office visits or training sessions.
Acceleration of Experiential Learning Cycle Based on On-the-Job Training
For junior employees, SMBC Group provides frameworks through which new employees receive guidance from more experienced employees ("anchor" system) and is introducing development systems for fostering rigorous self-understanding, gaining insight on basic actions and basic knowledge, and cultivating an appropriately competitive mindset.
In addition, the wevox engagement survey system is utilized on an individual-workplace basis and one-on-one feedback meetings are held at all banks as part of our efforts to accelerate an experimental learning cycle based on on-the-job training.
Initiatives targeting managerial personnel

The values of employees are changing and their work is becoming increasingly specialized, while attitudes and the environment relating to work styles are being radically transformed. To match this environment, in addition to carrying out newly appointed manager training that covers the expectations of their position, the importance of management, important points regarding human resource development, and the significance of diversity and inclusion, we are supporting all management positions by carrying out initiatives to strengthen management abilities.

Scientific studies are underway on understanding the skills required for management, and such skills have been systemized. Therefore, we have introduced management skill training that makes maximum use of the knowledge of outside specialists, including unconscious bias training, etc. Also, in addition to incorporating diversity (defined as making effective use of subordinates who have a varied sense of values as well as the differences of members to create new value) as one of our managerial evaluation factors, through multifaceted evaluations (SMBC Management Review) from subordinates and coworkers and interviews with superiors held once per year, managers reflect on their own management style from a multi-sided point of view, set their own agenda, develop the necessary skills by themselves, and repeat this cycle.

Initiatives targeting managerial personnel

∼ Expanding Off JT ∼

As well as establishing an OJT environment as described above, we also focus on Off JT (off-the-job training).

We offer a full program of basic education aimed at getting young employees to become industry-ready at an early stage and augmenting the benefits of OJT. There are also level-specific programs that are oriented to the long-term careers of personnel, including those in the middle-management layer. And in addition to leadership training for those responsible for management, we also offer training programs with different themes, such as equipping participants with grounding in and knowledge of digital technology or boosting their specialist knowledge in areas such as credit provision and fx. In the realm of leadership training, we deliver high-end programs that we have developed jointly with external institutions such as the University of Tokyo and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S.

With regard to executive candidates, who will be placed in leadership roles, the above-described selective training programs and transfers allow them to receive extraordinary assignments that lead to their development in an organized fashion.

Support for autonomous career design
To raise the level of expertise of each employee as a financial professional, it is vital to put mechanisms in place that enable personnel to identify their own attributes/skills and select fields that they themselves believe will allow them to demonstrate their capabilities. One such mechanism for supporting this sort of autonomous career design by employees is our open-recruitment system, which comprises the three components of Training Entry, Job Entry, and Post Entry.
Furthermore, even before launching the open-recruitment system, we had organized an event called the SMBC Job Forum, which is intended to deepen understanding of operations performed within the bank. These Forums are attended by almost 2,000 people each year. During the Forums, each department explains its operations in a seminar format, after which each department is assigned a booth from which it can provide more details on specific projects and field questions from booth visitors. The Forums therefore offer an opportunity for employees to obtain a clearer picture of the work performed by the various sections within the bank, which raises their interest in open recruitment and simultaneously encourages them to think independently about their career development.
Training entry A voluntary application system for all kinds of training programs necessary for career formation.
Job entry A voluntary application system for the desired job (professional duties) so that employees can take on the challenge of career development for themselves.
Post entry A voluntary application system to offer opportunities to ambitious, talented human resources to take on the challenge of reaching a management position (department manager, branch manager).
To support the desire to learn about various things, we dispatch employees through open recruitment to graduate schools and external educational institutions both in Japan and overseas. We also offer an extended-leave scheme to enable employees to go and study at graduate schools, vocational schools, etc. on a full-time basis (Career-Design Leave Scheme), a program that partially subsidizes the course fees of employees who wish to attend graduate school or obtain qualifications while still working full time (Career-Design Learning Support Scheme), and so on. Furthermore, to support learning through work performed outside the bank, we also actively dispatch personnel to work temporarily at entities outside the Group.
(2) Corporate Culture

A sense of psychological safety that encourages employees to tackle challenges on a self-driven basis is imperative to improving employee engagement. For this reason, we have a free dress code, enabling employees to wear what they please to work, and encourage employees to refer to each other without titles. In addition, we have introduced an internal social networking service as a digital tool for strengthening connections between people and organizations.

Furthermore, the wevox engagement survey system is being introduced on a group-wide and global basis to develop a corporate culture that facilitates self-driven improvements by organizations. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has set maintaining an engagement survey score of 70 or higher as a KPI, and it has achieved its target KPI score (as of March 2021). In the March 2021 survey of Group employees, 73% of our employees expressed that they felt pride in working for SMBC Group.

Column:Midoriba: Internal Social Networking Service

An internal social networking service known as Midori no Hiroba (meaning green plaza), or Midoriba for short, was introduced at SMBC in October 2020 application at Group companies planned). This system is designed to encourage mutual communication between management-, organization-to-employee and employee-to-employee that is not limited by organizational boundaries and to promote employee innovation. Specifically, employees are able to learn about colleagues and other business fields, connect with likeminded colleagues, and share ideas and opinions with each other through this system. Thus, the system will support the establishment of a proper mindset for career development and encouraging the employee-initiated establishment of internal communities. We aim to develop a framework in which employees can create new business opportunities or transform existing businesses by freely sharing ideas and receiving mentoring or sponsorship from specialized departments or management.

This system is already used by more than 20,000 employees, with thousands of interactions, including knowledge sharing and idea consultations, taking place each month.