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Human capital development [DMA, LA10]

People are a company’s most important asset. Kao strives to create an environment and corporate culture in which both individuals and the company can achieve growth through maximizing each employee’s potential and making a positive contribution to society.

2015 activities
We support the development of employee capabilities in line with employee preferences and organizational objectives through a range of methods that transcend national boundaries and extend beyond the company itself.
In 2015, we implemented our Global Leadership Development Program and skill enhancement training for managers worldwide. We also continue to put in place systems to ensure that each individual employee’s performance is evaluated fairly and objectively, and that this evaluation is reflected in employees’ compensation and career development in a standardized manner in all Kao Group Companies.


The efforts of each and every employee to pursue individual achievements by exercising his or her own abilities and characteristics to the utmost can contribute to the success of the employer. Based on this concept, Kao aims to create such an environment and corporate culture. To this end, Kao has defined this policy as Guidelines for Human Capital Development and has made clear what constitutes an “Ideal Organization” and “Ideal Human Capital.” With the objective of achieving this policy, we provide various opportunities and support for employees to develop their skills and capabilities in accordance with their own level of motivation, individual characteristics and organizational goals.

Guidelines for Human Capital Development
Vision of Human Capital Development


Human capital development across countries and across companies

Kao aims to become a company that can attract human talent who pursue global careers around the world, and all Kao Group companies make concerted efforts so that excellent human capital can play an active role, regardless of nationality, race, gender, etc.
To more effectively promote cross-border and cross-company human capital development, and to conduct even more detailed discussions of each region’s issues and initiatives, beginning in 2013 Kao has been conducting Regional Human Capital Development Conferences regularly, in addition to the existing Global Human Capital Development Conference centered around those in charge of human capital development in Japan, Europe, the United States, and Asia.
As Kao continues to promote the global standardization of human capital systems already underway, human capital development in the Kao Group has entered a new stage, one that involves examining how to utilize those systems to move ahead with human capital development in each country where we do business.


Training programs that promote growth by helping employees to identify and develop their capabilities

Kao Group implements a wide range of different training programs, providing Kao employees all over the world with learning opportunities. Employees’ personal growth is vital to the growth of Kao as a whole. Training is designed to meet a wide range of different needs, and incorporates common elements based on a global perspective and also elements tailored to meet the specific needs of particular regions, companies and positions, etc.
In cultivating future leaders who can drive Kao’s global business development, Kao collaborates with leading international business schools to implement intensive training. Besides working to enhance trainees’ management skills, there is also a concerted effort to build human networks and to disseminate the values associated with Kao’s Yoki-Monozukuri.
At the same time, in-house trainers are cultivated at individual Kao business locations around the world, working with speed and attention to detail to ensure that all Kao employees absorb the Kao Way and Kao’s emphasis on integrity.
Kao also makes effective use of new learning tools such as e-learning and other Internet-enabled tools for language learning, etc. Besides creating new learning environments in this way, Kao also actively supports employees’ own self-directed learning efforts.

In 2015, training was implemented to cultivate 17 in-house instructors to provide training in negotiation skills and project management within the Asia region. More training programs of this kind will be implemented in future in line with the training needs of each country.

Kao Group Global Common Training Program Scheme

Kao Group Global Common Training Program Scheme

Training expenditure per employee (Kao Group)
2013 2014 2015
55,000 yen 63,000 yen 69,000 yen


Global leader cultivation

The Global Leadership Development Program has been implemented as a global program common to all Group companies, in which members selected from individual Kao Group companies in and outside Japan study Kao’s challenges from a broader perspective and make proposals to top management. The Program had 28 participants in 2015.

The Global Leadership Development Program completion ceremony


Implementation of training to enhance managers’ skills

We have implemented the rollout of the Managing Human Performance Program (MHPP) in each country across the globe to strengthen line management capabilities.
In 2015, we implemented training conducted by internal instructors in the Asia region (in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore). Two training programs were also implemented in the U.S., with a total of 43 participants.

Manager training at Kao Specialties Americas


Fair and transparent evaluation and compensation

Kao clearly states the roles and responsibilities of its employees and endeavors to fairly evaluate their performance on a regular basis, and appropriately reflect achievements in rewards and compensation.
Since January 2013, Kao has standardized its performance management system with affiliates in Japan, Europe, the Americas, and parts of Asia, and has put into full-scale operation an infrastructure to facilitate fair and transparent evaluations by common metrics.
In November 2013, we also rolled out our Self Education & Development Scheme (SeEDS), which aims to support individual skills and career development, and we are moving to successively deploy and operate the scheme at Group companies in each country.
The goal of this scheme is to, on a global level, motivate individual employees to develop their capabilities and careers, with support from the company, and to find, nurture and promote across the group as a whole those employees with motivation and skill, ultimately leveraging their maximum potential.
The performance management system and SeEDS are the twin engines driving human capital development in the Kao Group, and we continue to move ahead with cross-border, cross-company cooperation and collaboration so that the maximizing of individual employees’ potential can be integrated effectively with Kao’s business development, with employees and Kao contributing to one another’s growth.

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