We feature a system where any employee can put forth ideas for projects. We call it the ITO Innovation Challenge. The one and only restriction on the projects is that they must comply with ITO's corporate philosophy statement. Regardless of your tenure at ITO Corporation, all employees are free to put forth ideas. Chosen projects get underway as official projects after the management team decides how much to invest on the project based on the planning. So... What kind of ideas do you have?
Company meetings: "ITO Day"
Employees from every location, domestic and overseas, gather for a company meeting once a year. Employees from Thailand come to Japan as well. Between the business conversations, announcing results of various initiatives, games to encourage interaction between employees who don't usually get to see each other, group work, quizzes, etc. — every year this is a day full of smiles and tears. Because we are currently undergoing a period of big changes, we believe that communication and understanding between employees is particularly important.
We have a "collaboration area" outfitted with a bookcase, blackboard, and benches that serves as a sanctuary for our employees. This area came about as a product of requests from our employees. We are also spreading a variety of communication avenues throughout the company. At the head office, we have adopted an open office layout aimed at promoting communication beyond division and position boundaries.
Initiatives to Accelerate Growth
Training Abroad In Your Second Year
Employees choose either China or Thailand (where ITO has locations overseas) and attend a training session for nearly one week. As we strengthen our global network, the training is intended to foster development of a diverse set of values and viewpoints with employees going overseas as soon as possible after joining the company.
Corporate Sponsor of Columbia University
ITO Corporation is a corporate sponsor of an institute of economic research at Columbia University, and we participate in a conference held by the institute every year. Talks are given by panelists who are renowned business leaders and researchers that one typically does not get the chance to meet very often. Employees may attend the conference regardless of their tenure at ITO, making it a valuable opportunity to pick up a nuanced sense of business early on.
Active Lunch is a system in which we subsidize the cost of lunch for employees dining together from other divisions, up to 1,000 yen (once per month). You can put this system to use when going to lunch with an employee from outside of your own division, such as when you want to eat with colleagues you have little interaction with at work or when you want ideas from other departments, or when you simply want to eat some great-tasting food with someone else. Please feel free to make plenty use of the system once you join ITO.
Direct Lunch is a system where a group of several employees go to lunch with company executives. Topics of conversation cover a wide range — from personal life to work — with an emphasis on having everyone talk outside of formal, meeting-like settings. Direct lunches give management the opportunity to hear what employees really feel, and employees can tell executives how they feel about their work, what challenges they would like to take on, and more. We believe that this system of respecting each other and truly understanding the values that bring about diversity is somewhat unique to ITO.
An Environment that Breeds Smiles
Family Care Leave
Our Family Care Leave system grants paid leave for five to ten days per eligible person per year when a family member is in need of care. The unique point is that we define "family" in ITO terms. Second-degree family members (grandfathers, grandmothers, and grandchildren qualify), common-law partners, and even pets residing with you are defined as family in ITO terms. We take pride in this unrivaled system that falls in line with our Value Statement.
Flexible Working Hours so that Everyone can Excel
A flextime system is in place, with core time from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For all other times, employees can work flexibly. Time management is an important part of work, so employees are encouraged to have variation in their day and focus on results.
At ITO Corporation, we have three clubs: the baseball club, tennis club, and long-distance relay ("ekiden") club. Our clubs are quite active with regular practices, training camps, games, and more. You are also more than welcome to start a new club!