2. Human Resource Development

Human Resource Development

The KADOKAWA Group implements career support that respects employees' intentions, initiatives for finding the right person for the right job, as well as a variety of training courses based on the employees’ position and business, to help grow employees skills to actively participate while also demonstrating their own personalities and abilities.

Career Support and Initiatives for Finding the Right Person for the Right Job

The aims of following various systems and initiatives are to enhance employee motivation, create careers that utilize skills, find the right person for the right job, and create new innovation within the KADOKAWA Group.

[Incentive System for Obtaining Public Qualifications]

In order to support employees’ independent learning, we have established a system that pays a stipend ranging from 10,000 to 1 million yen to employees who have passed a qualification that leads to career formation, depending on the difficulty of the qualification. This is applicable to more than 100 qualifications for subjects such as languages, publishing, design, information processing, business management, legal affairs, history, World Heritages and travel. The system was introduced in March 2022.

["Free-agent" Transfer System]

Under this system, employees apply for and strive to be matched to positions of interest. Full-time employees of KADOKAWA and full-time employees of Group companies who have announced their participation in the program are eligible. The system was introduced in October 2021.

[Project Open Call]

This is a system in which employees themselves propose challenging, medium- to long-term, or cross-departmental projects, form project teams to realize them, and recruit project members from within the Company. Employees who participate in the project via "Project Open Call" may spend 10 to 20% of their working hours on the project. That enables them to take on the new project while continuing with their main work. Project Open Call was tentatively introduced to DWANGO Co., Ltd., a subsidiary, in October 2019 before being made applicable to more companies in October 2021 when it officially started throughout the KADOKAWA Group.
A total of eleven projects and 45 employees participated in the projects by May 2023. In "HR Project Focusing on Childcare Support", employees discussed a good environment for childcare and sought to find solutions to problems. "World’s Top Content Translation and Publication Project", acquires licenses to the world’s top content, seeks growth in publishing translations as an industry category and makes KADOKAWA’s presence felt globally. "Asia BL Project" established a function across the company specializing in the category of boys' love (BL) in Asia for discussion about KADOKAWA’s business operations. After a few months of activities, members of the project teams proposed new systems and initiatives to executives. A welfare service named "FanFun Ehon (FanFun Picture Book)" was established to annually provide a book to each child of employees. "KADOKAWA Workstyle Workshop" has a column in the KADOKAWA Group’s in-house newsletter and submits articles about the side job system, men’s childcare leave and employment of persons with disabilities. Including these, as well as others, numerous initiatives have been put into practice.

[Side Job System]

This system expands work-style options and supports voluntary career development and is available to all employees. The system was introduced in April 2021. Approximately 5% of KADOKAWA employees utilize this program (as of May 2023).

Employee Training

We provide a variety of training programs for employees to acquire business skills, promote understanding among employees about each business, etc. The Company also actively holds in-house seminars and study sessions to enable employees to obtain useful information and knowledge for our business.

[Training Based on Position]

● New Graduate Induction Training
The training is provided to all new graduates in April each year. It aims at ensuring that the new graduates understand workstyles, KADOKAWA’s in-house systems, various programs, an overview of the KADOKAWA Group, the company’s business lines, workplace atmospheres and things they should know as a businessperson. Besides taking classroom lectures, the new graduates visit a video production studio, a printing company and other facilities during the training period.

● New Graduate Follow-up Training
Held in every February, the training is provided to all employees who entered the company as new graduates in April of the year before. The training focuses on the post-assignment follow-up of such employees. For example, it checks whether they have the perspective expected of a businessperson.

● Training for Newly Appointed Managers and Professionals
Biannually held in the spring and fall, the training is provided to employees who are newly appointed to managers and professionals.
Inviting lecturers from outside the Group, the training program involves workshops and group discussion in small groups to understand the principles of management and acquire basic management skills.

● Training for Employee Evaluation
The training is provided to managers around May every year. They learn how to set goals and to provide feedback.

● On The Job Leader Training
Held in July to August every year, the training is provided to employees who are assigned to teaching new graduates. It communicates the aim of developing new employees and the roles of senior employees and shares knowledge and information about new employee training.

● Next-generation Leader Training
Biannually held in spring and fall, the training is provided to the internally selected employees. They learn subjects such as business strategy, leadership, finance, business planning and presentation.

● Entrance Guidance
Held on the first business day of every month, the guidance is given to mid-career employees who enter the company in the month. Upon request, they can receive explanations about matters such as the organization, various programs and the operating systems necessary for their jobs.

< Number of KADOKAWA employees participating training, training hours per person and total training hours (FY2022) >

Training program Number of
Training hours
per person
training hours
Training for new graduates
(New graduates introductory training,
new graduates follow-up training)
29 persons 161 hours 4,669 hours
Management training
(Training for newly appointed
managers and professionals,
training for employee evaluation)
579 persons 18 hours 10,422 hours
On the job leader training 26 persons 7 hours 182 hours
Next-generation leader training 4 persons 56 hours 224 hours
Entrance guidance 291 persons 10 hours 2,910 hours
[Training, seminars, and study sessions tailored to businesses]

● Editing and production course
This course is held continuously for the purpose of improving the skills of editors. It is held online on a wide range of topics necessary in the editing and production of publications such as acquisition of knowledge necessary for planning and production of publications, sales promotion and SNS promotion methods as well as copyright and subcontracting law.

● Basic courses on digital promotion
The serial course is for employees to acquire basic knowledge of digital promotion, such as consumers’ purchasing processes, owned media, access log analysis, etc.

● SNS study group
Employees of departments promoting KADOKAWA’s digital operations took the lead in holding several study groups on topics about social media, such as the types of social media and tips for promotion. Over 600 employees in total have attended and shared their knowledge and skills.

● Study group for press release writing
The editing department operating "PressWalker", KADOKAWA's press release distribution service, provides lectures on press release creation know-how to Group employees. Key points for creating press releases that will be selected by the media were shared.

In addition, we also offer opportunities to gain knowledge necessary for those who are involved in the creation of media and content. For example, we provide seminars on the handling of rights and music production in the media mix business and also teach topics on human rights, diversity and discrimination.
Some of the KADOKAWA Group’s companies also offer their own original training programs suited to their businesses.

[Compliance training]

In order to raise employees’ awareness of compliance, we use the Group’s common e-learning system for regular and contract employees, conduct training to prevent various types of harassment, and conduct training to learn basic legal knowledge such as copyright and publishing contracts.

Development of Human Resources for Digital Transformation

We train employees across the entire Group for digital transformation that can promote user-centric reform and to become well informed about digital matters. We do this by instilling consideration for digital transformation and behavioral patterns through the introduction of Activity Based Working (ABW) and support services for Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) and data utilization for our business departments.

With our BPR support, we offer customized services that are based on departmental needs. Starting in FY2021, KADOKAWA Connected Inc. has offered knowledge gained through the BPR support to both within and outside the Group through a service called the KDX Dojo.

Through our duties, we work to widely train employees possessing digital knowledge that can be utilized in business. This includes the installation of a technology evangelist assigned to both the business department and the digital department to promote the digital promotion of business, the formation of cross-organizational data utilization teams, the integration of data existing in each individual department, and the establishment of business intelligence tools that allow data to be utilized by employees under the same parameters.
In addition, we offer a training program on data utilization for Group employees. Many different programs on methods for big data analysis, methods for dashboard development with the use of BI tools, statistics, machine learning and other subjects of data science are provided in an effort to develop human resources equipped with knowledge of data utilization to facilitate data-driven management.

Regular Evaluation Reviews

At KADOKAWA, we carry out evaluations once a year for full-time employees, contract employees with continued employment, and employees on special duty, and twice a year for contract employees. We work to evaluate employees fairly by looking back at the establishment and adjustment of targets and by setting up multiple interviews to provide feedback from superiors.
Evaluations of management behavior were introduced in FY2023 to see if managerial-level employees are fulfilling the roles as expected. Besides the top-down evaluation from superiors to subordinates, KADOKAWA conducts a survey named "Upward Feedback" so that the bottom-up evaluation from subordinates to superiors can also be referenced. Meanwhile, an aptitude test named “Attuned” has been introduced to quantitatively determine the factors that will change employees’ motivation. It works to motivate employees, properly assign missions and run an organization.

Promoting Proposals for New Businesses and Business Improvements

To encourage open and autonomic proposals from employees for businesses and improvements, the KADOKAWA Group held an innovation plan contest from 2019 to 2022 in which chief officers and higher executives served as judges to recognize and execute such proposals. Plans awarded at the contest are actually commercialized, leading to the release of QRouton, a service for QR codes* and shortened URLs, and mimicle, a voice drama distribution marketplace, and the development of TATESC COMICS, which can be read vertically while scrolling on mobile devices.

After the contest ended, we have continued with a system for the Group’s employees to propose and seek advice on new businesses and operational improvements. We have "Project Open Call" where employees propose challenging, medium- to long-term, or cross-departmental projects and invite members to promote them, as well as online form which allows employees to send their opinions and questions directly to the CEO, and consultation by e-mail.
Overseas, the "Global Acceleration Program" was started in October 2022. The program is aimed at inviting ideas from all of the Group's companies for overseas businesses and to identify human resources interested in overseas businesses. It also discusses, via seminars and workshops, the commercialization of plans to develop globally. In FY2022, four of 39 entries were adopted (and we have been working on the details of one of these) and efforts are underway to make these project proposals a reality. Also, KADOKAWA initiated the "Global Business MVP Award" for commending excellent projects implemented by overseas subsidiaries. Including Overseas Business MVP Award, Innovation Award / New Challenge Award among others, these awards are aimed at motivating officers and employees of our overseas subsidiaries, raising their awareness as the KADOKAWA Group’s employees and disseminating the Group’s strategic policy and philosophy.

*QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE.