Activities with Employees
Basic Stance Regarding Our Social Responsibility
The people who work at USS are the source of our group’s ability to grow and remain competitive. We are dedicated to providing our people with an environment where they can realize their full potential and perform their jobs to the best of their ability.
Another priority is providing workplaces where people can work with no worries and upgrade their skills while respecting one another. We also recognize the importance of maintaining a framework for fair and proper employee performance evaluations and compensation.
Respect for human rights
The USS Code of Conduct and Ethics prohibits discrimination among the USS Group’s workforce based on race, ethnicity, nationality, beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and other personal characteristics.
As automobile auctions in Japan are the primary activity of the USS Group, problems involving child labor and forced labor are unlikely to occur. There has never been an instance of these problems at the group.
As part of our normal business activities, we perform checks for the prevention of infringements on human rights, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. Violations by employees of any of these guidelines can be reported by using the USS Corporate Ethics Help Line.
There were no serious violations of human rights or incidences of discrimination at the USS Group during the fiscal year that ended in March 2021.
Our commitment to equal opportunity
The USS Group is dedicated to equal employment opportunities and compensation for everyone regardless of gender and other personal characteristics. We recruit people with many backgrounds in order to maintain a diverse workforce with outstanding skills. We treat everyone fairly, whether hired as a new graduate or as an experienced professional, regarding promotions and raises and ensure that our people have opportunities to advance and accomplish their goals.
At USS, 9.1% of directors and Audit & Supervisory Committee members are women and there is one female outside director.
Recruiting and Employment
Local emphasis for recruiting
We believe that recruiting people who live in areas near the automobile auction sites where they will work contributes to the vitality of these areas. Our policy is to conduct initial interviews of job applicants at auction and other business sites. The next step is an interview at the head office. Following the interview new employees will be assigned to USS Group locations under a basic premise that each new employee will be able to work near his/her home.
During the fiscal year that ended in March 2021, 2.9% of the USS Group's workforce left their jobs voluntarily.
Fair Evaluations and Compensation
The USS Group pays salaries at a rate that is higher than the minimum wage in the area where each employee is located. In addition, employees who are highly motivated and interested in improving themselves and our business activities receive favorable evaluations. We do our best to incorporate their ideas and suggestions in our business operations. In 2014, we established personnel and salary frameworks that placed emphasis on the performance and capabilities of individuals in order to retain people and enable employees to advance their careers. The average annual salary at the USS Group was ¥6,169,000 in the fiscal year that ended in March 2021.
We assess the performance of employees twice every year and perform evaluations based on how people fulfill the roles and responsibilities of their respective jobs. Individuals undergoing an evaluation submit reports on progress regarding goals, actions to improve their job skills and specific measures taken for business process and other improvements. Assessments also include motivation concerning teamwork and improving how jobs are done, the ability to do one’s job, and other aspects of personal performance. Furthermore, people performing and undergoing evaluations hold meetings for direct communication concerning the next goals and other subjects.
All employees are encouraged to submit suggestions for ways to improve business processes in order to create better workplaces. Every suggestion is carefully considered and as many ideas as possible are used in order to improve auction operations and increase the motivation of our workforce.
Employee benefit programs
Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)
The USS Group has an ESOP that fulfills two purposes. First is giving employees an additional incentive for contributing to the long-term growth of corporate value. Second is creating an opportunity to invest in USS stock in order to help employees accumulate savings.
Long-term disability insurance
USS Group employees are covered by group long-term disability insurance that provides supplementary income to individuals unable to work for a long time due to a disease or injury. With this income, people are better able to concentrate on doing what is needed to restore their health quickly and return to their jobs.
Employees of USS and five consolidated subsidiaries receive a lump-sum payment, which is a defined benefit retirement program requiring no contributions by beneficiaries, when they leave their jobs due to retirement or another reason. In addition, USS and eight consolidated subsidiaries have a defined contribution pension plan. One consolidated subsidiary has a defined benefit pension plan with contributions from beneficiaries.
Education and Training
The USS Group has many programs to give all employees the knowledge and skills needed to be valuable members of the USS team and achieve their personal career goals. On-the-job training is the most important element of these programs because this approach allows both people giving and receiving instructions to upgrade their skills together.
Training for new employees
We have a training program structured specifically for newly hired people in order to give them information about the used car auction industry, the knowledge needed to do their jobs and guidance on proper workplace behavior. Newly hired people then work with a mentor to learn about business operations and receive advice about any issues and uncertainties involving their responsibilities.
Customer interaction and personal appearance
The USS Basic Policy for Customer Services has five components: (1) Proper personal appearance; (2) Always serve customers with a smile; (3) Always greet customers; (4) Use proper words and expressions; and (5) Proper conduct for telephone calls with customers. Once every week, we check the personal appearance of everyone up to and including division managers. Results of these checks as well as of assessments of how employees interact with customers directly and by telephone are incorporated in performance evaluations.
Training for managers
Our management training programs cover individuals at the assistant department manager level and above. At these classes, managers study the basic thinking for the operation of automobile auctions, how to establish targets and other subjects. This training includes classes led by instructors from outside the USS Group.
Training for automobile inspectors
Accurately performing inspections of vehicles to be auctioned is vital to the operation of our auctions. Inspections must be performed consistently at every auction site by using the same set of standards to ensure that decisions are made with accuracy.
USS established its Inspector Certification Program in 2006 in order to improve the methods used for inspecting and evaluating vehicles and ensure the consistency of inspections. Every year, all inspectors are given a test covering practical skills concerning evaluations in order to assign certifications from level one to four. We have a team of instructors and trainers for this certification system who help inspectors upgrade their skills. Every geographic block of Japan has one instructor and every auction site has one trainer. Using this system allows us to perform accurate inspections based on a uniform set of standards nationwide.
An Organization Structured for Diversity
Our commitment to diversity
Everyone at the USS Group receives and equitable and fair performance evaluations and compensation regardless of gender. However, due to the small number of female managers at the group, we believe that more actions are needed to give women the management training and opportunities.
Prevention of long working hours
The USS Group closely manages the amount of overtime to maintain a pleasant workplace environment and prevent excessive working hours during peak periods of auction volume. Measures to perform tasks more efficiently and the use of shifts are two ways we are holding down working time. Furthermore, every auction site and subsidiary submits working time reports to the board of directors and other supervisory bodies. Directors and others hold discussions in order to determine actions to take as needed.
In the fiscal year that ended in March 2021, average monthly overtime decreased to 17.7 hours from 26.0 hours in the previous fiscal year. We are continuing to improve efficiency and use advanced technologies with the goal of reducing monthly overtime to no more than 20 hours in order to make workplaces even more pleasant and productive.
Days off and paid leave
The average utilization rate for paid leave at USS is 50.6%. We have programs that encourage people to use more of their time off every year.
We have a contract with an external mental health services provider for preventing and assisting with mental health issues of employees. Support is available to everyone at the USS Group.
Prevention of harassment
The USS Group has established Rules for Preventing Sexual Harassment and Rules for Preventing Power Harassment and has activities to be certain that everyone at the group is aware of these rules. The USS Corporate Ethics Help Line is available to employees who want to report harassment or receive more information. We have a framework for properly responding to all complaints and requests for consultations.
Workplace Health and Safety
Maintaining the health and safety for everyone at the USS Group is essential to our ability to continue to achieve steady growth. All employees receive periodic medical check-ups. Once individuals reach the age of 45, they must undergo more thorough annual examinations. There is no cost to employees. We plan to increase activities for preserving and improving the health of our workforce as well as for providing our people with pleasant and safe workplaces.
Support to stop smoking
USS encourages employees not to smoke during working hours and includes this in items used for performance evaluations. At auction sites, there are designated rooms for smoking to prevent passive smoke exposure and other measures concerning smoking.
Health and Hygiene Committees
Every USS Group business site with at least 50 people has a Health and Hygiene Committee that is responsible for improving workplace health and hygiene. As a rule, these committees meet once each month. Committee members discuss measures for keeping employees healthy and subjects involving workplace hygiene.
Sound Internal Lines of Communication
Maintaining strong lines of communication among people in different locations and departments is critical to the ability to conduct business operations in an efficient and trouble-free manner. Regular employee trips to destinations in Japan or other countries are one way we bring our people closer together.
|Employees||Number of employees||572||588||624|
|% of male||77%||75%||73%|
|% of female||23%||25%||27%|
|Average age of employees||39.3||39.4||38.9|
|Average years of service||12.6||13.1||13.1|
|% of male||59%||46％||52%|
|% of female||41%||54%||48%|
|Managers||Number of managers||31||33||33|
|% of male||100%||100%||100%|
|% of female||-||-||-|
|Child-care leave||Number of employees used||1||11||10|
|Family care leave||Number of employees used||-||-||-|
|Paid leave||% of paid leave used||54.8%||50.0%||50.6%|
|Overtime||Average monthly overtime||27.3||26.0||17.7|
|Turnover of full-time employees||4.8||4.6||2.9|