On April 1, Kuraray held a Welcome Ceremony for New Employees by online in consideration of measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
The following is a message from President and Representative Director, Hitoshi Kawahara to new employees at the ceremony.
What a pleasure to see such a talented and ambitious group of new recruits. Congratulations and welcome to Kuraray.
I became president on January 1 this year, so I just passed the start line as you have. I would like to say a few words on behalf of Kuraray to commemorate this special day.
First of all, our founder, Magosaburo Ohara, established a solid foundation for the company’s operations and engaged in a variety of social welfare activities and public enterprises based on the firm belief that “profits made from society should be returned to society.” He was succeeded by his firstborn son, Soichiro Ohara, who promoted the principle, “for people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can” and argued that to uphold this principle, we must contribute to society using pioneering technology. He was true to his words as he lead the company’s growth through numerous challenges.
There are not that many companies where the founder’s spirit and ideals have firmly taken root and continue to be faithfully observed nearly 100 years after its foundation. While corporate social responsibility and contribution to society have recently become worldwide trends, Kuraray has a solid track record that goes well beyond lip service.
I hope that you will deliberate and work together with us as a member of the Kuraray Group to maintain this wonderful corporate asset and grow it further.
Now that you are an employee of a corporation, keep in mind that the key to continue working is to stay fit and healthy. This is fundamental for you to be happy, successful and enjoy job satisfaction. Remember to maintain a balanced diet, get sufficient sleep and rest, exercise and take care of your mental health. If you don’t feel well, it will be difficult to concentrate on your job or work effectively and you may be prone to causing accidents. I encourage you to think about and take care of your health on a daily basis.
I would also like to remind you that now that you are out in the world, you should always be conscious of being and acting as a responsible member of society. You must, of course, have the ethics, morality and independence expected of a full-fledged member of society, but you should also develop and establish your individual character. This won’t happen overnight, but if you are conscious all the time, you will eventually develop your own, unique “core”. You will also foster your own, personal “value system”, which will naturally evolve to some extent. As your personal “value system” becomes more defined, it will lead to confidence in your thoughts and behaviors and to developing the ability to exhibit leadership in your team and organization. Remember always to be a respectable member of society and an outstanding “Kuraray person”.
As you embark on your life as a professional businessperson, I would like to offer three points of advice.
“If there is anything you don’t understand, don’t be shy and ask your peers, seniors or superiors.”
The first is, “if there is anything you don’t understand, don’t be shy and ask your peers, seniors or superiors.” It is important not to pretend to know all about a job you are taking on for the first time and to humbly seek guidance without being shy. When I first started at Kuraray, “I didn’t even know what I didn’t know.” Remember that at this point, you don’t know how the company works and nor do you have a complete picture of your work or the background to it. You “don’t even know what you don’t know,” so be sure to ask until you understand.
“Do your best in the job or role that you have been given”
The second point is to “do your best in the job or role that you have been given”. When you are actually assigned to a department, it is common to find that the job is quite different from what you had imagined. However, keep in mind that your superior has taken great care to choose a job that suits your level of experience and with consideration to your future career. So don’t make judgements and be dissatisfied or uninspired based solely on the work you have been given. All jobs will have a significance. If you are given a job or role, it is important that you apply yourself to it wholeheartedly at least for a year or two.The accumulation of small efforts often end up giving you great power.
I mentioned earlier that I would like for you to grow as a member of society and as a “Kuraray person”, and to do so, I encourage you to maintain an “attitude of acceptance”. There are two aspects of acceptance: One is to accept what happens to you and the other is to accept who you are. Through acceptance, you gradually expand your caliber. You will win the trust of those around you by earnestly engaging in any job that you are tasked with and achieving results. And by so doing, you will be given larger, more important responsibilities the next time.
“To continue to improve yourself”
The third point is to “continue to improve yourself”.
This means not to think of graduating from school as the end of your studies, but instead, to think of joining the company as the beginning of your studies. Society and the world are filled with things we don’t know and they are changing constantly with new events unfolding every day. Any position that you have in the company will be impacted by the trends, developments and issues of society. I encourage you to expand your knowledge and experiences by reading a wide range of books, carefully listening to people and proactively participating in external seminars and training sessions so that you can acquire the refinement and knowledge befitting a responsible member of society. In particular, I recommend that you read as many books as you can. It is a habit that is relatively easy to maintain.
It is critical that you make a steady effort to improve yourself so that you can continue to grow as a professional. Investments in self-improvement are the surest way to generate a return. I urge you to diligently keep improving yourself. It will never be in vain.
Before closing, I’d like to note that once you have finished your orientation, you will begin training program in the plant. At the plant, you will repeatedly hear our guiding principle, “safety is the cornerstone of everything we do”. Why is “safety the cornerstone of everything we do”? I hope you will come to a full understanding of this most important of guiding principles for the Kuraray Group’s operations by studying assiduously, asking questions until you truly comprehend and thinking for yourself during the training program in the plant.
I sincerely hope that by the time you have finished your training program in the plant and are assigned to your respective department, you will have a full understanding of the essence of what “safety is the cornerstones of everything we do” means and are able to embody it.
I would like to once again welcome you to Kuraray and hope these words of encouragement will guide you in your new career.