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HR initiatives Wellness management


We are keenly aware that employees are our source to creating value for our customers. We are committed to fostering a culture that places employee wellness first, and building a workplace that makes employees happy and satisfied. We aim to heighten our productivity and creativity for sustainable growth by strategically managing and promoting employees’ health and welfare at the company management level.

Message from the Chief Wellness Officer

At the SATO Group, we commit to improving employee well-being through various efforts such as holding sports day events for employees and their families. Since making our declaration for wellness management in 2015, the chief wellness officer was established and we formed a committee to create systems for providing health information and investing in employee well-being, with the belief that higher health awareness leads to higher productivity.

General well-being requires fulfilling all three aspects of physical, mental and social health, and what employees expect at work, their values and preferred lifestyles shift with changing times. As CWO, I believe we can do more to help our employees thrive and excel in the workplace.

Together with group companies around the world, we will continue to pursue our three pillars of wellness management in preventing lifestyle diseases, promoting regular exercise and raising employee awareness, while working to create a diverse and engaging workplace in sync with human resource strategies.

Naomi Maze
Executive Officer and CWO
SATO Holdings Corporation

Our wellness slogan

“The 3G actions for well-being”

Greet with a smile

Maintain a Good condition (physically and mentally)

Do a Great job (with high productivity)


Recognition for outstanding health and productivity management

Our efforts to engage employees in various wellness activities have won us the Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organization recognition for seven consecutive years since 2017. Aimed at increasing awareness of employee wellness, this recognition is given to companies that practice outstanding health-conscious management in collaboration with their health insurance societies.

Our medium-term goals (through FY 2030)

Challenges wellness management can tackle, and our strategy map

Since making the declaration in 2015, we have been building structures/systems for promoting wellness, while drafting and executing wellness promotion plans. The strategy map below illustrates how wellness management can solve the company's challenges and ultimately help us fulfill our declaration.

Challenges wellness management can tackle, and our strategy map

Our medium-term goals (through FY 2030)

In helping employees enrich their work and personal lives, we have set key wellness indicators to track over the medium term and are offering health initiatives for everyone.
We also combat presenteeism, focusing on preventing lifestyle diseases, promoting regular exercise and raising health awareness in employees. With the pandemic impacting exercise habits, fewer employees were physically active for the past few years while the ratio of employees with metabolic syndrome remained flat year on year. In view of these results, we organized walking events among other initiatives in and outside Japan to help employees stay fit. As the time-based smoking bans and cessation measures by rank we had implemented to reduce smoking ratio no longer improve the situation any further, we have started additional measures, including one aimed at curbing passive smoking.

You can scroll through this table.

Focus areas FY 2019
FY 2020
FY 2021
FY 2022
FY 2025
1. Prevention of lifestyle diseases:
Employees with metabolic syndrome*1
17% 18% 17% 16% 7%
2. Promotion of regular exercise*2:
Employees who exercise regularly
39% 38% 35% 33% 50%
3. Walking campaign participation rate 12% 20% 16% 16%*3 23%*4 -
4. Employee smoking ratio 24% 22% 20% 18% 10%
5. Employees receiving specific health guidance - - 10% - 50%
  • *1Based on corresponding health screening data of employees aged 40 or above
  • *2Minimum 30 minutes of exercise at least twice a week or walking an average 8,000 steps per day, over the span of at least one year
  • *3Japan event participation rate
  • *4Global walking event participation rate

Key initiatives

Health screening for all

At the SATO Group, we offer employees regular health checkups that are more thorough than the legal requirement. For employees above the age of 38, we mandate comprehensive medical examinations to enable more detailed screening. Our occupational health physician looks at the checkup results of all employees and provides health coaching as necessary.

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FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Percentage of employees receiving regular health screening 100% 99.2% 99.6% 100% 100%

Follow-up call from the CWO

For employees who do not go back for a follow-up examination or treatment when their screening results so require, our occupational health physician / nurse will give them reminders. For those that still do not comply, the CWO will personally call to prevent them from neglecting red flags that may develop into serious diseases.

Health consultation for lifestyle diseases

For employees who are at high risk for lifestyle diseases and can expect significant reduction of their individual risk factors by making better lifestyle choices, we get a registered dietitian from outside the company to assist them in making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes.

Interventions relating to mental health

At SATO, we regularly check our employees’ stress levels and analyze the results to discover problems early to address them and improve the workplace environment. Also, we make it possible for employees to easily access the company’s occupational health physician/nurse or counselor for face-to-face consultation or counseling as necessary.

You can scroll through this table.

FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Percentage of employees undertaking stress risk assessment 97% 92% 90% 90% 88.9%

Addressing women's health issues

In 2023, we started offering online health seminars provided by Cradle for employees to view those of their interest in their spare time.

Encouraging smoke-free lifestyles

SATO sets "10 percent smoking ratio by 2030" as a key performance indicator for its wellness management. We are promoting a new round of smoking cessation measures to help improve the health of both smoking and non-smoking employees and their family members.

Repurpose all existing smoking rooms/areas (Oct. 2023-Mar. 2025)
We will have direct talks with branch offices nationwide to communicate and get their understanding on the plan to remove all existing smoking rooms/areas in phases by Mar. 2025. These rooms/areas will be converted into additional office spaces, break rooms or storages.
Start a new incentive plan (to take effect Jun. 2024)
We currently provide a monthly incentive for those who have submitted personal health goals (see section below) to help employees pay for wellness activities such as going to a smoking cessation clinic or a gym. This incentive will be replaced by a new non-smoker allowance from FY 2024 that will be offered only to non-smokers and anyone who successfully quits smoking. We will continue to support employees who wish to quit smoking through the use of smoking cessation programs such as the online sessions offered by our health insurance society.
Fully ban smoking (to take effect Apr. 2025)
From FY 2025, we will start prohibiting smoking throughout the SATO Group during work hours and on company premises.

Events to promote exercise as a way of life

Every year, we participate in the national walking event organized by our health insurance society.

First held in 1966, the SATO Sports Day has become an annual event for employees and their family members to communicate and interact with one another, while engaging in physical activities for good health and fitness.

Global health promotion events

Online wellness event for employees around the world
In December 2021, an online sporting event was held for all SATO Group employees around the world, with the aim of addressing a general lack of exercise as many were working from home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees created fun and energetic videos within three categories — dance, push-ups and a hand labeler race* — for sharing internally. The most popular videos in each category as voted by their fellow employees were awarded. We received 123 submissions from employees around the world, and over 1,400 employees watched the final event.
In 2022, we organized a global walking event called Walk as One to create opportunities for employees to exercise. More than 1,300 employees around the world registered in the event, and the total number of steps everyone walked was enough to travel the circumference of the earth 4.7 times.

*Contestants took part in a race using our hand labeler — normally used for affixing price tags — to see who could label a certain number the fastest. The hand labeler is a long-selling product that has been used by many companies, mainly retailers, since its invention by our founder, Yo Sato, in 1962.

Calisthenics video to help employees stay fit
To help employees stay physically active, we encourage everyone working remotely or in the office to do a simple stretching routine at the start of their day or before meetings by following a pre-recorded calisthenics video featuring our CWO and department managers.
Stretching before meetings

Setting of personal health and wellness goals

At the start of each fiscal year, SATO employees submit to the company their personal health and wellness goals for the year. In return, the company provides a monthly incentive of 2,000 yen to subsidize activities they undertake for reaching their goals. At the end of the year, each employee implements the PDCA cycle to check their results and make the necessary adjustments when planning their next goals.

Employee-led wellness activities

Wellness leaders of each company and department play the central role in planning and leading activities designed to help manage and improve employee wellness at their respective companies/offices/departments.

Sales members at one of their regular table tennis events
R&D members trying out indoor bouldering
Internal community site to share wellness management activities
Our quarterly in-house magazine distributed around the world regularly reports on wellness stories

In-house awards for wellness promotion

Healthy Practices Award
We motivate employees to improve their health by getting them to enter their respective health improvement agenda and using the data they submit over a six-month period to select several winners who showed significant transformation.
Wellness Management Promotion Award
We annually recognize and award the office or department that ran the most notable wellness activity, or the activity leader who made a significant contribution to the company’s drive for wellness. Selection is based on ten criteria that include planning, quality, originality, frequency, participation rate, and level of involvement in online community.
Wellness Management Promotion Award winners for FY 2022

Our workplace health promotion team

Our CWO and Wellness Promotion Committee work together with 230 internal wellness promotion leaders who are selected from the management and staff of different group companies/offices/departments. Plans, as well as achievements, are reported to the board of directors and Senior Executive Management Meeting as and when necessary.


A member of the KENKO Kigyokai

We have been a member of the KENKO Kigyokai (corporate wellness association) since 2016 as we share its ideals for companies to play a part in increasing health expectancy in Japan through wellness management. So far, we have participated in workgroup activities for smoking cessation, mental health and healthy diet and exercise to deepen our understanding of these topics.

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