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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

My mission is to nurture a workplace environment that helps employees thrive and excel, as it is only through employees that we can convert our solutions into meaningful value for customers. I believe this helps improve productivity and effect workstyle reforms, which are two important themes of our business strategy.

One of the challenges that I take seriously is presenteeism. The word refers to a situation where an employee is present at work but not as productive as they can be due to some physical or mental conditions. We need to understand that just because a person isn’t ill, that doesn’t automatically mean they are healthy.

With this in mind, we identified three pillars of wellness management: prevention of lifestyle diseases, promotion of regular exercise, and raising employee awareness. While working on these areas, we hope to engage all employees in wellness management, drawing on the creativity of each individual to make improvements no matter how small. Together, we will build a vibrant and work-friendly company that allows employees to perform at their best.

Yoshinori Sasahara
Vice President and Chief Wellness Officer (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 White 500 recognition for five consecutive years since 2017. Aimed at increasing awareness of employee wellness, this recognition is given to companies, not limited to TSE-listed firms, that practice outstanding health-conscious management in collaboration with their health insurance societies.

Our medium-term goals (through FY 2025)

To combat presenteeism, we focus on the following issues:

Focus areas FY 2017
FY 2018
FY 2019
FY 2020
FY 2025
1. Prevention of lifestyle diseases
Under 7% of employees with metabolic syndrome*1
15% 15% 17% 18% 7%
2. Promotion of regular exercise*2
(60% of employees exercising regularly)
25% 38% 39% 38% 60%
3. Walking campaign participation rate - 10% 12% 20% -
4. Employee smoking ratio 26% 24% 24% 22% 10%
  • *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

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.

FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
Percentage of employees receiving regular health screening 100% 100% 100% 99.2% 99.6%

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.

FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
Percentage of employees undertaking stress risk assessment 97% 97% 92% 90%

Encouraging smoke-free lifestyles

To promote non-smoking, we used to provide a monthly incentive*3 of 2,000 yen to each non-smoking employee from 1998 to 2015. Subsequently, we set up an enclosed smoking booth equipped with a ventilation system to curb passive smoking, and started charging employees a small fee for the use of the booth. In May 2019, we banned smoking for specific hours of the day at all our business locations across the nation to further cut down on smoking. These measures are accompanied by other forms of support to reduce smoking, including the provision of information and assistance programs for smoking cessation.

*3Now replaced by the Healthy Action Incentive that is handed out as a subsidy for smoking cessation treatment, gym membership, or any other health-related activity to employees who submit their health and wellness goals to the company

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.

Wellness support during COVID-19

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.

*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.

To help employees stay physically active as we adopt work-from-home and other workplace strategies to cope with the spreading pandemic, 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 warm-up 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.

My health and wellness goals for FY 2021 — submitted by the CWO
  1. 1.
    I will walk an average of 10,000 steps a day. (Fulfilled previous year’s goal of 8,000 steps.)
  2. 2.
    I will have at least four alcohol-free days a week. (Fulfilled previous year’s goal of at least two days a week.
  3. 3.
    I will play basketball with colleagues.

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
Group-wide wellness action stories in our in-house magazine

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.

Remote recipes: Wellness Management Promotion Award for FY 2020

The office that won the latest award had been sending its members regular emails of vegetable recipes, to which members responded by sending photos of dishes actually made. This action raised the office’s awareness on healthy eating habits.

Our workplace health promotion team

Our CWO and Wellness Promotion Committee work together with 230 action leaders who are selected from the management and staff of different group companies/offices/departments to form a seamless team for promoting employee wellness.


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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