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Culture Transformation

Culture Transformation

MUFG has positioned “Culture Transformation” as one of its corporate transformation initiatives. We are promoting a variety of measures to ensure that “Challenge and Speed” is firmly established in MUFG as a pattern of action.

Corporate Culture Transformation Aiming for Sustainable Growth

MUFG aims to empower every employee to autonomously and individually think, act and take on challenging endeavors with a sense of ownership when tackling the missions assigned to their respective teams. By doing so, we are striving to create an organization capable of navigating in a time of ever-faster change and increasing diversification in values. To this end, we deem it essential to develop an open-minded and speed-oriented workplace while enabling employees to earn tangible successes in the course of their daily operations and take pride in their work as well as to nurture a sense of optimism. Overall, we aim to foster a culture supportive of “Challenge and Speed.”

To empower employees to robustly embrace “Challenges and Speed” as part of their daily pattern of behavior, we have defined three components of corporate culture transformation: (1) A working environment offered by the Company, including communication tools and human resources frameworks; (2) An employee mindset underpinned by a sense of relevance aligned with MUFG’s Purpose; and (3) Opportunities to act on this mindset and put it into practice. Currently, we strive to promote coordination among these three components to develop an open-minded, worker-friendly environment and foster a corporate culture in which those who take on challenges to realize the Purpose are highly appreciated. To be more specific, we have been holding townhall meetings by the senior management and promoting internal social networks while implementing a new, employee driven job-rotation framework and launching the “MUFG SOUL Project”, a social contribution program through which employees take the initiative in solving problems confronting the local communities. These are the examples of the initiatives under our culture transformation framework, and all in all, they are intended to create a place for open and resonant dialogue among the employees and encourage them to turn their aspiration into action.

In fiscal 2022, we strengthened the employee-led initiative by starting the “MUFG Way Employee Sessions,” in which employees share their personal definitions of the MUFG Way, as well as the “MUFG Way Boost Project,” which aims to put a spotlight on those employees who are discovered through recommendation of their team members as someone who embodies the MUFG Way, while also launching Spark X, a new business incubation program.

The outcomes of these initiatives and relevant issues are identified via, for example, the annual MUFG Employee Survey and reported to the Board of Directors.

Framework of Transformation of Corporate Culture

  • Update our working environment to secure a platform supporting the transformation of employee behavior
  • Encourage employees to develop a sense of relevance regarding MUFG’s Purpose to help them transform their mindset
  • Offer opportunities to practice, for example, via HR-related programs and “Spark X”
Framework of Transformation of Corporate Culture

Results of the MUFG Employee Survey and Review of Fiscal 2022

The fiscal 2021 survey confirmed that employees have an ever-stronger drive to take on challenges. On the other hand, it was revealed that our workforce is still confronting issues associated with operational speed. Accordingly, in fiscal 2022 we enhanced the digital tools available to employees while encouraging managers to engage in one-on-one meetings with their staff, with the aim of fostering a workplace culture supportive of more casual exchanges of opinions. Moreover, we developed an environment that encourages those who autonomously take on challenges by implementing “Spark X” and the “MUFG Way Boost Project” as well as introducing a new job-posting program that allows employees to gain hands-on experience in different job categories. (note)

In the fiscal 2022 survey results approximately 90% of employees indicated that they are consciously taking on new challenges in the course of their work. With regard to the question of “Speedy decision-making in the workplace” the cumulative number of affirmative ratings grew year on year by the largest margin among all questions. Many respondents cited their participation in MUFG Way Employee Sessions as a reason for giving high ratings to this question. Specifically, it was suggested that these sessions, which allowed them to exchange their thoughts on overlaps between the MUFG Way and their own beliefs and values with fellow colleagues, left them with a greater sense of psychological safety. This, in turn, resulted in more robust communications with their peers, leading to speedier decision making.

On the other hand, responses to the question “Managed in a simple and speed manner” indicated stagnation. A number of respondents have identified the complexity of procedures and rules as the root cause of stagnation, along with the prevailing cumbersome consensus building process used when multiple departments are involved.

To empower employees to take on new challenges aimed at improving corporate value, it is essential that they be able to allocate more time to such endeavors via operational streamlining. In this light, simplifying hard-to-understand and complex procedures and rules is a matter of urgency. Accordingly, the revision of decision-making processes is under way in fiscal 2023 at the Bank, the Trust Bank, the Securities and other Group entities. We are also simplifying procedures and rules by various ways such as introducing tablet terminals.

In addition, respondents who gave a positive rating to the question of “Recommend MUFG as a great place to work” accounted for only around 60% of overall respondents. Among the rationales provided by those who gave a negative rating to this item, “the lack of sense of excitement in job” was identified in the largest number of instances.

Today, businesses are being called upon to adapt to major changes and achieve transformation. This means that individual employees are facing an equivalent level of expectation in the form of behavioral transformation. To empower them to achieve this transformation and thereby serve as a driving force of MUFG’s sustainable growth, the Company needs to win their empathy, be attractive to them and encourage them to have a sense of ownership over their role and how to navigate it. Thus, improving employee engagement is a matter of importance.

With this in mind, we are striving to develop and expand a positive growth cycle in which employees take on the challenge of embodying the Purpose on their own terms, are appreciated by others and feel a tangible sense of personal growth that, in turn, motivates them to take on the next challenge.

  1. A program that allows applicants to engage in different types of operations for short periods without having to transfer, thereby providing them with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in and a deeper understanding of the duties of departments that catch their interest.
Review of Fiscal 2022 (Group Awareness and Engagement Survey)

Employee Mindset

“MUFG Way Employee Sessions” and “MUFG Way Boost Project”

In line with our aim to help each employee discover the relevance of our Purpose within their daily operations and thereby encourage them to take specific action to embody it, we began to upgrade MUFG Way integration sessions, an initiative launched in fiscal 2021.

First, we initiated “MUFG Way Employee Sessions” as an updated version of the above sessions. Through these sessions, we encourage employees to reflect on how the MUFG Way and their own values, beliefs and aspirations overlap. By doing so, we help them determine how they can contribute and to whom through their engagement in duties at MUFG on their own terms. Employees are then invited to engage in frank exchanges of opinions with their managers and colleagues.

Second, we launched “MUFG Way Boost Project.” This project was designed to empower a growing number of employees and activities to embody the MUFG Way. For this project, approximately 70 members appointed by President Kamezawa from a diverse range of Group companies, including overseas branches, met online every week and engaged in vigorous discussions. Based on these discussions, they solicited recommendations for individuals to be named model employees who embody the MUFG Way from business units across the Group. They then conducted interviews with each employee recommended to hear about their aspirations and the details of their activities. The results of these interviews were summarized in a booklet titled MUFG Way—Bringing it to life. We expect this publication to provide new insights to employees who find it difficult to have a sense of ownership about the Purpose by letting them know about initiatives undertaken by their peers. The project members also conducted roundtable talk events, in-house radio broadcasting and video streaming. Through these and other communication initiatives, we encourage each employee to autonomously take action to embody the MUFG Way so that our Purpose can be realized by our entire organization.

MY Way × MUFG Way

MUFG Headquarters Building Project Led by Employees

We are currently planning the construction of a new MUFG headquarters (HQ) building designed to further increase the sophistication of our groupwide, integrated management approach through the consolidation of the HQ functions of theholding company, the Bank, the Trust Bank and the Securities.

In connection with this project, we launched a working group (WG) via in-house posting by recruiting WG members from employees at the Bank, the Trust Bank and the Securities. The WG has been formed to foster an employee culture of spontaneously taking on challenges and to create opportunities for employees to act in collaboration in a way that transcends the boundaries of Group companies.

The 19 employees of differing age and positions chosen to form the inaugural membership of the WG have begun holding remote and face-to-face discussions in addition to touring external corporate facilities and attending lecture sessions provided by experts to gain a diverse range of knowledge. In addition, they have engaged in discussions with the presidents of MUFG companies. Through these activities, they have identified “Go Beyond with You” as a project concept, which summarizes MUFG’s collective determination to constantly transform itself and go beyond its conventional scope of operations. This concept also represents ideals regarding what the new MUFG HQ building should look like while indicating the general direction of innovative workstyles to be adopted at this facility. We expect this concept to inspire all MUFG employees to update their awareness and transform their behavior.

Also, many of the WG members contributed positive remarks regarding takeaways from their WG activities. These remarks included “Participating in the WG enabled me to develop a stronger sense of belonging to MUFG beyond the boundaries of Group companies tasked with differing businesses,” “I was glad to be entrusted with important decision making and this strengthened my willingness to take on the new challenges accompanying a growing scope of duties,” and “I was impressed to find that although we are coming from different departments and have diverse attributes, our passion for MUFG is universal.”

Going forward, we plan to keep the WG ongoing while replacing its members. Through the new MUFG HQ building project, we will continue to foster a new corporate culture and further increase the sophistication of our groupwide, integrated management approach.

MUFG Headquarters Building Project Led by Employees
  • Discussions with President Kamezawa
MUFG Headquarters Building Project Led by Employees
  • Discussions among WG members
MUFG Headquarters Building Project Led by Employees
  • WG members touring the Marunouchi area surrounding the Bank’s main building
MUFG Headquarters Building Project Led by Employees
  • Exchanging opinions with outside directors

Practical Opportunities

Spark X, a New Business Incubation Program

Background and Objectives of Launching Spark X

In the face of radical changes in society, we need to redefine role of finance in the new era and review its positioning. With people’s value systems becoming more diverse than ever before, our business growth will hit the wall if we insist on hewing to the traditional top-down business approach, relying solely on the conventional wisdom within a single entity we belong to, or enforcing old ways of thinking. Aware of these changes, we aim to realize genuine diversity management that allows employees to autonomously take on the challenges of transformation and have thus identified our ideal regarding what MUFG should look like going forward in this regard. To this end, we need to encourage all Group employees to leverage their diverse values and freely contribute their ideas while engaging in open exchanges of opinions. As part of initiatives to encourage employees to take on challenges and transform their behavior, MUFG launched Spark X in 2022.

Spark X is a bottom-up project aimed at enabling employees to perceive situations in the course of their engagement with customers and in their daily lives that give rise to perceptions of discomfort, dissatisfaction, disadvantage in society and thereby empowering them to become agents of positive change. Applicants to the project are allowed, based on their own unique ideas and personal aspirations, to take on the challenge of creating new businesses that transcend MUFG’s conventional scope of operations. The name Spark X was chosen with the hope that this program will nurture individuals who “spark” the fire that will blaze a trail into a new era even as they boldly take on “X,” the challenge of an unpredictable future. In summary, Spark X aims to empower applicants to fully live up to their personal aspirations and serve as agents of change who inspire others to similarly step forward to drive transformation.

A Program Designed to Enable All Group Employees to Become Participants

Spark X is not a program intended for only a few specific employees equipped with knowledge and experience. Rather, it is open to any Group employee willing to take on challenges. With this in mind, the first round of Spark X held in 2022 involved holding lecture sessions provided by internal and external experts as well as periodic individual counseling sessions. Through these events, we sought to provide employees with opportunities to learn ways of thinking and skills that are necessary to launch new businesses before we even began soliciting ideas from employees. Following the document-based screening of business ideas, selected applicants went on to brush up their business models with the support of in-house specialists, including MUFG employees who operate in fields related to business ideas developed by applicants, and external consultants, who served as mentors. Meanwhile, applicants whose proposals were rejected received feedback on their ideas while being invited to join town hall meetings attended by the CEO & President and other senior management. In this way, we strove to ensure that they feel appreciated for their willingness to take on a challenge and better motivated to tackle the next.

In this round, a cumulative total of 2,500 employees participated in project-related events, with more than 650 ideas being contributed by applicants who assiduously worked to develop their own business models with strong aspirations to change the world. We then conducted a rigorous final screening and determined the Grand Prix and Special Award winners. Moreover, an Audience Award was granted to an applicant chosen via voting by the attendees and online viewers of the final screening session. MUFG intends to allocate budgets to the Grand Prix and Special Award winners to help them realize their business ideas. Since April 2023, full-scale initiatives have been under way to achieve the commercialization of these ideas while exploring the possibilities of partnerships with external corporations and specialists to this end.

Project applicants attending a workshop on the creation of new ideas, with an external expert serving as a lecturer
  • Project applicants attending a workshop on the creation of new ideas, with an external expert serving as a lecturer
Corporate Culture Reforms Driven by Spark X and the Creation of Social Value

In addition, some applicants whose proposals were rejected commented on how this project affected their behavior, with one such applicant saying “Through participation in Spark X, I felt a sense of excitement by practicing the MUFG Way on my own terms. This, in turn, helps me take a positive stance toward taking on challenges in the course of day-to-day operations.” As expressed in this comment, an employee culture of taking on challenges and thereby “empowering a brighter future” seems to have steadily begun to develop roots in MUFG.

Going forward, we will strive to disseminate, via Spark X, a culture of taking on challenges throughout MUFG’s entire workforce. Pushing ahead with corporate culture transformation, we will thus build a resilient and innovative organization capable of accommodating the rapid changes of the times. In this way, we will improve our corporate value while resolving issues society is now confronting.

Final screening candidates with President Kamezawa
  • Final screening candidates with President Kamezawa
The Grand Prix winner celebrated at the award-giving ceremony following the final screening session
  • The Grand Prix winner celebrated at the award-giving ceremony following the final screening session
(As of September 2023)