L'Oréal outlines people-driven workplace transformation
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L'Oréal outlines people-driven workplace transformation

Company says its philosophy is based on a human-centric approach

Mr Girod has played a key role in driving the brand's growth in more than 50 markets, including China.
Mr Girod has played a key role in driving the brand's growth in more than 50 markets, including China.

Leading cosmetics company L'Oréal is promoting its commitment to social and environmental sustainability.

L'Oréal is driven by three core areas -- people, the planet and products -- that have prepared the company and its winning teams to create beauty that moves the world, said Patrick Girod, chief executive of L'Oréal Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

Workplace philosophy

He said the company's philosophy focuses on a human-centric approach. When it comes to recruitment, L'Oréal puts a great deal of effort into finding the right employees for the company.

"We are not just looking for experienced employees with a decent educational background, but also people who are 'different', who have a unique factor in themselves," said Mr Girod.

He said to attract the best people, L'Oréal organises an international innovation competition to identify the most talented students. The activity focuses on giving students hands-on experience in the field of innovation and offers them a chance to become part of the company.

L'Oréal Thailand is also seeking senior employees, as the company needs a diverse range of people to join its team.

L'Oréal Thailand's new office at the Park Silom building.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Mr Girod said the beauty market is evolving rapidly with boundless new opportunities, plenty of sales channels including e-commerce platforms, and strategies for targeting consumers, which requires talented individuals who are able to adapt swiftly to a rapidly changing world.

He played a key role in driving the brand's growth in more than 50 markets, including China as well as emerging markets. China has recorded a very high rate of growth in the e-commerce market, said Mr Girod.

However, L'Oréal Thailand cannot merely "replicate" the success story or communication techniques of its Chinese counterpart because each market is unique, he said.

Mr Girod asks every employee to have the same entrepreneurial spirit and determination to grow.

"At L'Oréal, we give our people the space to learn and try new things," he said.

Drive for growth

The company has always considered the development of its employees to be a major driver of its performance and transformation, unlocking their potential to prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow, said Mr Girod.

L'Oréal Thailand has been utilising a comprehensive digital upskilling programme since 2014 to support transformation within the business and to address challenges.

In addition, the company provides opportunities for its employees to work abroad, allowing them to expand their knowledge, understand different beauty markets and develop their professional growth, he said.

The hope is these employees can learn from their exposure to different markets and come back with fresh insights to share with L'Oréal Thailand, said Mr Girod.

Workplace transformation

People's approach towards work has changed, he said. Employees are now more keenly aware of the importance of developing a work-life balance, reallocating their time to find a better balance between their work life and personal life, said Mr Girod.

He said the company embarked on a new global cultural transformation exercise called Simplicity that strives to transform the way people work.

In many companies, it is commonplace to have a meeting on a Monday morning. At L'Oréal, the company prohibits meetings on a Monday morning because employees may take time to prepare materials for the meeting on a Friday night or even on the weekend, Mr Girod said.

Moreover, the company is trying to reduce non-essential meetings as well as the duration of meetings, providing more time for breaks in an effort to make meetings less stressful for employees, he said.

Mr Girod said L'Oréal Thailand recently moved to a new office at the Park Silom building, which was redesigned to allow for more natural light, including a town hall area and more common areas to allow for greater employee interaction.

Chairs and office equipment were carefully selected to meet the ergonomic needs of L'Oréal Thailand's employees, he said.

"We had young employees ask us if they could bring their family members or loved ones to the office as they were proud to show them around," said Mr Girod.

He said L'Oréal Thailand also created a hybrid working model to support the company's new policy of maintaining a balance between on-site work and remote work.

Following its relocation to the new office, the number of employees who chose to work on-site increased, with a ratio of 60:40 favouring the on-site option. Since then the ratio has climbed to 80:20, which is considered relatively high, Mr Girod said.

Diversity at heart

He said diversity is one of L'Oréal's core values, as the company has more than 1 billion customers worldwide who have diverse needs and demographic backgrounds.

L'Oréal Thailand participated in the Pride Parade on June 1, which began at National Stadium and continued to CentralWorld mall.

This was the company's first participation in Thailand's Pride Parade, having previously participated in major Pride events around the world, said Mr Girod.

L'Oréal Thailand also tries to nurture diversity within the company, he said.

The company built a team that includes employees from diverse backgrounds, cultures and identities, ensuring everyone can present new ideas or initiatives, said Mr Girod.

He said he believes this way of creating a team will reflect the needs of consumers, providing relevant consumer insights.

"We actually believe in diversity. When we put people with different backgrounds around a table, we will get varied, valuable points of view on a specific issue," said Mr Girod.

L'Oréal launched its new sustainability programme "L'Oréal for the future" in 2020, laying down the company's objectives through 2030, including achieving 100% renewable energy at all L'Oréal sites by 2025 and transitioning to 100% bio-based or recycled plastic by 2030.

The programme embodies the company's sustainability ambitions and the conviction L'Oréal can play a part in solutions to challenges the world is facing, he said.

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