Building a people first company with L’Oréal’s Diego Diaz de Cossio Reynaud
The value of an attractive EVP has been on the steady rise because of its fundamental role in attracting and retaining the best talent. However, there are lessons to be learned for a digital-first company and a renowned employer brand such as L’Oréal. Set against the backdrop of a highly competitive talent market, evolving skill demand, and rapid digital transformation, enabling a workforce driven to imagine and innovate has become fundamental.
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Diego Diaz de Cossio Reynaud, HR Director-SAPMENA at L’Oréal, shares with us incredible insights on the evolving expectations of EVP, how L’Oréal stays one step ahead in inspiring purpose and innovation in its people while leading the era of digital transformation with Beauty Tech.
What have been some changes in employees’ needs over the last several years? How has it impacted the EVP expectations in the current business landscape?
I think it's evident that most companies did a remarkable job addressing employees' needs for safety, security, and stability during the pandemic, despite the challenges they faced. Today, the case is that our people’s needs call for a far more sophisticated and sensitive approach which pushes us to rethink our EVP. Given that three to four generations are part of our workforce simultaneously, there will be different desires and expectations, and we need to work through that.
At L’Oréal, we talk about people working together across different divisions in a collaborative environment. It’s one of the critical aspects as people come back to the office, and we encourage them to discuss, engage and interact as much as possible.
Flexibility is also a significant value that is key to work-life balance, so we have introduced a program called ‘BOB-Best of Both worlds’ where we attract talent knowing that there are needs at the workplace and home. Another initiative, particularly here in India, is called Take Two with L’Oréal, a unique opportunity for women who have been on career breaks for over twelve months to restart their careers. Our EVP programs will continuously evolve, with COVID being an important wake-up call to constantly assess and understand our people's needs.
What does EVP encompass for L’Oréal today?
Our EVP is the freedom to go beyond, and that is the beauty of L’Oréal. It starts with our people vision which guides everything we do to become the most inclusive, innovative, and inspiring people-driven company.
To cater to our unique employee strengths and motivate them in all our markets, we follow four key principles: growth, diversity, entrepreneurship, and purpose.
Growth means working with highly talented employees taking on responsibilities and projects in new geographies, and leveraging new technologies and data while taking on rising trends in the marketplace.
Diversity is one of our strongest pillars and has to do with genuinely asking our teams to have a diverse mindset to embrace customers and employees of every ethnicity, social background, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and people with disabilities. We truly encourage our employees to foster an inclusive culture in which we celebrate those different perspectives with our colleagues.
Entrepreneurship asks people to run the business as if it was their own.
And finally, at L’Oréal, our purpose is to create the beauty that moves the world, and we embrace that beyond what we're doing in our everyday jobs. It's more than just a job. It's also building a better future for others and our planet.
How does L’Oréal inspire purpose in its employees? What are the positive outcomes of empowering a workforce driven by meaningful work?
We are convinced that an organisation's strength and ultimate success are determined by its people and how we inspire purpose in them. Employees always want to be agents in driving change. So we're encouraging people to think beyond their job, and about the communities we operate. It’s about how we preserve the environment and foster innovation.
At L’Oréal, we shape the future of beauty. We use the best science and technology and are constantly inspired by nature.
We also drive social innovation as part of our EVP by offering the best working conditions, training, upskilling, and reskilling and empowering our employees to acquire new capabilities. Additionally, we also focus on the social protection of our people and champion the cause of women seriously in the communities we operate, elevating them to different positions within the company. We also protect the beauty of the planet by fighting against climate change and preserving biodiversity and our natural resources, for which we are globally recognised.
Purpose has resulted in ground-breaking benefits, which include but are not limited to a motivated and engaged workforce. We take this very seriously as we conduct pulse surveys yearly, which will be done more frequently to understand what works well internally and what we can do better. And we strive to become the best company we can be every day.
L’Oréal has driven a remarkable technological transformation to develop advanced, personalised, innovative beauty products and services. What do you think about this transformation?
Consumer expectations have shifted dramatically in this era of social connection; people expect much more personalised services, one-on-one relationships, an ongoing dialogue with the brands, and expert advice on using the products and choosing what’s best for them. In addition, they count on having the best unique purchasing experience and direct access to brands.
With Beauty Tech, which truly reflects our commitment to digital transformation, we are creating beauty that is more inclusive and personalised for everyone. We have been focused on developing new technologies and enhancing our products, customer experiences, and employee capabilities.
From your years of experience, what would be some final words of advice you would like to share on building an attractive employer brand and elevating an organisation’s EVP offerings?
We need to address the constant shift of business priorities, consumer expectations, and environmental concerns and redefine what purpose means for our employees. We have only one shot at getting it right, and three areas demand our complete attention. A people-first mentality that thrives on purpose becomes number one. This must tie up with the ecosystems in which we operate as businesses and the technologies that are in use across several functions at the workplace.
If we can strategically work on these three dimensions of people, ecosystems and technology, I believe we have a very good shot at becoming an attractive employer as we embrace the future of work.