Training: developing local talent as close as possible to the markets

For the past 40 years, Lfd (Learning for development, L’Oréal’s training department) has been a key driver of the Group’s human resources management policy. Through time, it has also gradually become a pillar of CSR policy, as it fosters the career development of staff. Drawing on in-depth knowledge of the specific cultural features of each country, it strives to train local talent, develop their loyalty and encourage them to grow. They are given support and encouraged to build a career within the Group on a local, regional or even international level. For L’Oréal, this is a key challenge. In an extremely competitive economic context, it requires the best teams all over the world to achieve its ambitious objective: win over a billion new consumers. ‘One of our main priorities in 2012 was to help the Group accelerate its strategic development by fostering the emergence of talents on the new, high growth markets’, explains Sylvie Dangelser, head of the department. ‘To do this, we made use of the co-development of training programmes with the regions’. The concept of co-development is anchored in the sharing of responsibilities and on the running of the international network of Lfd directors. For instance, the Lfd directors in the various regions of the world have the opportunity to express their needs and challenges at international conventions organised each year with the Lfd Corporate team. Then the latter helps them to take charge of developing programmes. How? By providing them with advice, strategic guidelines and indispensable methodology. The Lfd Corporate team also makes learning materials available to the regions, such as videos or e-learning, tools and methods for monitoring training, all adaptable to local realities. The regions can thereby independently take charge of the development and implementation of programmes, with a high level of quality, and respect a certain consistency across the globe.

Diversity and consistency

‘This approach has three major advantages’, Sylvie Dangelser continues. ‘First of all, it guarantees the success of the training courses, since they are tailor made. Then, it ensures we have the same quality standards all over the world. We can globalise our training policy without making it uniform and have ever more diversity without losing consistency. Lastly and above all, certain programmes that are conceived locally can be deployed in other regions, or even in the whole world. The regions therefore play the role of “suggestion box”, that contributes to the multiplication of initiatives and good practices for developing local talent. A considerable source of innovation!’ This sharing of responsibilities was reinforced with the regionalisation of major “business education” programmes dedicated to local talent directly in the new markets. Furthermore, the decision has been taken to accelerate ownership of the training programmes in the countries. This means managers need no longer be trained at the head office in France, but in close proximity to their markets. ‘Up to the first level of management, the training should be carried out in the country concerned and for middle management, the region takes over’, says Sylvie Dangelser.

Focus on four key initiatives in 2012

1. MyLearning reaches Ghana and Pakistan

The online training platform MyLearning, which has been made available to the local teams by the International Lfd department, is L’Oréal’s way of simplifying and facilitating access to training. Following Lebanon in 2011, in 2012 the platform – which exists in 19 different language versions – was deployed in Pakistan and Ghana, where L’Oréal has recently opened subsidiaries. The aims? Help newcomers to feel a part of the company, understand corporate culture and development strategy, and at the same time foster their skills, thanks to a bespoke training path relating to their job position and business line, and appropriate learning materials.

2. TTM goes local

In 2012, for the first time, a local session of the flagship training seminar Transition to Team Management (TTM) was organised for the teams of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The aim was to increase the number of employees trained in team management in Europe and to adapt the programme to regional specific features to optimise effectiveness. Lfd Europe worked with the Lfd managers in each country to ensure the same training experience was provided as in France, regarding both instructional content and teaching quality. Other local sessions are scheduled in 2013.

3. A better expertise in African hair

In response to the Group’s ambition to win over a billion new consumers over the next 10 years, L’Oréal is developing targeted professional expertise programmes in the new markets. In 2012, Johannesburg was the venue for the first Métier Seminar Afro Specific Hair Care and Styling. Fifty of the Group’s employees from various job positions in sub-Saharan Africa were present. On the agenda: the characteristics of African hair, the consumer expectations, practices and attitudes and understanding the specific technologies and products provided by the Group. Thanks to this seminar, exchanges were developed between the participants, devising a common language around such a specific market, to build up a truly regional working community.

4. Change management, from local to international

How do we adapt to a constantly changing environment? This is the question at the heart of “Leaders for change”, a new training programme developed by L’Oréal for its staff in Asia-Pacific’s management committees. Organised at the initiative of the regional Lfd, with the support of the international Lfd department and in partnership with the National University of Singapore, the first session received 23 participants. The aim: to promote good practice in terms of change management, with presentations by experts from Asia and Europe, testimonies and case studies from the Group’s senior executives. In the course of 2013, 23 other managers from the region will also be trained. Following its success, this local programme will now become global.

Human Resources

  • 47,969 employees followed a training course in 2012