A L Oreal Case Study Management Essay
Nowadays companies try to be more and more efficient. This concerns not only product quality or production processes but also the quality of the workforce. On that respect, employee management is key in achieving challenging productivity improvement objectives and simply to have the company to perform better.
Before talking about the different processes used by companies to train their employees and develop competencies, let’s remind ourselves that many constraints have to be taken into account such as local regulations. In France for example there is the DIF, “Droit Individuel à la Formation”. It’s a law passed in 2004, which allows employees to follow training programs. This to show that the social policy of a state can also affect the training process of employees in a company.
In the following paragraph we’ll ignore political aspects and focus on the different processes implemented by L’Oreal and American Express.
L’Oreal case study
To begin let’s take the example of L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company.
This company is well-known to employ Good Practices in Training and personal Development.
To illustrate our proposal, we refer to an interview of a Latin American talent managing director of L’Oreal, Judith Ruiz De Esquide.
Her role is to take a look at the different teams based in Latin America. She has to have a good knowledge of the employee motivations, skills, strengths or expectations and she has to match these with the external environment – both economic and cultural.
L’Oreal uses the Talent Management Director’s network for sharing talent, improve processes and promote international mobility of the employees.
Each employee is personally monitored: skills, motivation, achievements and even his sensibility to the environment (very important in the world of Beauty) are assessed on a regular basis.
To identify potential talent and thus to manage them, Judith spends most of her time with employees in the Latin America operations of L’Oreal. The career development is a key factor of success according to Judith. She organizes formal meetings several times per year associated to daily and individual follow-up.
Talent management is a process which enables the identification of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses as well. Given the task the employee has to fulfil or will fulfil in the future, a training plan is derived to close the gap with the targeted competencies that have to be acquired by the employee.
In a context of globalization, important companies are composed of thousand of employees. Thus talent management becomes an important contributor to the performance of the company.
I think a good talent management system can be very effective in raising the motivation level of the employees. If employees are motivated and they feel as good at work as at home, they will work better and harder for the company.
L’Oreal also use internal training program to boost their employee skills and motivation.
These kinds of programs are designed for managers from several countries. To be efficient they are run several times a year and are organized by companies who are specialist in the field, e.g. Rosinski & Company. These programs are offered in several languages such as English, French or Italian.
“We chose to work with Rosinski & Company for multiple reasons: we appreciate this excellent team of experienced and diverse Trainers, the business-oriented learning approach, and the consistently positive feedback after the seminars.”
Yvonne von de Finn Project Manager – Learning for development MDC Europe – L’Oreal
Like talent management, training programs are useful in many different ways. They help in motivating employees and giving them the opportunity to improve their skills.
Particularly when employees are managers like in the case above, they lead to new professional perspective.
I think this kind of programs do bring benefits to the company and can be seen as investments (costs) – despite government help in the form of subsidies sometimes. Like any material investment, the return has to be evaluated and thus the impacts of the training have to be quantified and monitored for the sake of efficacy.
Talent management shall be focused and targeted at bringing up the competencies of the employees to match the requirements of the organization they belong to.
Learning by doing
Companies like L’Oreal also use practices such as “learning by doing” to develop skills of their employees. They help them to perform better in their daily tasks and activity.
This way of acquiring competencies is built around action and job everyday life rather than formal training programs.
Let’s see below a brief description of the process according to a professional:
« Instead of a theoretical discussion about strategic planning or project management, for instance, participants develop a usable strategic plan or create deliverables for their project. Employees learn in their own way and at their own pace through assignments that get real work done. »
In my opinion, this method is more than a way to train employees and rather an example that every company should adopt in their daily management scheme.
This strategy can be very efficient because it allows for a focus on problems of real interest to the company, on which each employee can find solutions. It’s very concrete and precise because it directly applies to the job himself.
American Express Case study
The concept of diversity management
American Express received recently the tittle of « Top Company for Employee-Resource Groups ». American Express is a good example of how the concept of diversity management is implemented in large companies.
« Diversity management must begin with visible leadership. This means that the CEO and executive team must lead by example and be visible supporters of diversity as a business driver while holding their direct reports accountable for results ».
The management of diversity can be very useful for the development of employees in several ways.
When you work with people from different countries and different cultures, you may learn more than working with people from the same country as yours. I think this climate of diversity allows for the development of new working methods and new ways of seeing things.
Yet I think that valid metrics are needed to see the positive impact of diversity management.
Management should in this case set up clear objectives and preserve middle management.
This rather new concept has to be well managed in order to perform better than classical work model.
“A diverse and inclusive culture is a corporate asset for American Express.”
Kenneth Chenault, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
Transferability of knowledge and skills back to the job
On this last part, I’d like to comment on the transferability of knowledge.
I think each employee or manager has to keep in mind that the transfer of training, i.e. knowledge capitalization, is the key in terms of value for a company in the long run.
The knowledge of each employee should be easily transferable to other new employee and this should be handled through a complete and thorough process.
This is good for the integration of new employees. They always perform and feel better after a good training on the task they are supposed to perform.
Another important element is the fact that new skill or knowledge should be maintained once they have been completed.
My current experience as an intern on a trading desk at HSBC Paris is in my opinion a very relevant example. Before really starting I had a 3-week training with the past intern. Then I learnt how to use the IT system, how to work in a specific environment, how to deal with the daily tasks I was supposed to fulfil. These 3 weeks taught me also how to behave not only with my colleagues but also with the clients of HSBC. It was for my integration. It gave me confidence but provided me with a significant increase in efficiency and well-being.