"Our remote management strategy was to prioritise our employees and their physical safety, health, and mental wellbeing to tide through this difficult period together," Kingley Lim, Head of Talent Acquisition, L'Oréal Singapore shares.

At the Employee Experience Awards 2021, Singapore, L'Oréal Singapore received the gold award for Best Remote Management Strategy.

In this interview, Kingley Lim, Head of Talent Acquisition, L'Oréal Singapore shares the secrets behind this win - how the firm believes in constant communication with its workforce wherever they are (home or office), and whatever the circumstances (i.e COVID-19) might be. This has kept the workforce engaged, recognised, and most importantly, in good shape both mentally and physically.

Q What is your award-winning employee experience strategy that led to this win?

Our remote management strategy was to prioritise our employees and their physical safety, health, and mental wellbeing to tide through this difficult period together. While ensuring business continuity through robust systems in place, we also constantly communicate with and engage all employees, even while working from home. Not only did we tailor our remote management solutions to ensure that no groups are left behind, but we also take care of and engage our beauty advisors and sales representatives on the ground.

Being agile individually, and as an organisation, is very important for us to adapt to the new changes daily.

Q How did you and your team conceptualise and adapt this strategy to suit evolving workforce needs in the past year?

With strong collaboration, different teams came together to contribute and conceptualise the strategy to suit the evolving needs.

It helps that with our test-and-learn culture, it has allowed us to adapt quickly by being able to try out new solutions with no fear of failure, and to learn key findings along the way to reach the best-fit strategy eventually.

Q What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them?

There are some key challenges we faced:

  • Longer working hours for employees which may lead to burnout. To combat this, we used a two-pronged approach – engage and educate. We increased the frequency of townhall meetings and teams’ check-in, giving half days off and lunch treats for everyone to have a break from work. We also held multiple virtual engagement sessions focusing on wellbeing topics, such as cooking, yoga, ergonomic tips, and even a workshop about hairstyling conducted by our own in-house educator!

  • Initial inconvenience having to pivot to full work-from-home while ensuring business continuity. With our digital acceleration strategies, we swiftly managed to adapt our working styles and processes, which many were brought online virtually while clocking better efficiencies!

  • Constant changes brought by the COVID-19 situation. We closely monitored government COVID-19 regulation announcements, and quickly pivoted, on the same day, to define workplace policies for the offices; immediately updating all employees and answering all employee questions promptly so they can feel at ease and also know what’s the advised course of action, while strictly adhering to government and Group guidelines.

Q How did the strategy add to the overall employee experience in your organisation, in terms of ROI? 

Overall, we saw high engagement and retention rates across teams in the organisation with this strategy.

Employees discovered new ways of working and enjoying greater flexibility while balancing both work and personal commitments. They have also reported to have sharper, shorter, and more efficient work alignment meetings in their teams, resulting in increased productivity.

Despite not being able to travel overseas physically, there was increased accessibility to colleagues and leaders based in other markets for knowledge exchange through virtual training events. We also ended 2020 with higher digital learning hours per employee as compared to 2019!

Q What is the most exciting and valuable thing about being part of (and winning at!) the debut Employee Experience Awards?

We are very happy and honoured to have been awarded out of many prestigious companies that participated in the Employee Experience Awards. It is a great platform for us to learn from these companies as well; we took home many best practices that can possibly benefit our employees in the future.

It is exciting and humbling to have our efforts recognised and shared in a challenging period. This will continue to encourage us to deliver a consistent best-in-class Employee Experience in the days ahead!

Q Looking ahead, what else do you have planned as you continue to enhance the overall employee experience?

Moving forward and looking ahead, we will continue to be remote-ready and champion new ways of working which we envision to be an O+O (online & offline) format. A huge part goes into looking into and reinventing current HR policies that will benefit our employees and their wellbeing as we navigate the new normal together.

Q Do share some tips to inspire your peers who are working on the EX strategies and would love to participate in the awards next year

Start with the people at the heart of everything you do, look at their challenges and you will build your solutions for them to enhance their employee experience!

Don’t forget to measure the impact, you’ll be amazed what else your efforts will bring you besides happy and fulfilled employees!

Q Lastly, to end off on a fun note – if you could describe the employee experience at your organization, what would that be?

To quote our founder Eugène Schueller, “A company is not walls and machines, it’s people, people, people”. We are excited every day to create the beauty that moves the world!


Image / Provided

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!

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