Teamwork, and a champion culture: When L’Oréal stages its own World Cup

In June, when France’s national soccer team began a journey that would lead it to becoming the world champion, another kind of World Cup was being held in Milan for more than 450 L’Oréal employees from 16 countries. One championship for soccer, and another for volleyball, were being played out as a perfect expression of the Group and its values - team spirit and a “champion culture”.

Playing as a team, it’s all about winning and losing together

For the past seven years, the L’Oréal World Cup has brought together employees from around the world, with this year’s edition including teams from North America for the first time. This exceptional sporting event was an opportunity for all those taking part to put the Group’s values into practice: strength of character, loyalty, discipline, and, above all, team spirit and leadership. A great example of this teamwork that transcended all differences of nationality: A Spanish player came to the rescue of the Middle East team when it lost a player to injury – and L’Oréal Middle East won the match.

This ability to play as a team is a good illustration of the values that the Group aims to practice every day. After all, what does teamwork mean if not the ability to work with colleagues with different cultural backgrounds and personalities, so that everyone plays their part in the company’s success? Playing as a team means accepting that responsibility, and turning it into a driver of success. It's also about celebrating the success of a colleague – or supporting someone who is struggling – and collaborating with people who might hold a different or even opposing point of view.

No fear of failure

Thanks to this sense of collective responsibility, employees are encouraged to take risks. As Enrique, Finance Manager of L’Oréal Luxury Spain and a team coach, put it: “It’s important one does not focus so much on wins and losses. Instead, pour all the energy to build a healthy culture”, one that is shared and holds the real key to success. The strength of a group is in its ability to recover from setbacks and to improve collectively. In other words, everyone needs to learn to be resilient if colleagues make mistakes, and to see any failure as an opportunity to make progress.

Becoming champions, it’s a learning process

More generally, L’Oréal is looking to develop the “ champion culture ” among its teams, as witnessed at the sports events held in June. But how do you become a champion? The answer is through passion, perseverance and respect – not just among teammates, but also toward opponents. It’s a quality that marks out the real leaders, as Fabio, the L’Oréal Italy Sales Area Manager for YSL and Biotherm, pointed out. “Without respect, success means nothing,” he says. "You learn to never put another player down. Without respecting others you cannot get anywhere. Strong people never put others down; they lift them up. Sports teach our teams just that.”

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